What you need to know:
- Deputy President is buoyant following UDA’s win in the Kiambaa parliamentary seat by-election.
- Dr Ruto accused his rivals of targeting him and his allies in a smear campaign.
Deputy President William Ruto, confident of a 2022 State House race triumph following a series of wins in recent by-elections, has told his opponents to prepare for what he says will be a battle royale.
Coming just days after the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) bagged the Kiambaa seat at the heart of President Uhuru Kenyatta's Kiambu backyard against a well-oiled Jubilee campaign, the DP yesterday dismissed all ongoing coalition-building efforts by his rivals, saying they will not stop him from ascending to presidency.
President Kenyatta and Dr Ruto’s archrival Raila Odinga are crafting a coalition that will involve some leaders of the One Kenya Alliance— Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Gideon Moi (Kanu), Moses Wetang’ula (Ford-Kenya) and Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress).
“I am telling them that they can join all the forces against me but they should be ready because we the hustlers, with our God, are ready to face them,” he said when he stopped to address the public at Kibaoni market after attending a service at St Patrick Catholic Church in Kilifi town.
The DP accused his rivals of targeting him and his allies in a smear campaign.
"Woe unto those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster befalls upon you?" Dr Ruto posed.
“There is more corruption in the fight against corruption,” he added.
The DP accused Mr Odinga of taking advantage of the 2018 ‘handshake’ with the President to distract Jubilee from its Big Four Agenda.
“Raila came from the National Super Alliance and started frustrating us in Jubilee because we had plans for proper housing and creating employment for the jobless youth, and manufacturing. He told us that was not a priority arguing that changing the Constitution was,” said the DP.
He said it is time leaders stopped talking about changing the Constitution and come up with policies that will economically empower the poor and the youth.
The second-in-command has been championing the ‘bottom-up’ economic model that seeks to empower people at the grassroots all the way to the top.
“We are changing the conversation. It is not going to be about leaders and positions and sharing of powers. It is going to be about ordinary citizens and creating of jobs and enterprise. That is the new talk that we are going to have in Kenya,” he added.
Dr Ruto warned that the proposed law changes through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), which intends to create more political positions, is against Biblical teachings.
“We should be careful as we push for constitutional amendments to avoid the wrath of God. How can it be that we are pushing for change because of our gains, to get more powers and create political positions to burden the common people in the society?” he posed.
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi said the church should not shy away from telling Kenyans the truth, both politically and spiritually.
The next President
He said President Kenyatta has failed to address issues affecting ordinary Kenyans.
Gatundu MP Moses Kuria said the UDA win is a clear indication that the DP will succeed Mr Kenyatta.
"Kenyans now have an idea on who will become the next President," he said.
Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa said Kilifi has already made a decision to support Dr Ruto.
“Everything has its time. Kilifi used to belong to Raila Odinga and his ODM party but it is now for the Deputy President,” she said.
Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari urged the Mijikenda community to support the DP for a change.
“Most times we applaud the Deputy President for his kindness but when it comes to the time to stand with him, we disappear and leave him,” he said.
The DP will have a meeting with Kilifi traders today.