Deputy President William Ruto has vowed not to resign from the Jubilee administration, thanks to the frosty relationship with his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He said that the onslaught against him by Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe and the party’s Secretary General Raphael Tuju were meant to kick him out of the party and government and that he will not dignify it with a resignation as many expected.
At the same time, DP took a swipe at his boss President Kenyatta, charging that the latter no longer takes his advice over running of government.
Although he stated that President Kenyatta still remains his best friend “having done many things together, he claimed that after the 2017 General Election, President Kenyatta brought in new crop of advisers on social-economic and political issues in the country including succession battle.
“I am very clear in my mind that the president remains my friend, whether he supports me or not. We have a relationship. If I run for president, President Kenyatta owes me no debt,” he said.
He claimed there has been a series of attempts to have him resign as DP including budgetary cuts to his office, disciplinary action targeted at his allies in Jubilee to force him to resign.
In an interview on a local TV station, the DP said that should Jubilee party leadership push him out ahead of the next General Election, he will take refuge in United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party, which is an affiliate of Jubilee.
“It is in the public domain that I have challenges working with my boss. We worked as a pair in 2017 and conducted government business together. Even if he does not support me for the presidency in the 2022, I will take no offense,” said Ruto.
Ruto said President Kenyatta changed his mode of operation in government after the last elections in a manner that completely altered the engagement with the former bosom political friends turned foes.
“I have been very forthright and honest with my advice to the President. I have not had any problem when the advice has not been taken… I have respect for the institution of the presidency as it is the prerogative of the President, to change his style of leadership,” said Dr Ruto.
On the growing debate as to whether he can work with his political nemesis Raila Odinga, Dr Ruto clarified that he has never had any discussions with Raila on the possibility of forming an alliance and dismissed all other prospective presidential candidates in 2022, stating that Raila remains his most formidable competitor.
“When I see Raila Odinga, I see a competitor. From where I sit, he is most formidable competitor I have. If Raila will not be my competitor, then who will be my competitor? This is a battle between the hustler team and the ODM team,” DP Ruto said.
Rather than working with Raila, the DP said he is keen on selling the Hustler Nation idea to Kakamega Governor, Wycliffe Oparanya, who is ODM party deputy leader.
“I have met Oparanya at least five times and he was not sent by Raila. We have talked about the hustler movement. He is not alone but there also several leaders including Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and senior government officials,” Ruto said.
The DP said that with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations officers constantly rounding up his allies, it was only logical that these meetings be private.
In matters Covid-19 vaccination, the DP said it was high time the government allowed the private sector to bring in as many vaccines as they can.
“We should have every available vaccine. We should encourage the private sector to bring in vaccines. Let Kenyans who can afford it pay and have it,” he said.
Ruto said that he was elected alongside President Kenyatta in the last General Election by more than eight million Kenyan voters, yet Jubilee mandarins including the party’s secretary-general Raphael Tuju and vice chairman David Murathe undermined him.
“It became problematic to some people in Jubilee when I started launching government projects. But they forgot that I had not changed my approach since 2013 and the President knew my style (of politics),” said Dr Ruto.