President-elect William Ruto yesterday assured residents of the Western region that he will keep his word to ANC boss Musalia Mudavadi and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula to have them as Prime Cabinet Secretary and National Assembly Speaker, respectively.
In his first visit to Bungoma, which flipped in his favour in the August 9 General Election, Dr Ruto said he was eternally grateful to the county residents whom he said helped Kenya usher a new dispensation in terms of voting in the presidential race.
At the same time, Dr Ruto lauded the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), particularly its chairman Wafula Chebukati, for delivering what he termed a free, fair, credible and transparent election.
Dr Ruto said he deliberately chose Bungoma as his next port of call after Kiambu last week for the “overwhelming” votes he got in the county.
“We invited ourselves here today to fellowship with the good people of Bungoma and say thank you for voting for us and thanking God for the victory. You, the people of Bungoma, opened a new chapter in our political path that now gives no room for retrogressive politics of hatred and tribe,” said the DP.
In Bungoma, Dr Ruto polled 255,906 against Mr Odinga’s 145,280 , prompting Mr Wetang’ula to state that “the poll was won and lost in Bungoma”.
In Western, Dr Ruto garnered 629, 552 votes, close to three times the 242,000 votes UhuruRuto had in 2017.
“I also want to thank Luhya leaders, led by Wetang’ula and Musalia, for joining my team to bring home victory and I want to assure all that every promise we made we shall fulfil. As we move forward, Mr Musalia shall be our Chief Minister, who will mobilise all the resources that will take Kenya ahead,” he said.
Dr Ruto was also accompanied by his deputy Rigathi Gachagua and Kenya Kwanza leaders.
“We are setting a new standard in our politics for ourselves and others; that we are a mature democracy and that we can vote and go back to work the next day. That is the new standard and we are proud of it, collectively, as the people of Kenya. Let us maintain that standard as we wait for the Supreme Court,” Dr Ruto said.
He expressed confidence that his team will emerge victorious at the Supreme Court—where Mr Odinga and others have challenged his win—saying the will of the people will be respected.
“Bribery, intimidation, and blackmail did not sway the voters. They did not sway the IEBC. We are confident that the same will not sway our courts. The courts have shown independence in the past. We have confidence in them. I want to say we will build the independence of the courts so they can guarantee the rights of everybody no matter where they come from, the religion they profess, or the political party they belong to,” Dr Ruto said.
He added: “We have God and the people. If we did not have God, then these guys would have already overrun us. IEBC has set a new standard for our independent institutions. Let us tell the truth. If there is a transparent election that has been held in Kenya, it is the one on August 9,” said Dr Ruto.
Mr Gachagua took on Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho claiming he was undermining the election of Mr Wetang’ula as National Assembly Speaker by interfering with the gazettement of senators-elect.
“We want to tell him the gazettement of the senators is inconsequential in matters of electing the Speaker of the National Assembly. So you are just wasting your time just like you wasted your four and a half years frustrating William Ruto as the DP of Kenya,” he said.
“We would like to ask all these officers who are retiring with President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop living in denial, the election is over, William Ruto is the President of the Republic of Kenya, so stop wasting your time scheming day and night ... proceed on retirement and sit back and watch how this country will be governed,” he said.
Dr Ruto asked Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka to join hands with him and bring development to the area.
“We want to ensure the Nzoia Sugar factory is up and running. On matters agriculture we want to ensure farmers have inputs at affordable prices,” he said.