18 December 2018

Kenya: Sore Losers a Threat to Democracy, DP William Ruto Says

Photo: The Nation
Deputy President William Ruto (file photo).

Deputy President William Ruto has said that leaders fanning ethnic animosity after losing in elections were the biggest enemies of democracy.

In a veiled attacked on ODM leader Raila Odinga barely four days after the two leaders and President Kenyatta promised to unite the country during a tour of Kisumu, the DP said there was no room in government for losers in last year's General Election.

Mr Ruto was speaking at Iguhu in Ikolomani Constituency after laying the foundation stone for a planned medical training college.

Earlier, he was in Vihiga County where he launched a 40-kilometre Ekwanda-Luanda-Esirulo-Magada road.

The road is expected to be completed in August 2019.

REFERENDUM

At Ikolomani, Mr Ruto did not mention names, but he appeared to be referring to the calls for a referendum to have the Constitution amended to expand the executive.

"We have agreed to unite us leaders from the government and opposition to push the development agenda forward by improving roads infrastructure and ensuring more homes are connected to electricity. The issue of who won the election in 2017 is a closed chapter," Mr Ruto said.

He said political competition should not be about politicians retreating to their ethnic enclaves after losing elections.

"Kenya is a democracy and those who lose in elections should not fan ethnic animosity by failing to concede defeat. We need to have political parties that have a national outlook and do away with ethnic-based parties if we are to build a strong united country," Mr Ruto said.

He was accompanied by several MPs from western, who appealed to the Luhya community not to gamble by supporting ODM leader Raila Odinga.

PRESIDENTIAL BID

Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said the DP had done a lot for the community and they should back his presidential bid.

"Our own sons, including former Vice-President Moody Awori and Musalia Mudavadi served in the same position as the DP, but did not use their influence to initiate any meaningful development in the region. We will not be fooled this time around to back Mr Odinga," Dr Khalwale said.

Mr Ruto also launched other projects in Vihiga County. He was accompanied by Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo, Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba, his Hamisi counterpart Charles Gimose and Kimilili's Didmus Baraza.

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