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DP Ruto's allies vow to fight on after Waititu 'sacrificed'

Friday January 31 2020
Waititu

Impeached Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu in a Nairobi court on January 30, 2020, over an application against witnesses Faith Njeri Harrison and Justus Bundi Kinoti in his Sh580 million corruption case, January 30, 2020. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By TOM MATOKE
By ONYANGO K’ONYANGO

Several leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto claim Ferdinand Waititu's removal from the Kiambu governor post was aimed at intimidating those in support of his 2022 bid for the presidency.

They alleged a plot by Dr Ruto's opponents for Jubilee Party leaders whose backing he enjoys to be arrested and charged with abuse with office in order to scuttle his ambition.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei spoke of malice and a witch-hunt, saying the idea is to "finish" the DP politically.

“Governor Waititu was crucified because of his strong support for the Deputy President. We applaud the judiciary for standing firm and not being used to perform an illegal swearing-in," said Mr Cherargei, who voted on Wednesday against the governor's impeachment.

The senator alleged that Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro's oath-taking for the county boss position was unconstitutional.

He said the Judiciary should be empowered to pursue justice for all Kenyans without any kind of intimidation.

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WHAT HAPPENED

UNRELENTING

On Thursday, Tinderet MP Julius Meli said Dr Ruto's backers are being targeted for rejecting the dalliance between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement chief Raila Odinga, following their handshake on March 9, 2018.

Speaking at Chemundu in Chesumei Constituency on Thursday, Mr Meli noted that they will not be swayed by moves against them.

“Jubilee leaders and voters across the country will continue supporting the DP so he can capture the presidency come 2022 . Arresting and impeaching Waititu will not make Kenyans drop their support for DP,” he said

Chesumei MP Wilson Kogo said they will continue to drum up support for the DP and that no amount of intimidations will scare them.

He added that they will not allow Mr Odinga to use the handshake to scuttle Dr Ruto’s ambition to succeed President Kenyatta.

Mr Odinga has denied these allegations and said repeatedly that neither he nor President Kenyatta are eyeing powerful government positions, should the referendum bid be successful.

Mr Kogo said, “What has happened to Governor Waititu is pure politics. Those who joined the government recently through the backdoor are out to intimidate us for supporting the DP but we won’t allow them to cut off our feet ahead of this journey."

The politicians also said they are not opposed to the anti-graft purge but political schemes against specific leaders know for supporting the DP.

JUBILEE WRANGLES

Senator Cherargei added that their March party poll will be used to kick out Jubilee officials championing their opponent's interests.

“[secretary-General] Raphael Tuju claims he wants to change the leadership of Jubilee in both the Senate and National Assembly. Let him try. This party is ours ... we have invested heavily in it,” he said.

“We will ensure that Tuju is kicked out in because he has failed to serve the interests of our party but joined forces to finish the deputy party leader politically," he claimed.

His sentiments were echoed by Soy MP Caleb Kositany, who said, “Tuju should understand that by March, we will be required to file returns, which means we will decide if party officials will remain in office, if we will have an election countrywide or if the National Executive Council will give way forward."

“The next office will have people ready to propel the agenda of our party, not those out to destroy it."

HISTORY

Former Nandi Council Chairman Charles Tanui said any plot to use the handshake to humiliate the DP will be met with an equal force to prevent history from being repeated.

“History is repeating itself because during the era of founding President Jomo Kenyatta a clique of leaders tried to block Daniel Moi from succeeding him but failed," he said.

"Likewise, Jubilee leaders who have teamed up with ODM lieutenants to block and frustrate Ruto will be defeated come 2022."

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