BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,25TH APRIL,2022-Why President Uhuru Kenyatta warmly shook hands with Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka and instead bowed with his hands clasped while exchanging greeting Deputy President William Ruto and his lieutenants in Kenya Kwanza Alliance, has left tongues wagging.
The gesture by President Kenyatta not to shake hands with his deputy has been decoded to be a signal of the frosty relations between the two that has been simmering ahead to the 2022 general election.
When he arrived at Parliament shortly past 10am, he by-passed National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, his Senate counterpart Kenneth Lusaka who are deeply entrenched in the Kenya Kwanza Alliance led by DP Ruto.
At first stance, it somewhat appeared like the head of state was either observing the COVID-19 protocol or saving on time to officially open the public viewing of the late President Kibaki.
However, the moment he heartily exchanged greetings with Musyoka who is in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance, it seemed apparent that it was not really about COVID-19 health protocols.
The move did not sit well with Ruto allies who went all out on the social media to question why physical greetings were not exchanged.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen went all out on his twitter account to question President Kenyatta’s move.
“At that moment the President realized that he forgot his gloves,”Murkomen wrote on twitter in a picture showing Uhuru and Ruto exchanging greetings.
Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga on her part questioned why President Kenyatta no longer exchanges greetings.
“So he no longer greets his fellow leaders?”Omanga stated on twitter.
Other Kenyans took the chance to be sarcastic on the matter that has made the social media awash on the unfolding.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has observed COVID-19 protocols from his DP Ruto, Justin Muturi and Kenneth Lusaka by not shaking their hands at Parliament buildings untill he reached to a Fully vaccinated Hon Kalonzo Musyoka just to shake his hand , Late Mwai Kibaki must be happy,”stated Frank Mtetezi on twitter.
President Kenyatta and his deputy have now turned foes by throwing insults at each other in recent weeks as the succession politics hots up, with Kenyatta declaring publicly that he won’t allow Ruto to succeed him.
Kenyatta is openly campaigning for Opposition leader Raila Odinga who was endorsed recently as the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate.
These differences have set Kenyatta and Ruto apart, and they have not been seen in public together until Monday when they went to Parliament to pay their last respects to Kibaki who died on Friday aged 90.
Ruto led his Kenya Kwanza partners to the event with Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula, Speaker Muturi and his Senate counterpart Lusaka.
The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance brigade were led by Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, National Assembly Majority leader Amos Kimunya and Minority Leader in Senate James Orengo.
Members of the two leading protagonist coalitions were seen exchanging pleasantries ahead of the president’s arrival, contrary to the barbs they have been throwing at each other on the campaign trail.