, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – Deputy President William Ruto has scolded the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) for trivialising the security situation in Marsabit county by introducing party politics into it.
He refuted their accusation that he unfairly targeted Marsabit Governor Ukur Yatani, by threatening to suspend his county government over insecurity, because he was elected on an ODM ticket.
Ruto explained that while the national government was committed to securing the area, the governor should, in good conscience, take the lead in safeguarding his constituents.
“We are not trying to get out of our responsibility to guarantee the safety of every one on Kenyan soil. What we are saying is that it should be the responsibility of each and every one of us. No one is exempt,” he said at a church fundraiser in Uasin Gichu on Sunday.
He went on to defend the constitutionality of the Nyumba Kumi initiative which the ODM leadership had previously dubbed unlawful.
“What is unconstitutional about knowing your next door neighbour?” he posed.
He instead challenged the party whose leader is Raila Odinga to focus its energy on contributing to the peace and security of Kenya as opposed to pointing fingers at what they perceive to be the shortcomings of the government.
On Friday Odinga accused Ruto and the Jubilee government in general of hiding behind the security situation in Marsabit to undermine devolution.
He went on to charge that security falls under the mandate of the national and not county government and cannot therefore be used as grounds to suspend one.
“We had proposed that the Governor should chair the county security committees, but this has not carried favour with the regime in power. So how does the governor become responsible for insecurity when he is not chairing the county security committee?” he posed.
The unrest in Marsabit has been attributed to ethnic divisions and raids by what the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo says are, “militias,” after cattle.
“Officers together with the Kenya Police Reservists managed to pursue and recover a total of 650 heads of cattle,” he announced on Saturday as he announced the deployment of additional officers to the area.