Uhuru is a joke for supporting Raila Odinga’s State House bid, says Ruto

William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto addressing a political rally in Naromoru, Nyeri County on August 2, 2022. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Deputy President William Ruto has castigated President Uhuru Kenyatta for his continued support for Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition flag bearer Raila Odinga, terming the move as a joke.

Dr Ruto, who is the Kenya Kwanza candidate, accused President Kenyatta of betrayal.

The UDA party leader led his Kenya Kwanza brigade in wooing voters in Nyeri and Murang’a counties yesterday as his supporters braved the chilly weather and drizzles to welcome him.

Dr Ruto’s allies vowed to reject Mr Odinga’s overtures in the Mt Kenya region and rally behind the former Eldoret North MP for the presidency.

He accused Mr Odinga of misleading the President and contributing to the high cost of living among Kenyans.

The DP appealed to Kenyans to elect him overwhelmingly in the August 9 General Election.

“Can you imagine the President is telling us to support this man of kitendawili [riddles]. Sometimes Uhuru is joking with us. Even if you lacked options, must it be Raila? Uhuru has failed us on that and we have rejected your decision of imposing Raila on us,” Dr Ruto said during his campaign rallies in Naromoru and Nyeri town.

He went on: “We want to tell the President that we are still your friends and we have not abused you. In fact, when you needed foot soldiers to stand firm with you, we were there for you and Raila’s camp was against you. We respect you Mr President and we voted for you overwhelmingly.”

The DP accused Mr Odinga of having orchestrated his and President Kenyatta’s charges at the International Criminal Court.

Dr Ruto, however, at the time opposed efforts to establish a local tribunal to handle the 2007 post-election violence cases and instead vouched for the Hague-based court.

Yesterday, Dr Ruto appealed to Kenyans to vote wisely and maintain peace, exuding confidence that he would trounce Mr Odinga in Tuesday’s elections.

“Raila has greatly messed up this country after joining the government through a handshake. He completely changed our President until he didn't know who voted for him and those who did not vote for him. He (the President) is now regarding us as his enemies yet we supported him. Please, don’t vote for those people who do not have the ideal agenda for Kenya,” he said.

He told Mr Odinga to accept the outcome of the election and desist from fuelling protests.

“When I defeat Raila next week, he should be ready to go home peacefully. Please, don’t engage in violence because that has been your tendency after every election. This year, we will not allow you to organise mass action and protests because the elections will be free and fair. I am beseeching you people of Nyeri to turn up in large numbers and vote for Kenya Kwanza candidates,” the DP said.

“He (Raila) chickened out and failed to attend the presidential debate. I was eagerly waiting to grill him that day but he failed to come. He is very lucky that he did not attend that debate,” he said.

Dr Ruto, who was accompanied by his running mate Rigathi Gachagua, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, Nyeri Woman Representative Rahab Mukami, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru and other UDA candidates, visited Naromoru, Nyeri town and Karatina town before proceeding to Murang’a.

He promised to improve the agricultural sector in Mt Kenya by lowering the price of fertiliser and creating employment through value addition.

In Murang’a, the DP criticised Mr Odinga for skipping the presidential debate saying he wanted to ask him ‘why he runs a corruption laundry programme in his office’.

 “I wanted to ask him several questions...I was preparing to tackle him...to tell us why he is surrounded by Covid billionaires and why he is known to defend corrupt people,” he said.

 Dr Ruto said he wanted to ask Mr Odinga why “despite referring to himself as a reformist and a democrat”, he was allowing civil servants to be threatened to campaign for him.

Reporting by James Murimi, Mwangi Muiruri and Diana Boyani