Former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto yesterday said he is ready to support Deputy President William Ruto for the country’s top post “if we agree on principle”.
In an interview with the Sunday Nation, the former county boss and Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party leader said that there is no bad blood between him and the DP “since we are not competing for a common political seat”.
Mr Ruto said his decision to back the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), which the DP is opposed to, should not be misconstrued to mean they are enemies.
“I am not in an alliance with anybody. After all, nobody has asked me to back him or her for presidency. If William seeks my support, we shall discuss, and if he supports the tenets CCM stands for – like devolving resources – then I will back him. There’s nothing personal,” he said.
The politician wants to regain his governor seat in 2022.
In 2017, Mr Ruto, who defied the political wave to back the opposition coalition in the Rift Valley where Jubilee enjoyed a huge support, lost the Bomet seat to Dr Joyce Laboso, who has since died.
Mr Ruto told the Sunday Nation that he did not lose the Bomet seat because of his position or defiance as said in some quarters, “but due to rigging”.
“There was a lot of interference in the election,” he said.
During a tour of Kuresoi constituency in Nakuru county last week, Mr Ruto met a group of youths who openly told him that as much as they still love him, he would not get their votes if he does not support the DP for the top seat.
Mr Ruto told them that the most important thing at the moment is the Constitutional amendment through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
“I told the youth that I have no problem with what they were suggesting because I am not at war with William,” he said.
“For now, I back constitutional amendment bill and my position is that we need hybrid system of governance so we do not slide into war after elections.”
The CCM boss reiterated his support for a strong devolved system, the proposed ward development fund and clear legal regime to support the elderly.
“After that, we can sit and vet those who are running for the presidency, including William. The person we back should have an ear for devolution and improving the economy, not only in the cities. That is what CCM stands for,” he said.
Mr Ruto said he likes the “Hustler” narrative, saying it forms part of what CCM is campaigning for.
“The Hustler narrative talks of joblessness, which is part of the grassroots question. If we can make it elaborate and coin in into good laws to help the common person, you will be surprised at how fast Kenya will shift into a middle-income economy, at par with the likes of Malaysia and eastern Europe,” he said.
He said the country should re-evaluate the pegging of its economy on high-level parameters like real estate and manufacturing.