BY JOAN WANJIKU/DPPS,4TH NOV,2021-Deputy President William Ruto has challenged ODM leader Raila Odinga and One Kenya Alliance to name their presidential candidates who will face off with him in the August 2022 State House contest.
He said the Opposition was setting themselves up for failure in the 2022 general election, asking them to man up and face him instead of pushing the President to endorse them.
He asked them to allow the President to focus on his duties of serving Kenyans.
“They are hiding behind the President because they are not brave enough to face me,” he said.
“The DP said the former principals of the defunct Nasa were slacking in settling on their candidate, a matter he said could land them in the same predicament as in 2017.
Ruto warned them that should he beat them in the race, they should not complain that their victory was stolen.
“I want to tell those men I will be competing with to stop bothering President Uhuru Kenyatta for meetings on how to agree on their candidate. The President will not be on the ballot. The President is required to serve millions of Kenyans, and you five men are stuck seeking meetings with the President,” he said on Thursday while addressing several rallies in Bungoma county.
“Get out and go campaign then we can battle it out. Name your candidate and your agenda for the country. We have our bottom-up now tell us what you have for Kenyans than to just criticise ours without your alternative,” he said.
Raila and his former Nasa co-principals—Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya)—have parted ways.
The President is backing the ODM leader as his preferred successor while Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Wetang’ula and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi have teamed up to form Oka.
Uhuru has been trying to whip the Oka politicians to rally behind Raila in his attempt to consolidate a formidable team to take on Ruto who has proved a hard nut to crack.
The Oka principals have resisted the President’s efforts to convince them to back Raila as he tries his fifth time for the top seat.
Ruto who made several stops at Tongaren, Kamukuywa, Ndivisi, Matisi market and Nalondo market, said it is time Raila retired from politics. He exuded confidence that the United Democratic Alliance will form the next government in 2022.
Ruto asked Kenyans to rally behind the hustler movement that is advocating for an economic model that will address the needs of ordinary citizens.
He said the opposition had failed to come up with an agenda that will compete with the bottom-up economic model.
“I want you to support me because of my policies and development agenda. I do not want you to fall for useless slogans that will not benefit you,” he said.
In what appeared like a jab targeted at Uhuru and Raila, Ruto asked his detractors to stop using deceitful political tactics aimed at tarnishing his reputation and instead sell their agenda to the people.
He wondered why his former allies had resorted to character assassination yet when they were in the same camp they used to sing his praises.
“If you knew I was a bad person when I was supporting you, you should have said so then.”
He was accompanied by a host of MPs including John Waluke (Sirisia) Mwambu Mabonga (Bumula), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Dan Wanyama (Webuye West) and Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East).
The leaders rallied Western to support the DP saying he was the only leader who will address economic problems facing the region.
Mabonga asked Bungoma residents not to follow leaders blindly and instead evaluate their performance saying it was unfortunate that the opposition’s only agenda was to block Ruto from ascending to power.
“This time you should look at an individual’s development track record. If you ask them what their agenda is, they will tell you it is to defeat William Ruto. That is not the best agenda for the youth,” he said.