Kenya: I Have No Deal With Odinga, He Is My Competitor - Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto will not be working with ODM leader Raila Odinga in the forthcoming general elections.

The DP has further clarified that he has never had any discussions with Mr Odinga on the possibility of forming an alliance.

Dr Ruto has also dismissed all other prospective presidential candidates in 2022, stating that Mr Odinga remains his most formidable competitor.

"When I see Raila Odinga, I see a competitor. From where I sit, he is most formidable competitor I have. If Raila will not be my competitor, then who will be my competitor? This is a battle between the hustler team and the ODM team," DP Ruto said on Thursday night during an interview on Citizen TV.

Rather than working with Mr Odinga, the DP said he is keen on selling the Hustler Nation idea to Kakamega Governor, Wycliffe Oparanya, who is ODM party deputy leader.

"I have met Oparanya at least five times and he was not sent by Raila. We have talked about the hustler movement. He is not alone but there also several leaders including Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and senior government officials," Ruto said.

Hustler movement

The DP said that with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations officers constantly rounding up his allies, it was only logical that these meetings be private.

The DP further stated his intentions to change the Kenyan culture which dictates that elections are only won through ethnic coalitions.

"I run the largest alliance in Kenya. The hustler movement, an alliance of boda-boda and mama mbogas. People are not used to this alliance. They only think an alliance is only through a tribe, through leaders of different parties. We will have an alliance of ordinary people in 2022," he said.

The DP also blamed his political isolation on President Uhuru Kenyatta's changed priorities after the 2017 elections.

After 2017, priorities changed and it became the Handshake and BBI. The Big 4 Agenda took the back burner and my space was taken up by other people now advising the president," he said.

Frosty relationship

But even with their now openly frosty relationship, the DP stated that he and President Kenyatta are still very good friends.

"I am very clear in my mind that the president remains my friend, whether he supports me or not. We have a relationship. If I run for president, President Kenyatta owes me no debt," he said.

In matters Covid-19 vaccination, the DP said it was high time the government allowed the private sector to bring in as many vaccines as they can.

"We should have every available vaccine. We should encourage the private sector to bring in vaccines. Let Kenyans who can afford it pay and have it," he said.

Questioned about the mysterious death of Sergeant Kipyegon Kenei, who was attached to his office, the DP said he had asked the IG and his officers to investigate the matter and uncover the truth.

"Whether it is murder, assassination or whatever it is that happened, it is up to the police to investigate without drama and politics. I have been very forthright with Kenei's family. I want them to know that as much as they want to get to the bottom of what happened to Kenei, so do I, as well as many other Kenyans who believe in justice and fairness," he said.

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