A section of Rift Valley leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto are now asking President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve government following the rampant corruption allegations facing his administration.
This came even as those close to ODM chief Raila Odinga, led by Senate Minority leader James Orengo and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, called for the DP’s resignation instead for allegedly opposing the war on corruption.
Some Jubilee leaders also want Mr Odinga to retire from politics as the war of words between Dr Ruto and the ODM leader escalated Sunday.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa and his Kapseret counterpart Oscar Sudi claimed the current war on corruption is a witchhunt engineered by leaders who are against the DP’s candidature for the presidency in 2022.
Mr Barasa hit out at the ODM chief for using the handshake and the war on graft to fight Dr Ruto.
The Kimilili MP and Mr Sudi dared President Kenyatta to take a bold move and dissolve government.
“If President Kenyatta believes corruption is rampant in his government then he ought to dissolve it and call for a fresh election to weed out leaders perceived to be corrupt,” said Mr Barasa.
Mr Sudi told the President to declare his stand on the proposed referendum.
“The President must declare his stand if he is advocating for a referendum to create room for him to contest for the presidency in 2022 and to betray the pact he has with the Deputy President,” Mr Sudi said.
Speaking at a funds drive in aid of AIC Kimoson Church in Kapseret constituency, Uasin Gishu County, Mr Barasa claimed the handshake is being used to weaken the DP politically.
Mr Sudi cautioned the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti against being used by certain individuals in government to fight Dr Ruto.
“The work that is being done by Kinoti in the name of fighting corruption is not genuine. He is being used as a pawn in the alleged war on corruption. If he is not careful he will be used and dumped the same way the former ECK (Electoral Commission of Kenya) chairman Samuel Kivuitu was treated,” Mr Sudi said.
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, who was also present, questioned the manner in which the anti-graft war is being fought, saying some people in government who are not comfortable with the DP are manufacturing scandals to portray him as a corrupt leader.
However, Mr Orengo and Mr Otiende said Dr Ruto cannot go against his boss.
“All over the world, when the President speaks, a good deputy keeps quiet and respects (the decisions). Those working for Jubilee must make a choice either to work with the President or not,” said Mr Orengo.
He claimed ministries that are under scrutiny for corruption falls under portfolios given to Dr Ruto.
“Ruto should either keep quiet or say he can no longer work with the President who he was elected with. The guilty are usually afraid. When corruption is mentioned he comes out loudly,” said Mr Orengo.
Mr Otiende challenged Dr Ruto to own up that he is corrupt and stop defending rogue contractors.
“When the government commits itself to fight corruption and you come out and claim the government is being misled, then it means you have either lost faith in it and you must resign or you have felt that you are being accused and therefore you must also resign,” said Mr Amollo.
Elsewhere, MPs Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Japheth Mutai (Bureti), Gideon Koskei (Chepalungu), Ronald Tonui (Bomet Central), David Sangok (nominated) and David Rono (Keiyo South) re-ignited the controversial call to have the ODM leader retire from active politics.
They said time had come for the old guard to hand over the country’s leadership baton to the youth and only play an advisory role.
Mr Ngunjiri, while speaking in Kericho yesterday, said Mr Odinga had become a divisive factor in the country’s political landscape and should retire from politics for the sake of unity and development.
Dr Ruto, who is seen to have been sidelined in the Building Bridges drive, has repeatedly and openly expressed his reservation with the initiative, especially on the proposed referendum.
“It is time for the former prime minister to pave way for youthful leaders to take over the mantle of leadership in various spheres,” said Mr Ngunjiri.
Mr Odinga has been engaged in on-and-off spats with Dr Ruto over endemic corruption in the country and political matters including the proposed constitution review.
The close working relationship between Mr Odinga and President Kenyatta and the ODM leader’s association with Baringo Senator and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi has sent political jitters around the DP's camp.
Additional reporting by Rushdie Oudia and Vitalis Kimutai