19 June 2019

Kenya: State House Denies Rift in the Presidency After Kenyatta's Tirade

State House has dispelled claims of a rift between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto in the wake of the President's stern warning to lawmakers from central Kenya that he will hit back at those undermining his authority.

State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena-Mararo said yesterday that the President's Sunday speech, which was delivered in Kikuyu language, was an open and clear statement that it was not time for politics but to deliver on the pre-election promises of development.

"The President is a very patient person. But he is being put off by constant politicking at a time when the focus should be on development. His Sunday statement was to show that everything has reached an elastic limit; that politics will never be prioritised over development," Ms Dena-Mararo said during a press briefing at State House.

President Kenyatta on Sunday came out guns blazing against his critics in his Mt Kenya backyard, warning them that he was still the regional political kingpin, and that they should not mistake his silence for cowardice.

In a show of a worsening falling-out within Jubilee Party, the Head of State, while addressing an Akorino gathering at Kasarani Stadium, said those against the Building Bridges Initiative will not stop him from pursuing peace and unity for Kenyans.

However, in her press briefing yesterday, Ms Dena-Mararo insisted that the claims of a falling-out between President Kenyatta and his deputy were "rumours". "They have even launched development projects together," she said.

She said the President had signed into law three bills, the 2018 Sports (Amendment) Bill, the 2018 Warehouse Receipt System Bill, and the 2019 National Cohesion and Integration (Amendment) Bill. Under the new law, the NCIC commissioners are to be appointed by the President and approved by the National Assembly.

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