Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday said his support for President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013 and 2017 was not a debt that should be paid by voters in Central Kenya.
Speaking when a number of leaders from the region have vowed not to support him in his 2022 State House bid, Mr Ruto said the debate is unnecessary.
“There has been debate on who owes who what. I want to remind leaders what Paul says in Romans 13:8: ‘Owe no man anything except the debt of love for one another’,” Mr Ruto said.
“That is the debt we all have. No person, community or section of Kenya owes anybody, including myself, anything.”
The Deputy President was speaking at All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi where he gave Sh8 million and pledged Sh2 million more for the construction of a Sh1 billion children and teen centre.
The only debt that should be paid in full, the Deputy President said, is what leaders promised during their campaigns last year.
The talk of political debt and whether Central Kenya — the support base of President Kenyatta — should vote for Mr Ruto in 2022 has hit the headlines recently, with the ruling Jubilee party split right in the middle.
Last week, a Gikuyu song Hatuna Deni ya Mtu (we owe nobody anything) circulated online, presumably as a continuation of the debate on whether the country’s second-in-command deserves a shot at the presidency.
So strong are the emotions in the rival camps that Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura told NTV last week, that Mt Kenya leaders are being asked to choose between Kieleweke (let it be understood and Tangatanga (loitering) camps.
Tangatanga, he said, stands for those rooting for Mr Ruto’s presidential ambitions, while Kieleweke, a term coined by Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu and who vehemently opposes Mr Ruto’s bid, stands for Mr Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda and national unity in the context of the post-March 9 dispensation after the handshake between the President and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
BIG FOUR AGENDA
It was the same reference made by Nominated MP Maina Kamanda on Saturday when he told some Central Kenya leaders whom he accused of abandoning the Big Four agenda and the fight against corruption “and are in an overdrive of early campaigns for Mr Ruto”.
"Some Mt Kenya leaders hang on the President's coats to secure their positions but they are now behaving as if they have a bigger master,” Mr Kamanda said in Thuita village, Mathioya constituency.
“They have gone a notch higher to publicly oppose the directive on lifestyle audit. We will not let them disrespect the President."
During the service on Sunday, Mr Ruto also dismissed those opposed to his contribution of colossal amounts of money, especially to churches.
“We do not go to church as politicians, but as Christians. We have no apologies to make for being Christians,” the Deputy President said.
“None of us is being asked to give beyond our means. When we do, we do so cheerfully and proudly.”
The Deputy President was accompanied by Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki and MPs Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Sabina Chege (Murang’a Woman Representative) and Nominated Senator Naomi Waqo.
“Our value systems, it seems, have collapsed and we need to go back to the basics and inculcate the right values in our children,” Mr Lusaka said.