NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – Deputy President William Ruto has restated his stance on the need to shun the balkanization of voters into tribal blocs saying he will not lose hope in the fight for a more united and cohesive nation.
Ruto who spoke Friday in Bomet county dismissed the ongoing debate sparked by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent statement suggesting the country needed to elect the next president from a community other than Kikuyu and Kalenjin.
He also dismissed claims by ODM leader Raila Odinga that the country should consider rotational presidency as an attempt to ethnicize the 2022 succession politics instead of allowing voters to independently elect a candidate of their choice regardless of the aspirant’s ethnic background.
“We want to tell those telling us of the rotational presidency, we are not interested in leadership that is arrived at through lottery, ethnicity, clan, and other petty issues, we want leaders elected on account of their vision, plan, and manifesto,” the DP said.
Ruto also took a swipe at the handshake, a 2018 truce between Kenyatta and Odinga, which birthed the clamour for constitutional review, saying it had derailed the government’s development agenda.
“When they visited us, they destroyed our national party and brought in tribal politics that exists in their party, so that instead of working for people of Kenya they said creating job positions is more urgent,” Ruto added.
“We are telling them we will not change course retreat or surrender but we will march forward until this country moves forward and until every hustle is recognized and supported,” the Deputy President said.
Speaking at the burial of Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi’s mother on January 9, Kenyatta suggested that it was time for another tribe to lead the country which has been headed by two tribes since Independence- Kikuyu and Kalenjin.
“They have been talking about being tired of families what if I also said that two tribes (Kikuyus and Kalenjins) have held the presidency hence the need to allow others the chance?” the President posed while answering critics who have been speaking about perceived dynasties in the country.
In a rejoinder, Odinga said President Kenyatta’s suggestion will ensure all the tribes in the country get the presidency as opposed to the current situation.
“The proposal is not a new thing,” the former Prime Minister said. “We must embrace inclusivity. You understand each Kenyan, pays taxes which are collected from all regions of this country without discrimination,” Odinga added.