Two days after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared that he had lost faith in leaders he had entrusted to oversee development projects across the country, Deputy President William Ruto has maintained that he will continue to “supervise” the projects by the jubilee government.
Speaking on Friday during an extensive tour of Nyandarua County, a visibly agitated Uhuru said that the government projects had little or no progress as individuals entrusted to inspect them were focusing on selfish interests — politicking and campaigning for 2022.
To many, the harsh remarks were directed at DP Ruto, who the President has been using to launch several projects across the country. Uhuru once said he had allowed Ruto to “Tanga Tanga” in a bid to fulfil the ruling party’s development agenda.
But in a thinly veiled message on Sunday directed at the President, Ruto stated that he will not be distracted adding that he deserves respect as he serves Kenyans in the capacity of a Deputy President.
“Na iyo kazi nitafanya na bidii. Hii ya barabara hii, nitasukuma kabisa na ya maji na ya sitima na ya kusomesha watoto wetu. Na nitazidi kukuja hapa kwa sababu mimi napata mshahara ya Deputy President na kazi ya Deputy president ndo hiyo mimi nafanya… Kila mtu afanye kazi yake jameni na tuheshimane (sic), ” the DP said.
Loosely translated: “I will continue to discharge my duties as the Deputy President. I will continue coming here to ensure there are good roads, increased power supply, and our children attend school because that is what I’m paid to do as second in command. Let us respect each other.”
Ruto was speaking at Itierio Girls’ Secondary School in Kisii, during the consecration of Bishop Joseph Omwoyo of Evangelical Lutheran Church.
'Mimi napata mshahara ya Deputy President, kwa hivyo kila mtu afanye kazi yake na tuheshimiane' ~ DP Ruto says he will continue to launch national projects. pic.twitter.com/OW9R3ylT0h
— Daily Nation (@dailynation) February 2, 2020
The DP’s relationship with the President is said to be on the rocks.
The bromance between the two that Kenyans witnessed during their first term in office is no longer there since Uhuru’s handshake with ODM leader Raila Odinga, which gave birth to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
In the past, the President has been attacking the DP’s allies, christened team “Tanga Tanga”, but gloves are finally off as his recent blows seem to be directed to Ruto.
During the Friday event, the President also made it clear that he does not have a preferred candidate in the 2022 succession race.
This contradicted his statement prior to the 2013 and 2017 General Elections when he asked Kenyans to give him 10 years in office, vowing to back his then running mate, Ruto, in 2022.
But all that seems to be in the past as the truce with Raila turned tables.
Ruto and his allies, who until recently were opposed to BBI consultation rallies across the country, have now been turned strangers in their own government.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen were nearly ejected from BBI rallies in Kitui on Saturday for “abusing” the President and his handshake partner.
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and her Kiambu counterpart James Nyoro asked the security at the meeting to drag Moses Kuria out for being “disrespectful”. It took the intervention of Kenyans to have him given a seat at the dais.
Ruto on Sunday condemned the violence saying BBI proponents should be honest in their pursuit for unity in the country.
He noted that bridges cannot be built with violence and that each person has a right to be heard as the BBI matter concerns all Kenyans.
“Let us carry out this debate with respect. There are no views that are better than others. Let all be given an opportunity to speak,” he said as he called on the politicians to shelve divisive politics.