Deputy President William Ruto says he respects President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to support ODM leader Raila Odinga for the presidency.
The Head of State made it clear yesterday that he won’t be supporting his deputy’s bid for the top seat despite a promise made in 2013 and 2017.
Speaking in Nyeri yesterday, Uhuru indicated Ruto is not fit to lead the nation.
But responding to the President on Thursday, the country’s second in command said he is okay with the president’s move.
He said the President’s change of heart doesn’t bother him since his competitor is Odinga and not Uhuru who is preparing to retire in August.
“My friend the President of Kenya has decided in his democratic right to support my competitor. I respect the opinion and the decision of the president.”
“I also know the President of Kenya is not my competitor. My competitor is Mr Kitendawili [Odinga] and therefore I ask Mr Kitendawili not to hide behind President Uhuru Kenyatta. He must step forward and compete with me.”
Ruto said he will remain steadfast in his quest to form the next government that will focus on the common man.
The Kenya Kwanza alliance principal further urged Odinga to respect the outcome of the August polls.
“I also know, clearly, that I have an agenda and a plan. As a team, we have a plan for the people of Kenya and on top of that, we have a track record that the people of Kenya will kook at. I am also aware that the people of Kenya will decide who the next leader of our country will be. Therefore we will submit ourselves to the people of Kenya and we will respect their decision. We respect the decision of every Kenyan to choose whoever they want to be their leader,” the DP said.
“So hakuna shida. Kila mtu atulize ball (There is no problem. Relax).”
Ruto was speaking in Kitui county where the Kenya Kwanza team camped for the better part of the day promoting the alliance.
Yesterday, Uhuru, while speaking during the Sagana 3 meeting, faulted Ruto for spreading ‘lies’ about his handshake with Odinga.
According to the president, Ruto was privy to the goings-on and was the last person he spoke to before the March 9 political truce at Harambee House.
“When I was discussing with Raila, I kept my deputy well informed. Even on the morning of the handshake, he was the last person I talked to before I went to Harambee House,” said an angry Head of State. “Then he comes here to tell you that I kept him in the dark.”
An energetic head of state told the attendants that it was time to let the truth prevail.
In yet another shot aimed at the DP, Kenyatta noted that he (Ruto) needed to explain to the electorate the missing Sh3 million meant for the Arror and Kimwarer dams.
Uhuru, who maintained that he will leave office when his time is up, asked the people to support Odinga ascend to power.
“God willing, I want to finish my term, I leave the country to people who mean well for the country and we will be meeting in the streets,” he added.
“An old man on a stool sees further than a boy on a tree. Let me stick with the old man (Raila) who I can talk with.”
As for his deputy, Kenyatta said he could one day become president if he reforms. He told the people that he is not opposed to supporting him (Ruto) in the future.