What you need to know:
- Tangatanga MPs have argued that the President’s political truce with ODM leader Raila Odinga was aimed at dimming Dr Ruto’s 2022 aspirations
- Mr Kenyatta said his relationship with Mr Odinga was limited to the country’s peace.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has told a section Mt Kenya MPs to stop reminding him about his pledge to support his deputy William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
The Head of State questioned significance of the constant reminders, saying that he has never declared whether he will endorse or oppose Dr Ruto’s 2022 bid.
A section of MPs allied to Dr Ruto, popularly known as Tangatanga, have been calling on the President to support his deputy as he had pledged during the 2013 and 2017 general elections.
The legislators have argued that the President’s political truce with ODM leader Raila Odinga, was aimed at dimming Dr Ruto’s 2022 aspirations.
But speaking at Sagana State Lodge during a four-hour meeting with leaders from the Gema community on Friday, the President said that his political truce with Mr Odinga should not be seen as an endorsement.
Speaking in Kikuyu language, the President explained that the ‘Handshake’ does not mean he is supporting Mr Odinga’s 2022 presidential ambition.
He said his relationship with Mr Odinga was limited to the country’s peace.
President Kenyatta said: “I have never left my party to join another one. You have never heard me say who you should elect. But why do some people think that they should be reminding me every morning on what I should do or not?
On the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, the President told the politicians to stop speculations about the recommendations of the report. He said that he, too, is not aware of the report’s contents.
The President said at one point he had to call a member of the BBI taskforce to ask him why they had given out copies of the report to politicians before giving him.
He said that when the report is released, copies will be printed and distributed for the public to read, scrutinise and make a decision on the recommendations.
But he stated that he hopes the taskforce will address issues of inclusivity to get rid of election violence.
He said that the report should also address equal distribution of resources and the fight against graft.
While reacting to the President’s statement, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said the Head of State’s decision to explain his political truce with Mr Odinga had calmed the speculations associated with 2022 presidential poll.
“We are happy that he stated that the handshake with Raila did not mean he had endorsed Raila’s presidential ambitions. The President also stated that it was because of the handshake that his Jubilee Party was able to penetrate and field a candidate in the November 7 Kibra by-election,” said Mr Wambugu.
Ms Cathy Irungu, a political activist allied to the Kanu Party Women Congress, said following the meeting, political temperatures caused by the Kieleweke and Tangatanga factions of Jubilee Party are likely to calm down.
“The President addressed the real issues people at the grassroots have been complaining about. We expect politicians to stop politicking and focus on working for the people,” said Ms Irungu.
Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi said he hopes that political factions will be dissolved now that the President has declared he is not allied either to Kieleweke or Tangatanga.