Deputy President William Ruto on Friday broke his silence on the impeachment debate sparked by Siaya Senator James Orengo, noting he remains Kenya’s DP and that there is only one such position.
In apparent reference to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), with regard to the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and its leader Raila Odinga, he said focus should be on working together for development, not division.
“We want to work together on matters development. Don’t bring us division, confusion and things that have no value for the people of Kenya,” he said in Vihiga County.
“We want to unite this country and work for Kenya. The Big Four programme is our target. That is where we should put all our focus.”
ONLY ONE DP
Dr Ruto further noted that Kenya does not have two DPs and that he will hold that position until 2022, when he will face off with other politicians in the general election.
“They are disturbed that Ruto is here and there. Let me ask – do we have two Deputy Presidents in Kenya? I am here, so what is their problem?”
He called his critics time-wasters with nothing important to offer Kenyans and told them to wait for the polls.
This was the first time for Dr Ruto to speak on the matter, following Mr Orengo’s announcement that he would sponsor a no-confidence motion against him over gross misconduct and corruption.
The senator’s remarks sparked a debate, with Dr Ruto’s allies daring him to present the motion. They said they would throw it out.
The DP’s allies have since concluded that Mr Orengo spoke for Mr Odinga and that his party is eyeing the DP post. They claim the goal is to scuttle Dr Ruto’s plans to succeed President Kenyatta at State House.
As the debate simmered, President Kenyatta paid the DP a surprise visit at his Harambee House Annex office in what was seen as an attempt to reassure him of his support.
And on Friday, the DP said he was ready to face his opponents, but at the right time.
“What we don’t want is politics of people masterminding things for their own selfish interests,” he said at Hamisi sports ground where he presided over a fundraising for a women’s group.
He had earlier been at Dr Maurice Dangana Secondary School within the constituency, where he laid a foundation stone and gave Sh3 million for the construction of an administration block.
“Let them relax. For now let us work. The competition they are looking for … its time will come. For now, let’s focus on development and stop unnecessary fighting. When we get there we shall all roll up our sleeves and fight for ourselves.”
“We at Jubilee are committed to ensuring the unity of Kenya is unity behind development programmes. What we are not interested in are games that divide communities, cause confusion and bring division. We have no time for those things.”
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu said the purpose of the handshake was to bring the country together for development.
“But we discovered they had another agenda of impeachment. We have rejected their handshake because it appears they had another agenda,” he said. “Jubilee members are firm … we stand with our President.”
He added, “We thought you had a clean heart. We didn’t know you had another agenda.”
He urged Kenyans to pray for the DP to overcome the impeachment plans.
Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo, Hamisi MP Charles Gimose, Mumias East MP and Jubilee Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali, Ikolomani MP Bernard Shinali, Webuye West MP Dan Wanyama, MCAs and local leaders also attended the function.
They promised to gather support for Dr Ruto, Mr Gimose saying, “We will face those planning a motion to impeach him. This community supports him. All we ask is for the DP to promote this area. We will reciprocate tomorrow.”
Mr Washiali said the opposition lost focus and failed to deliver in its mandate as a government watchdog. He accused Mr Odinga of being preoccupied with personal interests.
“The government needs a credible opposition but the opposition is dead. Raila no longer challenges the government. He’s too focused on personal political interests,” he said.
“Raila has not commented on critical issues in the country, on which the opposition’s voice is needed.”
Mr Washiali further termed Mr Odinga a “spent force” in politics and told him not to waste his time vying again for the presidency as he “spent his last bullet in the last election”.
“Raila had one bullet remaining [and he spent it]. He was looking for another bullet from the President but his antics failed. The President has denied him a chance,” he claimed.
Mr Wanyama said Mr Orengo’s motion should be considered “dead on arrival” at the National Assembly should he proceed with the plan.
“He is in the Senate. Where shall he even start? That motion won’t see the light of day,” he stated.
By Daily Nation