Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
Jubilee Party Vice-Chairman David Murathe has come out in defence of President Uhuru Kenyatta from attacks by Deputy President William Ruto and his allies following his remarks that other communities too, rather than the Kikuyu and Kalenjin, have a right in and stake to occupy the Presidency.
Speaking during the burial of Mama Hannah Mudavadi, mother to Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi in Vihiga County last Saturday, the President suggested it was time his Kikuyu and Ruto’s Kalenjin communities, which have interchgeably occupied State House for the past 56 years since independence, surrendered the presidency to other after sharing it since independence.
“If that is the thinking or the logic then I can also stand here and say it is only two communities that have ruled the country and maybe it is time for others to rule,” Uhuru told mourners.
Speaking on Kenya Television Network (KTN) prime time news on Wednesday night, Murathe explained that the President was only addressing deep-rooted feelings among majority of Kenyans, which must be addressed for the country to achieve inclusivity in its leadership.
The former Gatanga MP, a close ally of the President, said majority of Kenyans are concerned that since independence, the leadership of the country has oscillated between the two communities.
He argued the trend of “Kikuyu finish, Kalenjin take and vice versa” was untenable, stating: “Most definitely if DP Ruto will run for presidency in 2022, he most likely picks a Kikuyu as his running mate, who will later again repeat the cycle, we will then look at another 20 years of exclusion for communities,” he said.
He noted that part of Uhuru’s agenda for Kenyans was to ensure no part of the country feels excluded from the leadership, as envisaged in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.
“It does not have to be a race between the two communities,” he held.
While backing ODM leader Raila Odinga’s calls for the rotational presidency, Murathe said it is time Kenya borrowed from nations like Switzerland, which has adopted a rotational presidency.
He, however, clarified that the President has not barred candidates from the Kalenjin and Kikuyu extractions from seeking the presidency.
“The President has not interfered with anyone’s democratic rights of contesting. Nothing will stop a Kikuyu or a Kalenjin from running in the next elections,” he said.
Murathe also trashed claims that Uhuru’s remarks were calculated to lock out Ruto from the presidency in 2022.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. The President has given his deputy each and every opportunity to prove himself and campaign. Actually, he has been let loose but he has gone to the extent of derailing the government agenda,” he claimed.
“Some of these people provoke him to the extent that the populace is asking why he does not want to take action against some of these characters,” he said.
Murathe suggested that the Head of State had been made to look weak for failing to take action against some corrupt leaders.
“That is why he was saying, folks, look here; do not see it as a sign of weakness, it is because there are some considerations that come into play, for instance, timing and even the independence of the three arms of government,” he said.
But speaking on the fallout between the President and his deputy, Murathe cited the latter’s opposition to BBI and the Big Four Agenda as being at the heart of the differences.
He accused Ruto of “running in the opposite direction” hence derailing the President’s agenda and fulfilling his campaign promises to Kenyans.
“If you have principles, the best thing to do, is to get out and focus on campaigns and let the government programmes continue,” said Murathe, warning Ruto to jump ship or face impeachment once Parliament resumes in February.
- Legislators calling for Deputy President William Ruto’s resignation have accused him of flouting the Political Parties Act and the Constitution by propagating the interests of UDA.
- They’ve told the DP to take credit for success of Jubilee and fair blame of its failures.