Why Ruto will not quit Uhuru's Jubilee yet
Deputy President William Ruto will neither resign nor quit Jubilee despite his relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta deteriorating.
"We are going nowhere and the DP will not resign despite the frustration. What we have done for Jubilee and this government must count and it will count," Soi MP Caleb Kositany said.
Ruto’s path to the top job in 2022 has become rockier, with Kenyatta consolidating control over the ruling Jubilee party and embracing other potential successors.
Ruto previously enjoyed significant influence in government and Parliament because he helped several MPs win seats in 2017.
But Kenyatta’s alliance with Raila Odinga and other opposition chiefs has tipped the balance of power in the President’s favour.
The DP is adamant he will not leave despite the hurdles on his path and his isolation from government, according to his confidants.
Ruto will enjoy the trappings of power entitled to his office "until he is ready to leave closer to elections".
“We laud the DP for demonstrating patience and humility in the face of all these humiliations and provocation. We believe history will be kind to the DP when the time comes," said former Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen.
But Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu asked Ruto to quit, saying his position had become untenable.
"He is earning public money without work. He should do the honorable thing and quit," Wambugu said.
Joshua Kutuny (Cherangany) and Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani) also insisted that the DP had no place in the Jubilee government. He has abandoned his boss and is no longer pushing forward the government’s agenda, they said.
"Let him and his people respect the President and support him. If you do not want, then please leave so that those who want to ensure the President's legacy is realised can do so,” Gakuya said.
He was elected as part of a ticket with President Kenyatta and therefore, by law, he has security of tenure.
A defiant Ruto has held a series of political meetings and dished out goodies to various groups in spite of Covid-19 restrictions.
Over the weekend, the DP appealed to some Rift Valley church leaders at his Sugoi home, Uasin Gishu County, to pray for his lieutenants who have been removed from various jobs, saying the suffering will only be short-lived.
Last month, Ruto’s supporters lost leadership positions in Jubilee Party both in the Senate and National Assembly. The DP blames the purge on political witch-hunt.
Ruto's supporters on Wednesday took their concerns over the “humiliation” of the DP to the door steps of President Kenyatta.
The Ruto troops, who spoke a day after it emerged that the DP has been unable to attend some National Security Council meetings because he was not invited, said the President should act like a statesman.
On Tuesday, Ruto was locked out of a virtual meeting chaired by the President that brought together cabinet secretaries, CASs, PSs and other State House officials.
“You cannot preach unity of the nation while humiliating the one person who has consistently and consequentially supported your political career to the highest level.
"You can’t preach creation of more political offices via “BBI” to unite the country when you can’t respect and promote the one office of the DP? You can’t preach against corruption and at the same time practice the politics of deceit,” Murkomen told the Star on the phone.
Another near associate of the DP Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wa, said “the dynasties who are pulling the strings behind the scenes have run out of ideas after realizing that the hurdles they have all along set for Ruto have all failed.”
“Kenyans who share in the vision of a united and prosperous Kenya where we all focus on our strength in unity without regard as to whether rich or poor, to one’s religion or ethnicity to transform our nation to a progressive people centred nation of one people,” he added.
Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Shollei another victim of anti-Ruto purge in Parliament said it is not a must for DP to attend such meetings.
But is primitive to humiliate and undermine a constitutional office holder, Shollei said.
“It is clear to me and millions of Kenyans that there has been a concerted effort by certain persons to side-line the DP. It's is so clear that everyone on the streets and villages is talking about it. The ordinary citizen abhors unfairness and unwarranted mistreatment of DP or anyone. The citizens will have their say on this matter when they vote in 2022,” Shollei told the Star.
“They started humiliating him long ago. They started branding him as corrupt but that did not work, they went for government officials they perceived were closer to him, that did not work then they even brought an Executive Order ostensibly to stop him from launching projects, that too did not work," Nyoro said.
"Now they think by locking him out of their meetings, Kenyans will stop loving him. Shame on them. They can invite him or not, Ruto is and will remain the candidate of the hustler nation in 2022 and he will chair several meetings.”
Belgut MP Nelson Koech noted that there are overzealous government officials who are hell-bent to wedge a war between the President and the DP for their own political end games.
He however challenged the President not to be robbed into petty politics saying if indeed he was concerned, the first thing he would have done was to demand to know where his DP was.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa – a staunch supporter of the DP and member of his inner sanctum – told the Star that the humiliation the DP is being subjected to and the political persecution his allies have gone through will in the long run amount to votes.
“The DP has been the most faithful and loyal leader any President would wish to have. When the President was under attack from ODM led by Raila Odinga, it is Ruto who stood by the President. Today some CSs and PSs who were in their offices when Ruto strategised and campaigned to win elections, they are the ones undermining the DP. There day will come for sure,” he said.