Raila Odinga too old to lead Kenya, says DP William Ruto

Kenya Kwanza William Ruto campaign

DP William Ruto addressing a rally in Matungu, Kakamega County on February 8, 2022. Dr Ruto has claimed that ODM leader Raila Odinga is too old to lead Kenya.

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

Deputy President William Ruto Wednesday intensified his attacks on his arch-rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga, this time saying he is old and unfit to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Raila Odinga too old to lead Kenya, says DP William Ruto

When he took his Kenya Kwanza campaigns to Wabukhonyi in Tongaren, Bungoma County, the DP claimed that age is Mr Odinga's biggest undoing at the moment.

Dr Ruto said years when the former prime minister could tackle the woes bedevilling the country are gone and that the ODM leader now has no energy to lead Kenyans.

"If you observe keenly, is Raila having enough energy to lead this country? Can he really manage to govern this country which has a lot of debts and problems? This country where millions of youth are jobless. Will that old man succeed?" he posed to a cheerful crowd.

Raila endorsement

According to Dr Ruto, the Mount Kenya Foundation, which has since endorsed Mr Odinga as the suitable successor of Mr Kenyatta, together with the Head of State who seems to favour his foe-turned-protégé, are doing so because they want to continue remaining in power behind the scenes.

"Those people who want to con us politically by supporting that old man…are not doing so because they want him to lead but they want to remain in power using him. They want to deceive us so that they can continue to choose leaders for us. This time around, they will know that they do not know anything," the DP claimed.

Mr Odinga turned 77 in January while Dr Ruto is 55.

The DP defended his partnership with Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang'ula, saying they want to end tribal politics, and challenged Mr Odinga to pay his debt by rallying behind them

"We have collaborated as UDA, ANC and Ford Kenya to weed out tribal politics which benefits a few individuals with a lot bravado and (who) think that they can choose leaders for us. If the Kitendawili guy (Mr Odinga) was a good person, he would have supported us this time round," said DP Ruto.

Attack on Wamalwa party

He also hit out at Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and the entire leadership of the Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) accusing them of being used to divide Kenyans while they are subsidiaries of the Orange party.

"Some few people are being used to divide us. The party (DAP-K) was formed for these people. If you look at Eseli Simiyu and Eugene Wamalwa, can they form a party?" the DP posed.

"They are puppets of Raila Odinga. I want to ask these people, desist from dishonesty if you are men enough. Join ODM so that we can meet at the ballot. There is no party called DAP-K; that party is ODM," he added.

On his part, Mr Mudavadi asked President Kenyatta not to dangle the few slots which have been created by senior government officials who have resigned to focus on their political ambitions to manage his succession.

"Let no one be cheated with these few slots. They are just for three months. If you want a real post, wait for Ruto to form a government so that you get something serious," said the ANC leader.

The DP's allies also hit out at the President over his tempers in public events, saying that they are not healthy for the nation ahead of the August polls.

Led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchuma Murkomen, the Tangatanga MPs told off President Kenyatta over his recent attacks on his deputy.

Stop public anger

Mr Murkomen said that president Kenyatta’s recent exhibition of anger in his speeches was not good for the country and if not controlled would tear the country apart.

"Relax Mr President, you are not going for any elective seat in the coming polls. Take it easy and retire in peace as we teach your project (referring to Mr Odinga) mature politics," said Mr Murkomen.

Mr Murkomen said since the ‘handshake’, the president has not called even a single Cabinet meeting yet he is accusing deputy president of failing to work from his office.

"Let him tell us which roles he assigned his deputy after the handshake," said Senator Murkomen.

He said when the presidential election was nullified in 2017, it was DP Ruto who stood with the Head of State “who was literary trembling and confused”.