Claims of a rift between the president and DP are “sideshows, rumours and speculation”, Anne Waiguru has said following concerns about Cabinet appointments.
On Tuesday, details emerged of behind-the-scenes manoeuvres before President Uhuru Kenyatta – with Deputy President William Ruto conspicuously absent – announced his first Cabinet nominees.
The president and trusted lieutenants decided to retain some and name some new people – a lineup Ruto opposed. They have agendas that were bound to clash.
But Waiguru, who is Kirinyaga Governor, said on Wednesday: “I can state categorically that there is no issue between the two leaders and that their relationship is very intact.”
She said the Jubilee Party bosses had turned their focus to fulfilling their promises to Kenyans, following their inaugurations for their second terms on November 28 last year.
Waiguru, who is also vice chairperson of the Council of Governors, added Uhuru has the full support of the Mt Kenya region.
She asked leaders in the region to back them and told off those claiming Mt Kenya will not support Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambition.
“Those still in campaigns should heed the president’s advice that its time to work and fulfill development pledges. All other sideshows have been bypassed by time,” she said at a funeral.
Waiguru’s remarks came days after MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri Town) clashed at a church service in Nyeri, about Mt Kenya’s support for Ruto’s State House bid.
Several leaders, led by the DP, criticised a section of Jubilee leaders for prematurely initiating 2022 discussions, in an apparent reaction to Kuria’s remarks that the region will back the DP.
The debate on succession politics emerged after Wambugu hit out at Kuria on social media saying it was too early for discussions.
James Mwangi, chairman of the Kenya Coalition for Political Progress, termed Kuria and Wambugu political brokers fuelling division in Jubilee Party.