This, Dr Ruto said, is despite him backing the Head of State in the 2002, 2013 and 2017 presidential elections.
Dr Ruto said Mr Kenyatta would not have become President without his support and should not be blocking his quest to succeed him.
He said his boss, who is supporting Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party presidential candidate Raila Odinga, should keep off succession politics and let the DP battle it out with the former Prime Minister.
“I stood by and helped him [Uhuru] when he needed me the most and he would not have become President without my support. If he does not want to support me, [he should] allow me to face Mr Odinga,” Dr Ruto said, accusing the President of “shielding” the Azimio leader.
Yesterday, Maendeleo Ya Wanawake chairperson Zipporah Kittony waded into the war of words between Dr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta, terming it as “unfortunate” and “disrespectful” on the part of the Deputy President.
“It is not right for leaders to deride each other in public, and on this matter Mr Ruto is being disrespectful of his boss by attacking him in public,” said Ms Kittony, noting that “personal or private conversations between two elders should never become fodder for politicking”.
In a campaign rally in Kinna, Isiolo County, the DP and his Kenya Kwanza Alliance brigade popularised his bottom-up economic approach, touting it as transformational. He said his administration will prioritise lowering the cost of living. He accused Mr Odinga of failing to use his relationship with the President to push for reduced cost of food.
“He [Mr Odinga] has never slept hungry and does not see the importance of lowering food prices,” said Dr Ruto. A Kenya Kwanza government, he said, will end delays in processing of cash transfer funds for the elderly and persons living with disabilities, who would get their dues before civil servants are paid.
Every Kenyan will be insured under the National Health Insurance Scheme by December and will pay Sh300 monthly from the current Sh500 and those unable will have their scheme paid for should Dr Ruto ascend to presidency, he said.
The DP exuded confidence of defeating Mr Odinga in the coming elections “just like we trounced them in Msambweni, Juja and Kiambaa parliamentary contests.”
Dr Ruto also trashed the latest opinion poll by Infotrak that placed him four percentage points behind Mr Odinga, terming it “cooked” and a plan to hoodwink Kenyans.
Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro said President Kenyatta will not influence voting in Mt Kenya region. Speaking in Isiolo Town, Dr Ruto launched vicious broadsides against President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, accusing them of overseeing the theft of Sh10 billion Covid-19 funds. He said it was sad that the Azimio team was accusing Kenya Kwanza of being corrupt while their lieutenants allegedly siphoned the funds that were to buy ventilators, drugs and vaccines.
He claimed the funds were lost after the March 2018 political pact between the erstwhile foes that saw Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga shake hands on the steps of Harambee House in Nairobi, granting the famous truce the “Handshake” moniker.
“We have said we will deal with chronic corruption called out state capture which has privatised public institutions to serve the interests of a few people,” the Kenya Kwanza leader said. Separately, DP Ruto’s running mate, Mr Rigathi Gachagua, lashed out at Mr Kenyatta yesterday, describing him as a reluctant leader who did not want to be President.
Speaking in Othaya during the burial of Nyeri United Democratic Movement gubernatorial candidate Joshua Irungu’s father-in-law, Mr Gachagua said “making Mr Kenyatta President was difficult and it took a lot of effort to convince him to run.”
“He was not interested in becoming President, it is us who pushed it on him,” he said, noting that they were dedicated to making him president because he was a young and visionary leader.
He said Mr Kenyatta has always opted for the easy way out, citing his post-election violence case at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands, in which he agreed with Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi to hand over power after his 2013 victory with DP Ruto.
“He locked us out. We had to jump over the gate to urge him not to hand over our victory to another person. The same thing happened after we won the 2017 elections twice; he went to look for [Mr] Odinga instead of charging him with treason for swearing himself in [as the ‘people’s president’],” he said.
Mr Gachagua told leaders calling for the reconciliation between Mr Kenyatta and Dr Ruto that it was “unnecessary since they are two separate individuals and one was outgoing while the other was incoming.”
He chided leaders affiliated to Azimio, saying they had no authority to demand respect on behalf of the President as they have never campaigned or voted for him. He urged the President not to involve himself in succession politics and instead choose to peacefully retire.
He defended the Kenya Kwanza manifesto, saying the media had misquoted the alliance by saying the DP would investigate Mr Kenyatta and his family if he became President. He said a Kenya Kwanza government will ensure Mr Kenyatta retires with the respect and dignity befitting a retired President inclusive of all protection and perks prescribed in the constitution.