Kenyatta Visits Ruto for Talks Amid Row Over Anti-Graft War

President Uhuru Kenyatta with his private secretary Jomo Gechaga and Deputy President William Ruto during their meeting at the DP's Harambee House Annex office in Nairobi, March 26, 2019.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday visited and held talks with Deputy President William Ruto at the latter's office in Nairobi.

Sources said Mr Kenyatta spent lunch hour at the Harambee House Annex.

The agenda of the meeting was not immediately clear but Mr Kenyatta's motorcade was seen outside Mr Ruto's office on Harambee Avenue.

Their talks come amid a heightened war of words over the anti-corruption fight, a row that has threatened to tear apart the ruling Jubilee Party.

On Monday, Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga’s confidant, Senate Minority leader James Orengo (Siaya), said he would mobilise legislators to support an impeachment motion against the DP for “gross misconduct”.

And at the weekend, 12 members of parliament, nine from Jubilee Party, accused Dr Ruto of insubordination and asked him to resign if the war on graft displeases him.

MATTERS CORRUPTION

President Kenyatta is determined to leave a good legacy so his focus has been on the war on corruption and his Big Four agenda on universal health coverage, manufacturing, food security and affordable housing.

But many scandals have bedevilled his administration, the most recent one involving Arror and Kimwarer dam projects in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Money was spent but the dams do not exist. In addition, Treasury minister Henry Rotich says about Sh20 billion was lost while Dr Ruto says this is not true and places the figure at Sh7 billion.

Dr Ruto has said time and again that he has never engaged in the vice and that he backs the war. But he also believes that he is the target of the intensified fight against corruption and says those soiling his name over corruption scandals are doing it to scuttle his bid to succeed his boss.

With regard to corruption, President Kenyatta has repeatedly said people implicated in any cases will carry their own crosses.

Via Twitter this week, the President wrote, “If you are corrupt, we will fight you. You can be my brother or my sister or my closest political ally, but if you are corrupt we will fight you. I won’t be clouded by ethnicity or status in my quest to leave behind a united nation; and I will continue championing for Kenya’s unity."

2022 POLITICS

Regarding the next general election, President Kenyatta was expected to back Dr Ruto come 2022, when he will leave State House after serving his second and final term.

However, plans seemed to change after March 9, 2018, when he and the ODM leader announced that they had decided to work together for the sake of national peace and developed following the prolonged 2017 elections season.

The vote took place as scheduled on August 8 but with strong opposition by Mr Odinga and other politicians in the National Super Alliance (Nasa), as well as a case at the Supreme Court, a second presidential election took place on October 26.

Dr Ruto's allies have told Mr Kenyatta that he must keep his promise and that his rallying call for Kenyans to give him 10 years and the DP another 10 years after his term ends should not be wished away.

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