Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto says he may decide not to vie for the presidency in 2022.
Speaking yesterday at a burial in Nakuru, Dr Ruto said some politicians, who are afraid he will win, want to polarise the country.
“There has been a lot of propaganda in the Press. Those behind it are worried that I will vie for the presidency,” Ruto said, adding: “Let it be known that I may decide not to vie. There is no need for all this drama.” He said such a decision would be for the sake of peace and unity.
The DP had attended the burial of Lake Nakuru Lodge Director Samwel Mwangi’s mother Josephine Kimotho. His sentiments came at a time his office, Harambee Annex, has been cast in bad light after it emerged that some shady deals involving procurement of military equipment could have been signed there.
“In 2022 there will be elections and there will be Kenya thereafter. People should calm down. It doesn’t matter whether I will be on the ballot or not. Whoever will win or lose, our goal should be lasting peace,” he said.
Ruto added that he had been burdened with heavy responsibilities that he was determined to carry on behalf of those who supported him.
“Sometimes I think if I was to remain in Sugoi looking after my chicken, I would not be dragged into the politics of cheap propaganda. An elephant is never tired of its tusk. I will carry mine and it won’t tire me,” Ruto said.
He vowed to ensure no community goes to war with another in Rift Valley.
The DP termed statements made during the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally on Saturday uncalled for. “The government’s stand is that every Kenyan has a right to own land, seek leadership and do business in any part of the country, regardless of their ethnic background,” the DP said.
He castigated leaders who made “divisive” remarks, saying their days in leadership would soon end.
“Those saying people do not have equal rights in certain areas won’t go far. They are a passing cloud,” Ruto said, adding: “Such leaders are yet to mature politically. They are seeking political popularity through bloodshed.”
He reiterated that his pact with President Uhuru Kenyatta remained the greatest foundation on which to build a cohesive and prosperous country.
The DP expressed his support for the BBI, but warned politicians against using it to divide Kenyans.
Speaking during the same funeral service, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui faulted Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina’s remarks made during a BBI rally in Narok on Saturday. At the BBI meet, Mr Ledama warned non-Maasai people to keep off political seats in Narok.
“Some of those inciting people were studying in the US when we had violence in 2007. They have dual citizenship. They want to fan flames of war and take off. Let us not focus on this man,” said Mr Kinyanjui.
He said Rift Valley governors had kept off politics to manage their counties, but would not allow their efforts to be disparaged by a few individuals. “Nakuru residents want peace. As leaders from the Rift Valley, we won’t allow unhealthy political discourses,” he said.
Kinyanjui read the riot act to politicians using BBI forums for mileage, saying such characters would not be entertained in Nakuru.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria faulted ODM leader Raila Odinga for not castigating Ledama for his remarks.
“What would it have cost Raila to condemn Ledama instantly if he meant well for the country? The President should be worried that Raila is using BBI to grab power,” said Mr Kuria.
Some of the leaders present at the burial were MPs Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Caleb Kositany (Soy), Liza Chelule (Nakuru Woman rep), Rindikiri Muruithania (Buuri), former Othaya MP Mary Wambui.