William Ruto tells Uhuru Kenyatta to keep off succession politics

Deputy President William Ruto speaks in Meru town. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday said he does want to be drawn into a political fight with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Ruto said as a gentleman, President Kenyatta should have appreciated what he did for him.

“When you (the President) needed someone, I stood with you. I assisted you in 2013 and 2017. Now you are not contesting, why are you asking me so many questions?” he said. “It is us who helped you to become President, not Raila Odinga.”

The DP told President Kenyatta that the Kenya Kwanza government will take good care of him when he retires.

“Mr President, when someone helps you, don’t take them in circles, even if you do not want to support me,” Dr Ruto said in Maua. He was with running mate Rigathi Gachagua, Senators Mithika Linturi (Meru), Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi) and several MPs.

The DP urged residents to re-elect Igembe South MP John Paul Mwirigi, Linturi for Meru governor and Kathuri Murungi for senator, all of who are vying on the UDA ticket.

Speaking at his first stop in Maua, the DP reiterated his commitment to boost agriculture and support farmers.

“We want to help miraa, tea, and coffee farmers to afford input and to ensure all farmers are able to access the market. We will get rid of brokers and cartels that have exploited farmers so that all Kenyans are able to feed their families,” he said.

The DP said food prices were better before the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Odinga.

“Before the Handshake, the price of fertiliser was Sh2,800, now it is at Sh7,000. Maize flour retailed at Sh90. Now it is Sh230. Prices of food have never been this high. The Handshake people have brought high prices. They do not understand the challenges faced by the common people,” he said.

Mr Ruto said Mr Odinga and his allies are not in touch with the challenges facing poor Kenyans. 

“Do not play poker with our lives. We want to form a government that understands the difficulties faced by the common people so that we can address them,” he said, adding that the Azimio presidential candidate had lost touch with the people.

One-time allies DP William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta exchange caps after signing an MoU in 2013. [File, Standard]

Ruto said the Kenya Kwanza administration has a solid plan for youth employment.

He said five million youths had completed education and earned diplomas and degrees but have no jobs.

“We must have a marshal plan on matters of youth employment. Otherwise, our country is staring at a crisis. We have five million young people out of school. They have no jobs, no hope and they are available for any other use. We are going to deploy Sh200 billion every year to develop a leather industry, textile, wood, agro-processing, manufacturing, housing industries so that we can create enough jobs for these people,” the DP said.

Dr Ruto, responding to Azimio’s new demands over election preparedness, asked his opponents to leave the Independent, Electoral, and Boundaries Commission to discharge its duties.

“He is disturbing the IEBC for nothing. I am ready for him. We will be finished with him early in the morning and send him home,” he said.

The DP appealed to voters to rally behind him to ensure he defeats Mr Odinga in the elections.

Prof Kindiki said since 2013, led by Ruto and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, they stood with President Kenyatta and vigorously campaigned for his election.

“But after all the work we have put in led by Ruto and Muturi, he turned against us,” he said.