Ruto dares ‘System’ on 2022 contest to State House

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 00:00 |
Deputy President William Ruto and Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito (left) during a meeting with community leaders from the constituency at his Karen residence in Nairobi. Photo/DPPS/REBECCA NDUKu

Deputy President William Ruto has dared the “Deep State” or “System” to try and block his path to State House come 2022, saying he was ready for them.

Vowing that no amount of force or threats will derail his journey to the Presidency come the next General Election, the DP said he was used to such intimidation.

Without mentioning any names, Ruto said some shadowy but powerful forces were working behind the curtains to frustrate his presidential ambitions but he will soldier on.

He recounted that similar tactics had been used during the 2013 campaign when he teamed up with Uhuru Kenyatta to seek the Presidency.

Then, some forces had declared that the two were unsuitable for leadership because of their crimes against humanity cases which were pending at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The cases were later dropped.

“We were being threatened those days. If I and Uhuru Kenyatta were cowards we will not have formed the Jubilee government.

We were being told that choices have consequences. That we were unfit because we had cases which were false,” Ruto told a gathering of leaders from Kajiado County who had gathered at his Karen residence, Nairobi, yesterday.

The DP was making reference to the much-publicised warning by former US ambassador to Kenya Johnnie Carson against the Uhuru-Ruto presidential ticket.  

Ruto’s statement yesterday appeared to be a calculated warning to his distractors, from a politician who has been deliberately restrained despite what his supporters see as direct and repeated provocation by a section of Jubilee Party leaders.

Deep State

“We are threatened that there is a System. That there is a Deep State. That even if you vote there will be people who will rig our vote.

That there are people who will sit somewhere and decide. 

We are waiting for those people and that System and Deep State.  They will come with that System and Deep State but we will come with the people and God,” he declared.

Deep State, according to the Cambridge dictionary is “an alleged secret network of especially non-elected government officials and sometimes private entities (as in the financial services and defence industries) operating extralegally to influence and enact government policy”.

 The DP spoke only days after influential Jubilee Party deputy chairman David Murathe and trade unionist Francis Atwoli declared that Ruto was not in Uhuru’s power matrix and delivered stinging endorsements for opposition chief Raila Odinga who is perceived as his main opponent in the 2022 presidential contest.

His statement also followed an outburst by East Africa Legislative Assembly member Oburu Oginga two weeks ago that with Uhuru’s support, Raila would effortlessly emerge the winner in the 2022 elections. Oburu is Raila’s elder brother.

According to Oburu, the only reason Raila was not in State House was that he lacked the support of “the System”.

He said with Uhuru, who held “the System” in addition to his vote-rich Mount Kenya region, Raila would ascend to the Presidency in the next election.

Oburu said the only reason the ODM leader had lost in previous years despite having the support of his Nyanza region and other areas was because he lacked the support of the Deep State.

“Why haven’t we gone to State House despite winning. This is because there was something we were missing.

It is the System. System is very important and now we are with Uhuru Kenyatta who is holding the System,” he said in Bondo.

Uhuru and Raila are currently spearheading the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) arising from their March 2018 Handshake after their highly disputed presidential contest in 2017.

Ruto has expressed reservations about the initiative, with his allies claiming that it was meant to help Raila to ascend to the Presidency through the backdoor.

The BBI report has, among other things, proposed expansion of the Executive to create the post of Prime Minister with two deputies.

Ruto has opposed Raila’s calls for a referendum to change the Constitution to accommodate the expanded executive whose justification is to address exclusion which is blamed for violence after polls.

Yesterday, Ruto asked Kenyans to stay firm against alleged intimidation, saying he was not a coward.

He said President Kenyatta and himself overcame such threats from those opposed to their candidature in 2013.

“If I was a coward, I would not have supported President Kenyatta in 2013 because some people told me not to work with him,” he observed.

Those at the meeting included Kajiado South MP Katoo Ole Metito and Senator Mary Seneta.

At the same time, the Deputy President urged senators to develop a revenue sharing formula that will ensure a “win-win” situation for all counties. 

The DP, who cuts the image of a person who has dramatically fallen out with his boss, first spoke about the “System” during the burial of police sergeant Kipyegon Kenei on March 7.

Kenei, who died in unclear circumstances, was a security officer in his office.

He had earlier accused some unnamed government agencies of seeking to revive his ICC case, claiming that “the System” was out to scuttle his presidential dream.  

Ruto claimed that Kenei’s killing was meant to scare him.

“Those in this scheme are boasting that I will not be there soon,” he said during the burial of Kenei.

“Since the System cannot elect anybody, they can only kill. But there is God in heaven.”

The DP has also cried foul over the removal of his allies from key seats in both the National Assembly and the Senate, in a purge spearheaded by Uhuru.

These include former Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Majority Whip Susan Kihika and Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki.

Others kicked out were National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali.  

Ruto, who appeared to speak indirectly to the President, claimed that leaders were being persecuted for openly declaring their support for him. 

Political divisions

“Initially, we were only talking about ethnic division in Kenya. Today, a new form of rift has emerged — political division.

In the recent past, we have seen several elected and nominated leaders being ousted from positions in Parliament, and are also being fought on several fronts simply because they are affiliated to Deputy President William Ruto,” said Ruto at his Sugoi home where he hosted some church leaders.

“In Kenya today, several politicians linked to me are being threatened that they would be taken to court for alleged graft-related offences, face tax evasion litigation, or they’ll be investigated by the EACC, and consequently arraigned.

Others are warned that they will lose their positions in parliamentary committees and other postings.

They are subjected to all that simply because they are affiliated to the Deputy President, and not because they are involved in any wrongdoing.”

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