Resign and join politics, DP Ruto tells ministers
Mutuku Mwangangi and Alvin Mwangi
In the latest escalation of the fallout in government, Deputy President William Ruto yesterday took on some Cabinet Secretaries who he accused of engaging in politics.
Ruto has been on the receiving end with the Cabinet Secretaries accusing him of engaging in early campaigns at the expense of development with the crescendo coming on Thursday at a gathering in Kajiado County.
Ruto’s allies were furious over comments by Environment CS Keriako Tobiko, after he referred to the DP as a “clerk” in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.
Tobiko was speaking during a meeting attended by his colleagues Fred Matiang’i (Interior) and Mutahi Kagwe (Health).
Speakers in Kajiado said Ruto was holding meetings to campaign for his 2022 State House bid in total disregard of the dangers posed by Covid-19. Tobiko described Ruto as “a clerk” in Uhuru’s government and advised him to respect the Head of State.
Speaking in Athi River yesterday, Ruto told the CSs to manage their egos and expend their energies serving Kenyans.
“Let us keep off abusive politics, arrogance and egos. You were employed to serve Kenyans and not to do politics,” said Ruto.
He advised ministers interested in politics to resign and approach politics soberly, saying: “You cannot attain anything in politics with your arrogance and abusive nature because Kenyans are very wise.”
Speaking at ACK Athi River where he was hosted by former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama, Ruto called for unity of all Kenyans despite political inclinations.
“We should keep aside political differences and ensure we are united as one, especially those working under the Jubilee government.
Let us unite and deliver the manifesto we promised Kenyans and more so the Big Four agenda,” said Ruto.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen at the weekend accused the Tobiko group of disrespecting Ruto who is their boss.
Murkomen had labelled Tobiko as a “clerk” after the CS castigated Ruto for hosting a delegation of leaders from Kajiado for a political meeting at his Karen residence.
In response, Tobiko said: “Respect is a two-way traffic. If you cannot respect the President then you do not deserve to be respected by anyone.
In fact, the DP is a clerk to the President and the way I respect the President even the DP must respect him.”
Murkomen challenged the President to come out openly on what he described as a tendency by his ministers to belittle Ruto.
“Without the blessings of the President, these idiotic CSs would never have insulted the DP. Ruto is not anyone’s clerk.
He was jointly elected with the President and without him, Uhuru would not be President and Tobiko would never be a ‘clerk.’ In a working State Tobiko would be sacked,” Murkomen twitted.
Yesterday, Ruto who was accompanied by MPs Kimani Ichung’wah (Kikuyu), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Victor Munyaka (Mackakos Town) among other legislators called for sobriety among politicians.
Ichung’wah told civil servants to resign from their government positions before engaging in politics.
Mwala MP Vincent Musyoka said: “You must respect constitutional offices starting with the DP and we are warning any CS who goes against that, we will advise our people not to host them at the constituencies.”
Muthama, who has promised Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka a bruising battle in 2022, said he took the bold move in joining Ruto, to ensure the Akamba community gets a stake in the next government.
Muthama used the opportunity to inform his followers that he will be seeking the Machakos gubernatorial seat.
“Come 2022, it’s either you are in the Ruto camp or you are nowhere,” said Muthama.
Kitui East MP Nimrod Mbai said the community will ensure Ruto becomes the fifth president. “Come 2022, we must ensure our own hustler is the President.
The so called deep State and system is a mere fallacy and no one will stop a dream whose time has come,” said Mbai.
DP’s tour of the region comes at a time when a section of Ukambani legislators have embarked on a series of consultative meetings with opinion leaders in a bid to pile pressure for Kalonzo to quit the presidential race, citing that he has exploited his political ‘mileage’.
Munyaka, Musyoka), Mbai and Fabian Muli (Kangundo) are working under the stewardship of the abrasive Muthama-who recently staged a dramatic walk-out from Wiper party after falling out with his long-time ally, Kalonzo.
Muthama has vowed to engage Kalonzo in a hot political contest in 2022.
“In 2022, I will have a party that will line up candidates from President to the MCAs, so let him (Kalonzo) chart his own path as I do mine and we see who emerges the victor after elections,” said Muthama.
Last Friday, the Ruto brigade met Kangundo and Matungulu delegates and commissioned them, to spread the political mantra of the Kenyans second in command.
The Kangundo meeting was hosted at the home of the area MP, while Matungulu delegates converged at Muthama’s Tala home.
The four MPs who attended both meetings told Kalonzo to shelve his bid for the presidency and back the DP.
Musyoka told Kalonzo to move fast before it’s too late and seek an alliance with DP Ruto ahead of 2022 elections.
“We don’t hate Kalonzo. He is our leader in the region but we all know that he is not capable of winning the presidency because he has made no inroads in other parts of the country compared to the DP.
He should just jump ship to DP’s camp, which is going to constitute the next government,” said the Mwala MP.
His sentiments were emphasised by Mbai, who maintained that it was impossible for Kalonzo to win the presidency in the next general election.
“Those telling us to back Kalonzo must be told that he cannot win the presidency this time round.
Indeed, he should move very fast and become Ruto’s running mate because the position hasn’t been assigned to anyone as of now,” said the Kitui East legislator.
But in a swift rejoinder, Matungulu MP Stephen Mule, a diehard supporter of Kalonzo, dismissed the MPs’ mission, terming it an exercise in futility.
“Those are day dreaming. It is impossible to sell Ruto in Ukambani especially at a time when Kalonzo is seeking the presidency. They can go on but their mission will fall flat,” said Mule.
Two MPs have waded into the cold war between President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto with one calling for Ruto’s resignation.
Yesterday, Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi dared the DP to resign from the Jubilee government and join the Opposition officially.
Addressing the press at the home of the late Byrum Makokha-the Archbishop of Church of God, Osostsi accused Ruto of conducting himself as the official Opposition leader by fighting the government.
On his part, Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri called on the President to break his silence and stop ministers undermining the DP warning that the trend could polarise the country.