NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 18 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka will skip several public rallies planned by Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto in Nyandarua County this weekend.
The VP will instead head to Naivasha for a meeting with his strategists.
The VP’s planning meeting comes barely two days after he appeared to have been consigned to the relegation path by Kenyatta and Ruto who have both been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
On Friday night, the VP held surprise talks with Kenyatta and Ruto at a city hotel, after which they emerged to declare that they are still united.
After the private talks, Ruto downplayed the apparent rift saying “we have small issues that we are addressing in order to move forward as a united party and country.”
“Issues that are emerging notwithstanding, we are committed to that higher goal of uniting this country; being one team and ensuring Kenya becomes a better place. We have agreed, and we are very clear that the responsibility to put this country far outweighs any issues between and among us,” Ruto said.
Kenyatta reiterated Ruto’s message of unity for all Kenyans and said that the G7 Alliance was working to put their differences aside in order to serve the country.
“What we are committed to ensuring is that the situation or the scenario that prevailed in 2007 shall never happen again in this country; that Kenyans will be able to live at peace with themselves… communities at peace with themselves, religions at peace with themselves. That is the only way we can guarantee a safe sound and stable Kenya for future generations.”
Musyoka thanked his G7 Alliance partners for dispelling what he termed as “rumours” of his ouster by meeting him, and said that there are more issues that unite, than divide them.
“We are a team… In fact, a very strong team. And we have said we will not allow anybody to divide this team so that we can give this country the kind of leadership it deserves. So many of our people are still aching because of unemployment and poverty. We will continue to unite this country and that is the message for now,” the VP stressed.
On Thursday, Kenyatta and Ruto excluded Musyoka from a decisive meeting attended by 90 other Members of Parliament where a decision was made to forge ahead with their presidential ambitions without necessarily involving the VP.
Musyoka has in recent weeks received a backlash over the stand taken by Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo over the fate of the two, following their indictment by the International Criminal Court.
Only MPs Kiema Kilonzo and Charles Kilonzo who are from the VP’s political backyard attended the meeting at the Sagret Hotel in Nairobi.
During the talks, it was agreed that the responsibility of co-ordinating G7 meetings would be taken away from Kalonzo’s confidant Johnson Muthama.
The group, which was planning a censure Motion against the Justice Minister also beat a hasty retreat and instead said it was not their responsibility to tame Kilonzo.
Sources at the meeting said the MPs wondered why allies of Kenyatta and Ruto had taken it upon themselves to handle a problem that was squarely Kalonzo’s.
“Why should we be the ones doing Kalonzo’s dirty work? Mutula is his problem, let him deal with it!” the source said.
Speaking after the meeting, Turkana Central MP Ekwe Ethuro said although they had dropped the censure motion against the minister, individual parliamentarians were at liberty to do so.
A number of MPs allied to Kenyatta and Ruto have expressed discontent over public utterances by the Justice Minister demanding that Kenyatta relinquishes his seat as DPM. Kenyatta quit as Finance Minister but held onto the post of Deputy Prime Minister saying he could only be removed from office through a vote of no-confidence.
Kilonzo has also openly told the two to shelve their presidential ambitions until their case before the ICC is determined.
Reports suggest that Friday night’s meeting with Kenyatta and Ruto came after intense lobbying by the Vice President, which included talks with the President according to a report in the Saturday Standard newspaper.