NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 25 – Deputy President William Ruto has taken a swipe at Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga accusing him of thriving in division and chaos.
While citing the recent Kisumu incident where his entourage was stoned by rowdy youths two weeks ago, Ruto who is on a charm offensive in Nakuru County told the residents that they should be wary of leaders who thrive on violence.
“Do not accept leaders who prosper on violence. He has destroyed our rail line and I was in Kisumu the other day where he organised the youths to stone me. Is that really the kind of a leader we want?” he posed.
Ruto stressed that Odinga is unsuitable to become Kenya’s fifth President and that his political history betrays him.
The ODM party had issued a formal statement and distanced itself from the chaos that happened in Kondole and attributed it to youths who were fighting over money.
Ruto, who has been on an overdrive gear in recent days popularizing his presidential bid, said that it was unfortunate that leaders had ganged up against him to scuffle his chances of succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta once his second and final term in office ends in 2022.
“They have ganged up against me but I want to tell them that I am unshaken and that I am ready to face them,” he said.
Unbowed by the isolation, a bullish Ruto has committed to stand his ground and continue selling his agenda across the country even as he exuded confidence that the race to State House will be a smooth sail for him.
“We won in 2013 and 2017 and I believe that nothing will stop us from winning in 2022 because I have God and the people,” he said.
A recent poll by an African-based full market research firm placed Ruto as Kenya’s preferred presidential candidate after posting 39 percent trailed by Raila who had an approval rating of 23 percent.
The former Prime Minister who has also been making forays in the country under his unity bid campaign dubbed Azimio La Moja is yet to formally declare his presidential bid. He is expected to make the announcement on December 9.
With the high-stake polls nine months away, Kenyans have been treated to high-octane politics as political realignments also continue to take shape.
According to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) 2022 election timeliness, the official campaign period is scheduled to begin on May 30 and lapse on August 6, 2021.
On Monday, Ruto downplayed claims that he is on a campaign mode and insisted that his countrywide tours are mere meetings with the people to understand their views.
Fact Check: Ruto has been campaigning for the presidency for the past year. Raila and other presidential candidates have also engaged in campaigns.
Other leaders who are eyeing the presidency and engaged in campaigns include Amani National Congress (ANC) Party Leader Musalai Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Gideon Moi (KANU), business mogul Jimi Wanjigi, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Mukhisa Kituyi.