I will not resign, defiant DP Ruto answers President
Eric Wainaina and Munira Mandanoa
Deputy President William Ruto took his battle and President Uhuru Kenyatta to the Head of State’s doorstep, maintaining that he would neither retreat nor surrender.
A defiant Ruto, while speaking at a burial ceremony in Taita Taveta county said he was on as mission to free Kenyans from poverty and unemployment.
“For those who have a problem, I want to ask them for forgiveness and tell them that I am a man on a mission, I have no space to retreat and do not have the luxury of surrendering,” he said.
He continued: “I am a man on a mission to ensure that the jobless, small businesspeople and the many struggling farmers become part of our nation.”
He was responding to attacks directed at him by the President during a meeting with top editors of the mainstream media on Monday night, challenging him to resign from government instead of criticising it from within.
Speaking to Kenya’s top editors at State House, Nairobi, President Uhuru said it was unprincipled and hypocritical for his deputy to continue disparaging a government he serves while taking credit for its development record.
The President accused his deputy of abandoning the government’s agenda of uniting and developing the country and instead concentrating on his 2022 presidential ambitions.
Head of State also noted that while he acknowledges the DP’s right to chase his dream, he is uncomfortable with the manner in which he is conducting himself by wanting to have his cake and eating it, “which in impossible.”
“I have an agenda that I was elected on and that work must continue. The honourable thing, if you are not happy with it, is that you would step aside and allow those who want to move on do so,” Uhuru said.
Uhuru nonetheless assured that he would not deviate from his agenda despite the Court of Appeal sounding the death knell to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) campaign.
The President said he would strive to deliver on the Big Four Agenda which “we have been consistently following and we will keep following.”
Addressing a delegation from Makueni county earlier yesterday, Ruto sustained his attacks on BBI, lauding the Court of Appeal for upholding the High Court judgment, which declared it unconstitutional.
“BBI was going to install the imperial presidency in a very unprecedented way.
How will you account that the document was suggesting that we have a President who controls the legislature through appointment of MPs into the Executive and controls the Judiciary using the Ombudsman.
Let us not lie to ourselves. BBI was dangerous. We thank God it failed,” Ruto told his guests at his Karen residence.
Addressing the editors, the President said it was wrong for Ruto to continue criticising the same government he was serving in.
“I have no idea what has transpired, save for the fact that probably he is trying to create space for himself and for his future politics, which is his right.
I have never denied him that, he is free to do so but I feel it is unfortunate that maybe in the manner in which he is doing it by going against the same government (he is in) I think is wrong,” Uhuru said.
Uhuru has repeatedly voiced his displeasure regarding the DP’s political engagements and made it clear that he will not back him in the next General election.
He has instead gone flat out to broker a political pact between ODM leader Raila Odinga and One Kenya Alliance principals, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka (Wipier), Gideon Moi (Kanu) and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula.
Today, Uhuru is expected to chair another round of talks between Raila and OKA leaders with a view to settling on one of them to take on Ruto come the next presidential election.