Deputy President William Ruto has for the first time hinted at a possible union with his political nemesis opposition chief Raila Odinga.
This even as the DP declared that he is ready to drop ruling Jubilee Party for the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) as his political vehicle in the 2022 presidential elections.
“I do not have problems with Raila as some people may think. We only have political differences because there are things I agree with Raila. He has agreed on the need to form national parties and he is facing similar issues (in the opposition) while I am facing off regional chieftains,” Ruto during an interview with a local radio station.
He went on: “If it gets to a point where they do not want us to be there in Jubilee, then we must have a different plan. You cannot wait to hit a wall. Going forward, if there is no agreement, then we will plan ourselves with UDA. We have built UDA in partnership with Jubilee. It is not us starting afresh. We are just going on with what we already have.”
The DP in a veiled attack at the One Kenya Alliance bringing together Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Kanu’s Gideon Moi, his Wiper Democratic Movement counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka, and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula, said that they are being propped us as regional kingpins and not national leaders.
“When I call a meeting of MPs allied to me, there are 150 people who are from all over Kenya. We are going a retrogressive way of founding our democracy on tribal political parties led by regional tribal chieftains. Those are enemies of the nation,” he said.
The Dp rubbished what he said was an emerging trend of ‘balkanizing’ Kenya on regional blocs whose leaders he said were being propped for leadership.
“We have a sad situation where Kenya is being taken back to regional kingships. So that tribal leaders unite and then lead Kenya. What is wrong with us? As a DP who has seen how and why it is important to bring people together, how do we go back to tribal politics?” he posed.
“Parties are now being pushed to have regional parties and all leaders from those regions pushed to then follow them. But the problem with when you start dividing people, there is no end to it.”
UDA, a rebrand of PDR, has five elected leaders in Parliament led by Senate Deputy Majority Leader Fatuma Dullo, who is also the Isiolo senator, as well as Wajir Woman Rep Fatuma Gedi, Tarbaj’s Ahmed Bashane, Mark Lomunokol of Kacheliba and Ijara’s Sophia Abdi.
Arguing that his vision for a national party was still intact, Ruto said just as they had hoped Jubilee will be the ruling party that was truly national, it was possible to build a similar outfit using the same strategy.
“We created a government and a party like Jubilee because we know we cannot find a national solution without a national party. The experience we had from Jubilee, we will use the same to make UDA a national party,” Dr Ruto said.
He dismissed as premature the celebrations that UDA had lost in Kabuchai, Matungu and Machakos.
“In Kabuchai, Matungu, and Machakos, UDA was running against tribal parties in those regions.”
He defended his Hustler Nation manta, promising a Sh30 billion empowerment fund that he said will be given to small scale businesses on an interest-free basis, an idea he said will push many into money-making situations, with ability to then pay taxes.
He rubbished those that he said was pushing for a debt restructuring as a solution to the ballooning debt.