Deputy President William Ruto has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to take a back seat in the August succession politics.
The country’s second in command on Friday urged the Head of State to rethink his support for ODM leader Raila Odinga, who is the DP’s main rival in the race to State House.
Odinga will vie for the presidency under the Azimio la Umoja Coalition, which has received support from the President and the ruling Jubilee party despite protests from Ruto and like-minded politicians.
Speaking during a Kenya kwanza coalition rally at Uhuru’s Gatundu South backyard, Ruto accused the president of managing his own succession.
In an emotional appeal, Ruto urged Uhuru not to use his power as President to frustrate his bid to succeed him.
“Mwambie rafiki yangu Uhuru, Ruto amesema hata kama ameamua kuenda kumsaidia mtu was kitendawili (Raila) namuomba kwa unyenyekevu asitumie ile kisu nilimsaidia kupata kunikata miguu,” Ruto told residents.
Loosely translated, “Please tell my friend Uhuru, even if he has decided to betray me by supporting Raila, he should not use the power I helped him get to frustrate my ambitions.”
The President had promised to support Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid but changed tune after the March 2018 political truce — popularly known as the handshake — with the opposition leader.
He asked residents to remind his boss of a prayer meeting they had in Gatundu when they were seeking the presidency 10 years ago, a meeting he says was attended by Uhuru’s mother, former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta.
“Ata hiyo maombi Mama Ngina Kenyatta alituombea, mmkumbushe ni huyo Ruto asimuumize,” Ruto added.
Loosely translated, “Remind him that I am the same person his own mother prayed for. Tell him not to harm me.”
While accusing Uhuru of abandoning the man who stood by him when everyone else was against him, the DP asked the President to ‘clear the way’ for a fair contest between him and Raila.