Kenya: Ruto - I'm Not Afraid of Facing Odinga in 2022 Polls

18 August 2019

Deputy President William Ruto has said he will not be drawn into early campaigns.

Dr Ruto said on Sunday that he was busy helping President Uhuru Kenyatta deliver Jubilee Party manifesto.

Dr Ruto, who exuded confidence of beating Opposition chief Raila Odinga, dismissed the ODM leader's move to challenge him in the 2022 presidential race.

CHAOS

He, however, challenged Mr Odinga to reassure the country that in the event that he loses, he will not call his supporters to cause chaos.

"I want to tell him (Mr Odinga) that I am not worried about competing him but I want him to reassure Kenyans that he will not cause chaos," Dr Ruto said.

Speaking in various church fundraisers in Buuri constituency, Meru County, Mr Ruto said he was not bothered by the recent pronouncement by the opposition chief.

"Nimeskia kwamba yule mtu wa vitendawili ametangaza ya kwamba anataka kushindana na mimi kura 2022... Haya mambo nimeyaskia, lakini kwa sasa, mimi niko na kazi ya kufanya... (I have heard that the riddle man has announced that he wants to compete with me in the 2022 vote... but for now, I have work to do)," he told Full Gospel Churches of Kenya faithful at Timau stadium.

Dr Ruto said his tours around the country were for inspecting development projects.

He also defended his frequent church fundraisers saying his opponents were worried because he had entrenched his support base by his association with the clergy.

DARK WORLD

He described those opposed to his visits to churches as "members of the dark world" who frequented witchdoctors and sorcerers.

"Those who don't believe in God and are the persecutors of Christianity, they will not defeat God's work," the DP added.

Full Gospel Churches of Kenya Mt Kenya North regional overseer Bishop David Kaibung'a said they would mobilise their supporters to defeat a referendum if it does not favour the church.

A section of Jubilee MPs from Mt Kenya who accompanied Dr Ruto vowed to counter Mr Odinga's moves and called on their party to begin housekeeping issues.

They accused Mr Odinga of lying to Jubilee party that he was not playing politics when he had asked his party to prepare for grassroots elections in preparation for 2022.

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi and MPs Mugambi Rindiki (Buuri), Halima Mucheke (nominated), Charity Kathambi (Njoro), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Catherine Waruguru (Laikipia) and Jayne Kihara (Naivasha) said Mr Odinga had infiltrated Jubilee after the handshake.

FACE PROBLEMS

Other MPs who warned that the party would face problems if it does not put its house in order were MPs John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South), Gichunge Kabeabea (Tigania East) and Mr John Muchiri of Manyatta.

The MPs, who promised to back Dr Ruto for the presidency in 2022, said they were firmly behind President Kenyatta and his deputy.

Mr Linturi and Mr Gachagua said it was time Jubilee woke up to the fact that other parties were preparing themselves.

Mr Linturi accused Mr Odinga of using the handshake to marshal his party to take over power.

LEGACY

He said there was a danger in the party playing to the tunes of the opposition, a move he said may ultimately dilute the party's legacy.

"We need to hold party nominations soon. This is because we need a united and formidable team in 2022. There are political debts that must be paid by Jubilee; that of uniting the country and transforming the lives of Kenyans," said Mr Linturi.

He said Jubilee polls would inject new energy in the party, and solidify President Kenyatta's legacy.

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