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Meru leaders back William Ruto's 2022 bid

Sunday August 11 2019

William Ruto

Catholic priests pray for Deputy President William Ruto at St Immaculate Catholic Church, Gatimbi in Meru County on August 11, 2019. Dr Ruto urged leaders to stop politicking and support Jubilee's development agenda. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DAVID MUCHUI
By DAVID MUCHUI
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Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday tried in vain to stop politicians from engaging in 2022 politics even as North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood denied claims that there was a plot to scuttle the DP’s meeting.

Mr Dawood led a section of Meru politicians in pledging support Mr Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.  

“The claims that some Meru politicians tried to stop the DP from coming to Meru are untrue,” Mr Dawood said.

SUPPORT RUTO

MPs Moses Kirima (Central Imenti), Halima Mucheke (nominated), Mpuru Aburi (EALA) and several MCAs said they would not backtrack on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pledge to back his deputy.

In what was seen as displeasure in politicking at the fundraiser, DP Ruto said the Jubilee administration had resolved to end divisive politics and focus on development.

Edwin Kinoti Gitonga

Security officers restrain Edwin Kinoti Gitonga from accessing Deputy President William Ruto during a funds drive at Gikumene Secondary School in Meru County on August 11, 2019. PHOTOS | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

However, he later stopped his motorcade to give money to a young man who was dressed in a white gown complete with a veil and a banner inscribed "Kenyans wed Ruto 2022, Amen".

“We want to end politics of division and hatred to unite Kenyans and focus on development. I want all Jubilee leaders not to veer off from that agenda. The debate about 2022, and the referendum should not overshadow development,” the DP said.

But several politicians referred to the DP as 'Mheshimiwa Rais' (the president) before explaining that the slip of the tongue was a prediction of the future.

FUNDRAISER

They spoke during a fundraiser in aid of the East African Pentecostal Church at Gikumene Secondary School in Meru on Sunday.

"Besides being a politician, I am also a pastor in the AIPCA Church. My tongue has slipped and called you president. I assure you that it is not a slip of the tongue but a prophesy and a sign that angels are backing you,” Mr Kirima said.

He said President Kenyatta could not lie to his deputy and was sure that he (the president) would endorse him in 2022.

Mr Aburi said the Meru community has over 1.1 million votes which would go to the DP in 2022.

 “When you campaigned ahead of the 2017 elections, the President told us that he would support you for 10 years,” Mr Aburi said.

PUNGUZA MIZIGO

Mr Dawood said their support for the DP would be unconditional in 2022.

However, Kirinyaga Woman Rep Purity Ngirici said they would back the Ekuru Aukot-led Thirdway Alliance party Punguza Mizigo initiative.

In veiled criticism of the Building Bridges Initiative, Ms Ngirici said views collected in hotel meetings were not representative of what Kenyans want.

“People have been holding meetings in five star hotels, how many Kenyans made it there? The referendum should be about what Kenyans want, and I know Kenyans want to reduce the burden,” Ms Ngirici said.