Lawmakers loyal to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have issued tough conditions before talks on a truce between the two leaders are initiated.
Just a day after Dr Ruto said he is ready for reconciliation unconditionally, MPs Maoka Maore (Igembe North), Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo), Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri Town), Jude Njomo (Kiambu) and Mwathi Mungai (Limuru) yesterday said the DP must first stop criticising President Kenyatta.
“I am ready after bishops talked of reconciliation. I am in it without conditions. We were elected together by Kenyans, who gave us the responsibility of running this government for a particular period,” the DP said on Wednesday.
President Kenyatta and his deputy have not been seeing eye-to-eye of late, with their fallout playing in the public.
The actions of their lieutenants have not helped matters.
Mr Kenyatta’s camp wants Dr Ruto to come to the table without any political expectations, stop campaigning for the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), return to the Jubilee fold and stop “inciting” Mt Kenya residents against the President.
They also want the DP to accept and respect the March 9, 2018 handshake between Mr Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga, tell Kenyans what happened between him and his boss and stop “lying” to the public that the Big Four Agenda was killed by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Mr Wambugu said the DP isolated himself from the government with the purpose of coercing Mr Kenyatta to endorse his 2022 presidential bid.
“Ruto must first accept that he wronged his boss. He must be humble. Let him get off the pedestal and publicly apologise to President Kenyatta sincerely and genuinely, not the cheeky statements he constantly makes,” the Nyeri Town MP said by phone.
Mr Wangwe, who is the National Assembly Majority Whip, told Dr Ruto to publicly say what went wrong between him the President, adding that “the boss is always right”.
Mr Wangwe said “evidence” points to the DP offending the President Kenyatta.
“Reconciliation is biblical. It is the sinner who says what wrongs he has committed. Let the Deputy President tell Kenyans what went wrong. You do not inherit a family when its head is still alive. That is misbehaving,” the Navakholo MP told the Saturday Nation by phone.
Mr Kioni said Dr Ruto should stop campaigning for UDA if he is sincere about reconciliation.
“The DP is a member of Jubilee but he has been promoting and growing another political outfit called UDA. That is naked impunity. The DP should reconcile himself with the rule of law and the Big Four Agenda,” the Ndaragwa MP said.
Mr Maore said the Church is not sincere in the reconciliation efforts, adding that Dr Ruto has been using the pulpit to undermine the President.
According to the Igembe North MP, the drive for talks between the President and his deputy is hypocritical as the call comes less than a year to the 2022 General Election.
“The incitement against the President is concentrated in Mt Kenya. The clergy should have stopped him from using the pulpit to for lies, insults and mockery. Let the bishops keep their peace,” he said.
Mr Njomo said the DP should not call for a handshake with the President “just because he wants other leaders to be isolated”.
He asked Dr Ruto to follow the right procedure if he is interested in reconciling with President Kenyatta.
“The handshake was about bringing peace in Kenya, which everybody is happy with. I hope the DP is not calling a ceasefire to create friction in the other camp,” the Kiambu MP said, adding that Dr Ruto has to stop his allies from attacking the President and government.
Just a day after his reconciliation offer, the DP continued his onslaught on Kenyatta-Odinga handshake, saying it was the genesis of problems in the Jubilee administration.
“Those we welcomed into the government changed our programme to amending the Constitution for the sake of creating extra positions. Do you want such a constitution or a government that will improve the economy and create jobs?” he asked a crowd in Kipkaren, Uasin Gishu county, after touring Bungoma.
Dr Ruto said he would set aside Sh100 million for every constituency to finance business and improve the economy once elected president.
He added that lawmakers need to pass the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) bill to enable more Kenyans afford medical care.
“MPs should stop wasting time and money discussing how to change the Constitution. They should focus on issues affecting millions of Kenyans,” he told a delegation from Bungoma County at his Sugoi home.
The Deputy President appeared to be targeting Mr Kioni’s bill aimed at creating a PM and two deputy PM positions.
Lawmakers allied to the DP also issued their conditions reconciliation, including asking the President to stop Cabinet Secretaries from “disrespecting” Dr Ruto.
They also want Mr Kenyatta to desist from “influencing his succession”.
Other conditions are reviving stalled projects, the DP to be given his responsibilities back and stop using the justice system to persecute Dr Ruto’s followers.
“The conflict between the two leaders stemmed from the President meddling in the 2022 succession and attempting to impose his preferred person on the people of Kenya,” Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua said.
“Ordinarily, there should be no conflict between the two because one is outgoing and the other is incoming.”
Bomet Senator Christopher Lang’at said reconciliation is not about the President supporting Dr Ruto.
“President Kenyatta has a right to support anyone he wants but he should not influence his succession. Let him emulate President Mwai Kibaki,” Mr Lang’at said.
Keiyo South MP Daniel Rono said the only thing the Dr Ruto’s team wants is him being accorded the respect and dignity he deserves.”
Murang’a Senator Irungu Kangata and Soy MP Caleb Kositany said there should be no conditions if the President and his deputy are to reconcile.