President Uhuru Kenyatta and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga are squarely to blame for the economic challenges facing the country, Deputy President William Ruto said on Saturday and blamed the Uhuru administration for the high cost of living.
Speaking during a tour of Tharaka Nithi County, the Kenya Kwanza Alliance presidential candidate and his brigade said Mr Kenyatta betrayed them despite their huge support and welcomed into government his political foe, Raila Odinga and they messed up the country.
DP Ruto said in the first term, the country witnessed great development milestones including electricity connectivity, tarmacking of thousands of kilometers of roads and the establishment of Technical Vocational Training Institutes in almost all constituencies in the country.
He said they can account for the first term of the Jubilee administration and blamed Mr Odinga of interfering with the government.
Addressing a rally at Marimanti town, Prof Kithure Kindiki said Mr Kenyatta betrayed DP Ruto and his supporters and that he had a clear plan on how he would mistreat them even when they were campaigning for his second term.
Prof Kindiki said when he was looking for votes for his second term, Mr Kenyatta promised that if he won, he would retain his friends and allies in government.
“But when we elected Uhuru for the second term he betrayed us. We came to discover that he had already decided he was going to betray all his lieutenants during his second term,” he said, adding:
“Mr Kenyatta sidelined DP Ruto against the constitution and made Raila the de facto deputy president. While we can account for the 2013 - 2017, we take no responsibility for the mess that has been created in the second term by an illegal government headed by a legally elected president and an illegally appointed deputy president.”
On Mr Kenyatta’s support of Mr Odinga, Prof KIndiki said: “To the outgoing President we are saying that we still respect you despite what you have done to us and we will respect you even in your retirement. But please don’t try to mess us further. We are fed up so please get your project, Mr Odinga and go home together.”
Also accompanying the DP were running mate Rigathi Gachagua, governor Muthomi Njuki, MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) Gitonga Murugara (Tharaka) and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi among other leaders.
Responding to reports that the Kenya Kwanza government would investigate Mr Kenyatta over wrongs during the five-year term when he sidelined DP Ruto, Mr Gachagua said they did not have such intentions.
“We will not investigate Uhuru for anything and we will let him retire peacefully and we respect the Kenyatta family,” he said.
Speaking to Nation on phone yesterday, National Council of Elders patron Mr Kung’u Muigai said when he met Dr Ruto on Friday, the DP assured him that his government would protect the Kenyatta family.
“He specifically asked me to deliver the message to the President and my family that his legacy would be protected,” said Mr Muigai, who is Mr Kenyatta’s first cousin.
Mr Muturi also reiterated that the Kenya Kwanza government would respect the Kenyatta family saying they had “immense respect” for Mr Kenyatta.
“We respect him and we will allow him to retire peacefully and watch us transform the country,” Mr Muturi said.
DP Ruto revisited the issue of importation of the second-hand clothes during his address at Marimanti, and described Mr Odinga as an arrogant person who does not care about the plight of the poor in the country.
“Odinga was brought up in a rich family and cannot understand the challenges that poor Kenyans are facing. He grew up wearing a suit and tie,” said DP Ruto.
Prof Kindiki pleaded with his residents to vote for Ruto and his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) team in the county arguing that though they feel betrayed for the DP not picking him as his running mate, he has promised to endorse him for the presidency in 2032.
He said if the residents vote Mr Odinga in the August 9 polls, Ruto will definitely conclude he is the one who betrayed him because of the running mate issue.
“Even if we feel that we were betrayed in the running mate contest, we have to support DP Ruto and all the county UDA team because he has also promised to endorse me after his 10 years,” said Prof Kindiki.
Mr Gachagua said before he was named running mate, he and Prof Kindiki spoke and agreed that for the sake of unity, they should support each other and respect Dr Ruto’s choice.
“Kindiki is my brother and we have promised to support him. If there was a way of splitting the running mate position we would have done so but only one person was supposed to take it,” he said.
Governor Njuki also pleaded with the residents to vote for Ruto and other UDA candidates arguing that it’s the only team that will offer solutions to the challenges facing the country.