Former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta has defended President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to back Azimio La Umoja leader Raila Odinga’s presidential bid, saying, the Head of State has the nation’s best interests at heart.
The President’s mother also criticised politicians whom she said were only hurling insults as she expressed regret that Mr Kenyatta has no other choice than to work without Deputy President William Ruto “because of the things he had done to him.”
Without naming the politicians she accused of hurling insults, Mama Ngina said yesterday at a funeral service: “…depending on how someone was brought up, when he or she [is] out [in] public, he or she [should not] insult another person. [But listen] how those people are insulting others.”
Last weekend, the DP took his campaigns to Gatundu where he and his allies criticised President Kenyatta for supporting Mr Odinga to succeed him. The President’s allies have also accused the Ruto camp of disrespecting the Head of State and the First Family.
Mama Ngina vowed not to retaliate: “We’ll leave them [alone] if insulting others is [what] they were taught when growing up,” she said in Gikuyu.
Mama Ngina spoke at the burial of Nelly Wanjiku at Muthiga in Gatundu South, Kiambu. Wanjiku, her cousin, died aged 100. Also present was Gatundu North MP Wanjiku wa Kibe.
Mama Ngina called for national unity even as she exhorted her audience to trust the political direction President Kenyatta was steering them towards: “The President cannot [mislead you].”
Referring to the differences between President Kenyatta and his deputy, Mama Ngina said the two were working well until the latter abandoned his duties, leaving the President to work alone.
“When your deputy rebels, do you concentrate on him or continue with your work? You move on with the work,” she said.
The utterances by Mama Ngina are yet another pointer that the relationship between the President and his deputy is broken beyond repair.
While touring the President’s backyard of Gatundu at the weekend, the DP recalled how Mama Ngina prayed for them to overcome the cases they were facing at the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
He referred to the final of prayer meetings the two had at Gatundu Stadium in 2011 before they travelled to The Hague for the first appearance at the court.
On Saturday, as he pleaded with Mr Kenyatta to stop supporting Mr Odinga, the DP told the crowd that he had stood by the President during those tough times.
“Please tell [President Kenyatta] not to use the sword I helped him get to cut me down to size,” the DP said, referring to the ceremonial sword given to the President while being sworn in.
President Kenyatta has often reiterated his preference of Mr Odinga as his successor.
“An old man sitting on a stool sees further than a boy perched on a tree. Let me stick with the old man [Mr Odinga],” the President recited a saying among the Gikuyu in February while addressing Mt Kenya leaders at Sagana State Lodge when he publicly endorsed Mr Odinga, saying, his deputy was unfit to rule.