Deputy President William Ruto has hinted at vying for presidency on the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party ticket as the rift in the ruling Jubilee party continues to widen.
Speaking with Radio Citizen’s Vincent Ateya during the “Jambo Kenya” program on Thursday morning, the second in command claimed that Jubilee is being turned into a tribal grouping.
Ruto stated that if worse comes to worst he will decamp to UDA and rally his troops to make it a national party.
According to Ruto, the party shares a similar “hustler ideology” that he stands for. The narrative champions a bottom-up economic model that according to the DP will see low-income earners empowered to transform their lives.
“Ikifika sehemu hatuelewani tutajipanga na UDA kwa sababu ni chama tunajua na sera moja kwa sababu kimekuwa ndani ya Jubilee. Ukitaka kutatua kero za taifa lazima uwe na gari la kitaifa, ikifika tunatumia UDA tutakifanya kiwe chama cha kitaifa. Kuna watu wanataka kufanya Jubilee chama cha kikabila na wakifanya hivo basi UDA tutakijenga kiwe chama cha kitaifa,” said Ruto.
This loosely translates to, “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 made the remarks amid plans by President Uhuru Kenyatta allies in the Kieleweke faction of Jubilee to strip him of the deputy party leader role for allegedly sabotaging the Head of State, months after a number of his allies in Parliament lost their positions for associating with him.
UDA rebranded recently from the Party of Development and Reform (PDR) which is currently in a coalition with the governing Jubilee Party.
A number of Ruto allies have openly campaigned for UDA candidates in recent by-elections that Jubilee participated sparking a debate on party loyalty.
UDA fielded its first candidates in the March 4 by-elections as part of efforts to popularise its “hustler” ideology across the country ahead of the next year elections.
Out of the seven by-elections conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the party won Nakuru’s London Ward seat.
UDA’s Anthony Nzuki trounced Francis Njoroge of Jubilee after he garnered 1,707 votes against Njoroge’s 1,385.
Ruto is said to have bankrolled the candidates as he works around the clock to sell the party nationally through his allies.
In his Thursday interview, the DP dismissed claims that the hustler narrative will lead to a class war between the rich and the poor.
He also hinted at a possible union with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga whom he fell out with following the disputed 2007 polls.
“Some people think I have problems with Raila. I do not. These differences are political. And there are things I agree with Raila. He is agreed on the need to form national parties and he is facing similar issues (in the opposition) I am facing of regional chieftains. And I want to say this: If anybody wants to partner with us to bring up the hustler, we have no problem. We support, we will work together,” added Ruto.