Ruto denies rift with PM

March 13, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – Cabinet Minister William Ruto has denied that there is a rift between him and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

He told reporters on Friday that although the two of them often express varied opinions over various issues, they have a good working relationship.

“There are absolutely no differences between me and the Prime Minister. I respect his opinions and I know that he respects mine. Whatever differences of opinions that arise occasionally, they are just that,” he insisted.

Recently, the Agriculture Minister has publicly expressed his displeasure over his boss and his style of leadership.

Mr Ruto however added that such individual opinions do not affect ODM’s decisions, which are taken by the party’s governing organs.

“What you hear out there are personal positions of Members of Parliament. ODM has structures such as the National Executive Council, Parliamentary Group, the National Governing Council and the National Delegates Conference that make the relevant decisions,” he explained.

On the stormy issue of whether the party should renegotiate the national accord,  Mr Ruto, who is also one of the party’s deputy leaders said the two factions need to live up to the spirit of the accord by implementing the reform agendas as stipulated in the agreement.

The only way to quiet the discontent however, he said, was to address the poverty in the country through the creation of jobs and provision of affordable food.

At the same time, Mr Ruto refused to be drawn into debates regarding the forthcoming elections when the country has not moved past the events that followed the 2007 polls.

He maintained that it was premature to talk about the 2012 general elections while most of the pledges of the coalition government had not been implemented.

“I think it is the height of deceit for those of us in leadership to engage in the politics of 2012. In fact it is an insult to the people who put us in office, that while many people are still in IDP camps, we are beginning to discuss another election. Therefore talk of alliances at this point in time is really in futility,” he emphasised.

There have been reports that a political alliance with Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta was in the offing, allegations that Minister Ruto has vehemently denied.


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