Deputy President William Ruto yesterday delved into the 2022 succession politics, lashing out at his competitors who are sitting back and waiting for endorsements.
Going against his own recent rebuke to fellow politicians to avoid too much talk on who succeeds President Uhuru Kenyatta, Dr Ruto said all aspirants should demonstrate their capabilities through their development record.
Speaking at his home in Sugoi, Turbo, Uasin Gishu County, when he met western Kenya leaders led by Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, Dr Ruto was categorical that no amount of endorsement would elevate the prospects of any candidate with poor a development record.
“Politics is about planning and mobilisation. There is nothing like this (State House seat) being endorsed, or given. I have seen some hanging around waiting for endorsements. How do you expect to be endorsed for this seat, surely? This one, this, you must work for it,” Dr Ruto said.
The DP’s remarks came on the backdrop of political jitters in his Rift Valley backyard after Jubilee Party vice chairman David Murathe sensationally claimed four days ago that the central region is not bound to support Dr Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
Mr Murathe’s comments were followed by Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju who recently said the DP would not automatically be the party’s flagbearer in the next elections.
Yesterday, Dr Ruto, who was for the first time addressing the remarks by the two senior Jubilee officials, said candidates should seek leadership through political parties with a national outlook.
The DP, who has attracted the wrath of a section of members of the Jubilee Party for his endless trips across the country, which some have interpreted as early campaigns, said he is ready to face off with anybody who would want to lead the country after Mr Kenyatta's departure.
“I am ready to battle with anybody. Let my competitors put on the table what they have done for this country,” he said.
Mr Murathe, a close ally of the President, in a bare-knuckle attack on the Deputy President, told him the Mount Kenya region has no memorandum of understanding with anybody regarding the coming presidential elections.
Mr Murathe — who made the remarks in Vihiga during the 39th Maragoli cultural celebrations held at Municipal Grounds in Mbale — was accompanied by former Mukurwe-ini MP Kabando wa Kabando.
In a move that could antagonise the DP, Mr Murathe said the President and his deputy had shared power equally for two terms and should both retire.
Other leaders at the Sugoi meeting were Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong, Bungoma Woman Representative Catherine Wambilianga, MPs Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) and Dan Wanyama (Webuye West).
Others were James Lusweti (Kabuchai), John Waluke (Sirisia), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Mwambu Mabonga (Bumula), Geoffrey Omuse (Teso South), Oku Kaunya (Teso North) and Oscar Sudi (Kapseret).