Ruto lashes out at politicians for dividing citizens on tribal lines

President William Ruto delivers his speech during Madaraka Day celebrations at Masinde Muliro Stadium in Kanduyi, Bungoma County. [PCS]

President William Ruto on Saturday fired a warning shot to politicians who are promoting politics of ethnicity and acclivity declaring the country will never go back to the dark past.

Speaking in Bungoma County which hosted the 61st Madaraka Day celebrations, the President said Kenya will never go back to politics of ethnicity, personalities and exclusion, contradicting his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua’s often repeated mantra that Kenya Kwanza government was like a shareholding company where the people who had voted it in deserved to get the lion’s share of the national cake before opposition zones were considered.

Gachagua has also been popularising his clarion call of ‘one man, one shilling, one vote’ in his call for equitable and fair distribution of resources, according to population size and a regions tax contribution.

The president said: “The 2022 General Election was a defining moment for the political trajectory of our country, it brought to an end politics of ethnicity as Kenyans voted us based on our manifesto and not because of individuals or personalities. Going into the future, I want to promise the people of Kenya that we shall not let you down. We will never go back to the politics of ethnicity, individual or personality but we will focus on uniting Kenyans.”

Ruto had given the same message on Friday when he launched the tarmacking of Mayanja-Sirisia, Mukhweya-Musese and Mukhweya- Kimukung roads.

“We agreed in the 2022 General Election to end the politics of ethnicity. Kenyans voted to unite the country and to bring to an end politics of tribalism. The biggest challenge we have now is to unite our people so that we can plan how to create jobs for our youth, revive agriculture and actualise Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” he said

Gachagua has sustained his mission of solidifying his base in Mt Kenya where he apologised for the role he played in the onslaught against retired President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 2022 elections claiming that the region was ‘misled’ to attack its own son.

But Ruto is not amused by Gachagua’s antics. On Saturday, the Head of State said the 2022 general election buried the politics of ethnicity saying that the country had no time for such politics.

In a strategy aimed at galvanizing and consolidating Mt Kenya region, Gachagua, who has been conducting whistlestop rallies in the region on Friday sought forgiveness from the people of Nyandarua and Kiambu counties, saying never again shall Mt Kenya region be used to insult and undermine one of their own.

Apologised to Uhuru

“That is why I went to the TV station and apologized to our brother Uhuru Kenyatta. We failed and you (addressing to the locals) failed too since we were together in humiliating Uhuru but once bitten twice shy. Never again shall we humiliate our king and our leader. We shall all ‘die with our leader’ even if we feel he has done wrong, let him take us to wherever he wishes because that is what other communities do,” Gachagua said Kiambu.

In what is seen as a ploy to distance himself from the shadows of the President and endearing himself afresh to the people, he also appeared to disown the  ‘Hustler versus Dynasty’ narrative that was deemed as class politics and asked the Agikuyu not to be jealous when one of their sisters is married to a wealthy man.

President William Ruto, First Lady Rachel and CDF General Charles Muriu Kahariri during Madaraka Day Celebrations at Masinde Muliro Stadium in Kanduyi, Bungoma County.  [PCS]

“Never be jealous of your sister because she is married to a wealthy husband, that rich man may even educate your children. When you see our children being used to divide our community, I urge you to advise them to reject such overtures. Let us love each other, let us be merciful to other people, let us be mindful of others because there is no infighting in other communities. They speak in one voice but infighting is planted in our region but I said never again shall we shout down our leaders,” Gachagua told his supporters.

His remarks were also aimed at the youthful leaders who have been hitting at him and asking him to resign if he was not contented with the Ruto-led administration but at the same time registering their political allegiances to the President

 “I repeat never again in our house we shall agree to fight each, never again shall we humiliate our own brother, never pick a knife to stab your brother in the back,” he said at Kimende and Kwa Mbira towns on his way from Mutonyora Comprehensive School in Nyandarua county where he had attended a thanksgiving event.

But Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru sustained her earlier attacks on the DP, claiming that some leaders should desist from making the Agikuyu community be seen as Kikuyus and not Kenyans even as she reiterated her past remarks on nurturing youthful leaders’ dreams.

 “Leaders from Mt Kenya region should shun politics of tribalism that risk isolating the region and the community from the rest of the country. The community was alienated in the 2007 general election, and as leaders, we shall not accept to be taken back to that direction,” Waiguru said.


Gachagua maintained that every leader who was not for the unity of the region was a ‘sell out, a traitor and a collaborator’ asking the community to reject them.

The Deputy President was accompanied by over 10 elected MPs who hit out at Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and reminded the President that Gachagua was voted in just like him and demanded respect for Gachagua’s office.

“We voted Ruto without coercion, we voted him knowing too well that his Deputy is Gachagua who was not given his position by mistake. Anyone who seeks to go against the 2022 political arrangement by disrespecting Gachagua is disrespecting the electorate,” Kajiado North MP Onesmus Ngogoyo said.

He added: “Those pointing fingers against Gachagua should be made aware that he has his job cut out and part of his job is to unite people by starting from where he comes from without fear, Gachagua was elected the same way the President was elected.”

Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara urged Gachagua critics to emulate other communities who take their community leaders with pride.

“When the community assigns a duty to a leader, we should stop pointing fingers at him. This has not happened in other communities like in the Rift Valley where the current President has never been politically targeted by his leaders from the region.

Kihara expressed concern over youthful leaders criticising the Deputy President. “We should stop fighting Gachagua because he is the one who carries the vision of Mt Kenya region, he promised us that the community would never face headwinds when he is in UDA government.”

But Gachagua’s presentation as Mt Kenya region’s ‘Joshua’ by defending its rights in the government and his push for one man, one vote, one shilling seems to have rubbed the president the wrong way as he has been hitting Gachagua albeit indirectly, by dismissing the move as ‘politics of ethnicity’.

Prior to the President’s address yesterday, Gachagua digressed from the agenda of the day and talked about being a fan of football but later in the evening attended the Kikuyu music extravaganza christened ‘Ngogoyo’ in Laikipia county that brought together a host of celebrated Kikuyu musicians and thousands of fans in his push to unite the region.