Deputy President William Ruto on Tuesday intensified his attacks on the Jubilee administration, accusing the government of politicizing state agencies.
Ruto, who is seeking to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August 9 General Election, claimed the Uhuru-led administration had weaponised the fight against graft in the country.
The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party leader stated that his ‘hustler’ nation footsoldiers had borne the brunt of the intimidations by the state for supporting his presidential bid.
He pledged to free the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) from what he termed as state capture if he clinches power later this year.
“We have witnessed the criminalisation of enterprises,” Ruto said while referring to the long-standing tax dispute between KRA and private businesses such as Tabitha Karanja’s Keroche Breweries and WOW Beverages of Thika billionaire Humphrey Kariuki.
The DP was speaking during the UDA National Delegates Convention (NDC) held at the Kasarani Gymnasium in Nairobi where he was endorsed to run for the presidency.
Ruto said he intends to ensure independent bodies like the Judiciary are well-financed to avoid state interference.
“On the first day will appoint an accounting officer for the DCI, for them to be financially independent,” said Ruto.
“…We believe in an independent Judiciary.”
The country’s second in command also opened up about his fallout with Uhuru.
According to Ruto, after re-election into office in 2017, Uhuru, with whom they enjoyed a good working relationship in the first term, asked for space to finalise his legacy as the fourth President of the Republic of Kenya.
However, to a sad turn of events, he found himself a stranger in the government he helped form.
“The president did inform me that he needed space to work on his personal legacy as the 4th president. I obliged. This led to my eventual retreat to the margins of a government that I had participated in forming,” said Ruto.
The DP has previously linked his woes in the Jubilee administration to the March 9, 2018 handshake between Uhuru and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
On Tuesday, Ruto said the political truce is pact is to blame for ‘abandonment’ of the Big 4 agenda, on which ‘UhuRuto’ had anchored their presidential campaign.
“The Big 4 agenda was abandoned, pushed into the back banner as execution of its flagship projects was left at the mercy of emergent state capture,” Ruto said.
“Those who remained loyal to our founding vision were shunned, hounded and persecuted. This is how we lost 4 years that could have gifted us with the blossoming of a beautiful dream which inspired Kenyans.”
Odinga is Uhuru’s preferred successor in the August polls.
In his speech on Tuesday, Ruto said he is prepared to face the ODM leader, who he claims is a state project.
“To our partners and opponents, we are prepared for you,” said Ruto adding, “I’m determined to give you a campaign you will be proud of and a win for our party.”
Attending the UDA NDC were Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza principals Musalia Mudavadi of the Amani National Congress (ANC) party and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetangula.
Others are party leaders Moses Kuria of Chama Cha Kazi (CCK), Mwangi Kiunjuri (The Service Party), William Kabogo (Tujibebe) and Safina’s Jimi Wanjigi, who is also a presidential aspirant in the next polls.