What you need to know:
- Dr Ruto told the groups that he understands where they are coming from, often repeating his rags-to-riches tale as a “hustler” who rose from a chicken-seller in Turbo.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said the meetings with religious leaders were “absolutely necessary”.
Deputy President William Ruto has trained his focus on religious leaders and the youth ahead of the 2022 elections.
Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday came out guns blazing, warning government officials to go slow on politics and accord his office the dignity it deserves.
Coming in the backdrop of attacks by Forestry and Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko, Dr Ruto said government officials must concentrate on delivering the Big Four agenda instead of engaging in politics.
“Government officers must help deliver the Jubilee agenda. We must enhance food production, improvement of health services through the Universal Health Coverage, housing and provision of jobs to our people. Let us stop abuse of power. Go slow on politics,” he said during a fundraiser at ACK Church in Athi River.
In a rather controversial statement at Loita Forest in Narok County on Saturday, in response to Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Mr Tobiko had referred to the DP as “a mere clerk of the president”.
“Murkomen needs to have respect. He is out here insulting President Uhuru Kenyatta and other leaders. He should respect the President. If you don’t respect the president of the Republic of Kenya, you do not deserve to be respected by anyone,” Mr Tobiko said in Narok, before referring to the DP as a “clerk”.
The senator had earlier labelled the CS “a non-performer during his stint as the Director of Public Prosecutions”.
Boiling with anger, the DP did not have kind words for President Kenyatta and his new-found political allies, ODM leader Raila Odinga and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi.
In an apparent reference to the ‘hustler vs dynasty’ politics, Dr Ruto said Kenya is not a hereditary system only for rich families to take the mantle of leadership. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi were first and second presidents of Kenya, while Mr Odinga’s father — Jaramogi Oginga Odinga — was the first vice-president.
“Some people are telling us sons of hustlers cannot be president. That your father must be known. That he must be rich for you to become the president,” he told a roadside gathering in Athi River. “We are telling them that even a child of a boda-boda or of a kiosk operator or mtoto wa mvuta mkokoteni (handcart puller) can lead this country,” he added.
He urged Jubilee leaders to focus on their pledges to the people. He also told government officers to be alive to the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic had ravaged the country and give priority to projects geared towards resuscitating the economy.
He was accompanied by former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, former National Assembly majority whip Benjamin Washiali, MPs Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Vincent Musyoka (Mwala), Rahab Mukami (Nyeri woman rep) and Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East).
Mr Muthama vowed to lead the Kamba nation behind the DP as he guns for the Machakos governor seat. “You are either with Ruto or the other team. As Kamba nation, we must not be left out of the next government,” he said.
Mr Washiali cautioned CSs against playing politics and urged them to tread carefully. “Let them get to work and deliver services to the people,” he said.