Deputy President William Ruto seems to have given up the fight to reclaim his place in Jubilee’s centre of power even as he claimed that a plot was hatched to cut him down to size.
He said that soon after the 2017 polls, a movement was launched to stop his 2022 presidential bid.
“After 2017 elections, some teams came up with the ‘Stop Ruto Movement’. They demonized me and said I was corrupt. They said they would do a lifestyle audit,” he said.
The DP added that anyone perceived to be his supporter or friend was removed from the government and parliamentary committees.
President Kenyatta kicked out all Ruto allies from plump positions in key parastatals.
Ruto has now vowed to focus on his presidential ambitions after he was edged out from President Kenyatta’s inner circle.
In an interview with a local TV station, Ruto said President Uhuru Kenyatta stopped taking his advice.
Instead, the DP claimed that his boss President Kenyatta allowed his followers to humiliate him, adding that the President’s men decided that he had to be stopped after the 2017 General Election.
“Admittedly, we have challenges. The way we worked up until 2017 is different from the way we do now. It is a choice of style. It is the prerogative of the President, which I respect, to reorganize delivery of government business and who he wants to handle most of the work,” he said.
Ruto said President Kenyatta’s advisers and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga influenced the President “to turn the priorities of the Jubilee administration upside down”.
“If the President decides to elevate other people and consult more with the former leader of opposition, I have taken it with grace. The style changed and it is the prerogative of the President being the boss. The Big Four Agenda slowed down and my space was taken up by other people. It became urgent to change the Constitution,” he said.
“The Constitution says when you advise the President…your advice may or may not be taken. I am not the only adviser. It is up to the leader to choose what to take,” he said.
He said changing the laws is not a priority.
“Rather than spend four years working on remaking the Constitution, priority should have been implementing the Big Four Agenda. That would create jobs, leading to more revenue,” he said.
“We should have rolled out the National Social Security Fund Act of 2013 to create a bigger pool of resources. We need to have sufficient resources built from our taxes.”
The DP said he is working on a “marshal plan” to be implemented when he becomes president. He described it as a “bottom-up” economic model.
Dr Ruto said his administration would allocate Sh100 million to every constituency to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“I intend to put money to change our configuration of the SMEs to elevate the 17 million people living below the poverty line. We will roll out the housing programme which will require a small adjustment on the legal framework,” he said.
He said the Jubilee government got it wrong to involve police in the management of the country’s economy, referring to the crackdown on corruption and economic crimes by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.