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DP William Ruto reiterates he will support Uhuru in 2017

RIFT VALLEY
By Vincent Mabatuk | July 30th 2015
Deputy President William Ruto and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery check out one of the guns that were surrendered during the disarmament in Katilia, Turkana County yesterday. Mr Ruto reiterated that he will be President Uhuru Kenyatta’s running mate in 2017. [PHOTO: DPPS]

LODWAR: Deputy President William Ruto has declared yet again that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta's election for a second term, sidestepping pressure from some of his supporters that he vie for the presidency in 2017.

Mr Ruto however reiterated that he is prepared to take over when Uhuru retires in 2022.

Speaking at Kabel in Baringo County, the Deputy President also sought to dismiss the Opposition as a spent force who were incapable of ruling.

Ruto told local residents not to be misled by the Opposition and instead support the Government's efforts to better their living standards ahead of the next election.

The DP gave his speech at the exact grounds Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga addressed residents two months ago. The CORD leader had attacked the Jubilee administration for allegedly leaving its citizens at the mercy of cattle rustlers.

Ruto, whose team flew to the county in six helicopters, was accompanied by political leaders from Samburu, Turkana and Baringo counties as well as Internal Co-ordination Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery.

He said he was behind President Kenyatta and would back him till he completes his term in office.

He said he had prepared to take over after Uhuru in 2022 and urged his supporters not to be swayed by anybody.

The DP's visit comes barely two months after CORD principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila toured the county and accused the Jubilee administration of failing to protect its citizens.

The two leaders threatened to instigate a civil suit on behalf of the residents.

Addressing political rallies in Baringo South and Baringo North sub-counties, Raila and Kalonzo said they would take the State to court unless proper Government machinery was mobilised to deal with the menace that had uprooted thousands from the homes and had livestock stolen.

In his address, the DP told the Opposition to be prepared to witness the Jubilee leadership run the country even after the 2017 elections.

"Let it be clear to all that the next government will be a Jubilee administration. Nobody will overturn this dream no matter what. You all heard what the American president (Barack Obama who visited the country last week) told those guys, its over," said Ruto in his native Kalenjin language.

During his three-day tour to Kenya, President Obama is reported to have taken a swipe at Opposition leaders over double-speak on various issues affecting nation.

The DP claimed even Obama had realised the leaders' weaknesses and criticised them for turning to America when they were out of government while they had told it off when they were in power.

And speaking earlier at Kagir village in North Baringo, Ruto issued an ultimatum to residents still in possession of illegal arms and warned that action will be taken against them. He said all illegal guns must be submitted for registration.

"We need those arms surrendered, failure to which the Government machinery will be rolled out and every illegal gun forcibly taken. Every individual in possession of a gun must be identified and the purpose of the rifle made known to the State," he said.

OFFICIAL REGISTRATION

The Deputy President said for the last 15 years, the residents had suffered due to the cattle rustling menace and it was time the practice was brought to an end by all possible means.

"The Government is in the process of repossessing each and every illegal gun. Chiefs and police commanders in the county are ready to start receiving the arms for official registration,'' said the DP.

He said the Government will, in September, recruit 6000 local youth to assist the National Youth Service (NYS) in reconstructing vandalised homes, dispensaries and learning institutions.

He said construction of vandalised homes and public utilities that include schools, boreholes, cattle deeps, roads and dispensaries was underway.

The DP, who also addressed similar rallies in Nasokuru, Baringo South and Katilia, Turkana South, said anybody found to have interfered with NYS activities would face the law.

On Tuesday, unknown armed people ambushed a convoy of NYS officers in Arabal as they ventured deep into abandoned villages to reconstruct vandalised homes.

The destruction was allegedly caused by hundreds of illegally armed herders who invaded the area about two years ago, scared away the residents and occupied the village before they were flushed out recently by Government security officers.

Those with Ruto during the rallies included Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi, County Woman Representative Grace Kiptui, MPs Grace Kipchoi (Baringo South), Asman Kamama (Tiaty), William Cheptumo (Baringo North), Nixon Nikor (Turkana East) and Rift Valley Regional Co-ordinator Osman Warfa.

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