Kenya: William Ruto Alleges Plot to Kick Him Out as Allies Are Teargassed in Nakuru

Deputy President William Ruto and Bidco Africa chairman Vimal Shah, right, during the official opening of Bidco Industrial Park in Ruiru, Kiambu County (file photo).
21 February 2021

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday expressed his frustrations at State agencies and operatives around President Uhuru Kenyatta who he claimed are planning to kick him from the government.

Coming just a week after the President dared him to resign if he is not satisfied with what is going on in the government, the DP said the scheme is being hatched "despite my immense contribution to President Kenyatta's election victories in 2013 and 2017".

"Kuna watu wako na njama, ati wanataka kunisukuma kutoka serikali ya Jubilee niende pembeni. (Some people are planning to elbow me out of the Jubilee government),"Dr Ruto said at a rally in Baringo county.

"When we campaigned for the Jubilee government, was President Kenyatta with me or with the political conmen surrounding him now?"

He spoke at St Joseph Kituro Catholic Church and Kabarnet, where he asked President Kenyatta to call a truce "so that we redirect our energy to achieving the Big Four Agenda".

Claiming a stake in the Jubilee administration, Dr Ruto said he is part of the presidency.

Disputes

"I want to tell you that there is no reason for disputes. We went to voters, asked for leadership and they gave us. Stop the wrangles. Let us deliver the mandate which citizens entrusted us," Dr Ruto said.

The DP and Mr Kenyatta began drifting apart soon after the 2017 General Election.

His rallying lawmakers to drum up support for the "Hustler" movement, ran into trouble with the President and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga.

A number of lawmakers have for some time been toying with the idea of introducing an impeachment motion against the DP in Parliament, while allies of the President such as Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe say he should not contest the presidency in 2022.

The DP admitted yesterday that fights are rife in ruling Jubilee party "when we need to be united".

Read:I was locked out of Uhuru meeting, says William Ruto

He said a number of people are being kicked out of government, removed from parliamentary committees positions and other posts "just because they are friends of the Deputy President".

"When did it become a crime to be a friend of the DP, who is a friend to the President of Kenya and who supported his presidential bid four times ?" he asked.

"Don't push us. Stop criminalising friendship. Let us stop using security agents to settle political scores."

Dr Ruto once again hit out at senior government officials "who are hell-bent on fighting my 2022 State House journey by intimidating and blackmailing my supporters".

"We tell those who want to drive us to a corner in this government that we formed that we are gentlemen enough. We will not respond to you," the DP said.

Isolated in government and staring at what would be an anti-establishment stab at the top job next year, Dr Ruto said some leaders are facing all manner of threats for associating with him.

He told the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and other State agencies not to allow themselves to be used to settle political scores.

"Just the other day, Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi and South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro were arrested because they are my friends," he said.

Dr Ruto added that leaders are being threatened and blackmailed for speaking the truth, urging them not to give up "for we are serving a living God".

Read: DP Ruto in the eye of impeachment storm

He recently dared what he has come to refer to as the system, saying he has "God" and the majority of Kenyans on his side.

He insisted that his journey to State House is unstoppable.

In recent Kenyan politics, the "system" or "deep state" refers to powerful bureaucrats, political operatives and tycoons bankrolling elections.

Dr Ruto in a TV interview recently said the group is working to stop him from running or winning the presidential election in 2022.

In his most shot at the "system", often said to be backed by the sitting government, Dr Ruto likened the group's roadblocks to his 2022 presidential-bid to what he said were concerted efforts to block him and Mr Kenyatta's candidacy in 2013.

"I just want to say that we are waiting for them. This system, this deep state we are being told about, we are waiting for it," he said in the interview.

"They will come with the system, but we will be there with the people and God and then we will see who emerges victorious."

As the DP talked of a conspiracy to kick him out of government yesterday, his foot soldiers were being teargassed in Nakuru.

They had gone to campaign for his man - former boda boda operator Nzuki Wachira - who is contesting the London Ward seat on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) against Jubilee's Francis Njoroge.

Mr Njoroge is said to have the backing of President Kenyatta.

The President was to tour the area for a church service and campaign for Mr Njoroge today.

Chaos erupted when dozens of heavily armed officers from at least three police stations, lobbed tear gas canisters at a UDA strategy meeting in the ward.

The officers who also had dogs, accused the UDA group of holding a gathering that had not been authorised by relevant authorities.

Nakuru West Police Commander Samson Gathuku said his office had not been notified of the meeting.

"We did not receive communication in time for this meeting. Ministry of Health guidelines and protocols on coronavirus are still in force," Mr Gathuku said.

Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika said some politicians are working with police officers to frustrate the UDA campaign and meetings organised by Dr Ruto's supporters.

"We will not be intimidated. We shall remain behind the Deputy President and our candidate in London," the senator said.

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri said it is wrong to disperse such meetings. He said some administrators are planning to kill UDA leaders.

Apart from London, by-elections will be also be held in Hell's Gate ward Nakuru county, Matungu constituency in Kakamega, Kabuchai constituency in Bungoma and Kiamokama Ward in Kisii. They will take place on March 4. The Machakos senator by-election will take place on March 18.

Additional reporting by Joseph Openda, Francis Mureithi, Evans Kipkura and Florah Koech

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