NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 10 – Deputy President William Ruto has dismissed assertions that a candidate’s ethnic background could play a role when Kenyans head to polls in 2022 to elect President Uhuru Kenyatta’s successor as divisive.
Ruto who was addressing congregants at a church in Nairobi’s Kayole, said he partnered with President Kenyatta in 2013 not because he was a Kikuyu but because they shared a common vision for the nation.
“When I decided to support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s candidature, many people opposed the idea saying he is a kikuyu just like his predecessor, Mwai Kibaki, I supported him because we sat down and agreed on an agenda to foster the country’s development,” Ruto said.
He said Kenya will move forward if leaders are elected based on their agendas adding that voters are woke and will not be easily lured by the tribal narrative.
“Anyone aspiring to be a leader , should focus on the agenda and plan for the electorates. I want to tell all those who think that they will sell tribal politics. Kenyans are woke,” he added.
While emphasizing the need to allow voters to make a choice devoid of ethnic undertones, Ruto said the determination on who becomes Head of State is a national conversation open to all.
“It isn’t a must that William Ruto or any other person is president, but it is a must that we must all sit on the national table, it is not negotiable that we can continue having an exclusive conversation about few people,” the DP said.
“This is not a threat to anyone, it is not incitement of any nature, we must have a national conversation on how we move Kenya forward, if anyone is uncomfortable about the conversation, unfortunately we must have it,” he added.
Ruto’s remarks came a day after President Kenyatta suggested it was time candidates from other tribes which have not had one of their own at the helm of the country’s leadership were given a chance to ascend to the presidency.