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I Am Not Enemies With Raila, DP Ruto Says Over Longstanding Bitter Political Rivalry

ODM leader Raila Odinga and DP William Ruto at a past function [Photo/Courtesy]

Deputy President William Ruto has dismissed claims that he is enemies with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga.

In a tweet on Wednesday afternoon, the DP stated that Raila is just but a competitor in the political arena.

He was reacting to a headline published by The Standard: “When old friends become enemies”.

In the story, the daily illustrated how once bosom friends have turned arch-rivals in just 11 years.

Ruto says despite his differences with the former Prime Minister the word enemy is too strong, saying “there is no need for baggage”.

“Enemy NOWAY? (sic) Good people, I have no enemies because there is no need for baggage. Competitors yes !! That’s the richness of democracy we should celebrate, ” he wrote.

Read: You Will Not Speak For ‘My Community’, Duale Tells Raila, Ruto On BBI

The period being referred to is 2007, when Raila formed an “ODM Pentagon” that included political “heavyweights” Ruto, Najib Balala, Musalia Mudavadi and Joe Nyaga, with one aim, to wrestle power from then-President Mwai Kibaki.

Ruto together with the Pentagon team campaigned for Raila to help him ascend to the Presidency. He had been promised the Prime Minister position.

Even after, then Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) Chairman Samuel Kivuitu declared that Kibaki had won the disputed 2007 election, Ruto, his team and supporters were determined to make Raila President.

What ensued was violence that left at least 1100 people dead, thousands injured and displaced.

Read Also: Ruto Joins Uhuru, Raila At State House As They Officially Receive BBI Report

Thereafter, the coalition government was formed in 2008 with Raila assuming the position of Prime Minister and Ruto as minister of Agriculture.

On 21 April 2010, Ruto was transferred from the agriculture ministry and posted to the higher education ministry, swapping posts with Sally Kosgei.

In August 2011, he was relieved of his ministerial duties leading to a bitter rivalry with Raila.

He teamed up with Uhuru Kenyatta to form the Jubilee alliance for the 2013 presidential election.

Recently, the two they faced off in the recently concluded Kibra by-election in what was termed as a supremacy battle for 2022 presidential election.

Read Also: Ruto Slams Standard Newspaper, Urges Kenyans To Ignore Its “Garbage”

Ruto cried foul that Raila and his ODM team used violence to win the Kibra parliamentary seat that was left vacant following the death of Ken Okoth.

Raila’s party had fronted Ken’s brother Imran Okoth while Ruto was rooting for Jubilee candidate and former international football star McDonald Mariga.

Referring to incidents when Raila has refused to accept election results, Ruto reiterated that he [Raila] should shelve “politics of violence” and learn to accept defeat.

The recent Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) politics revealed their differences even more as they openly traded jabs in rallies they attended.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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