‘Sahau handshake’ – Ruto fires back at Raila over vote rigging claims
President William Ruto has hit out at opposition chief Raila Odinga over claims that his victory was stolen in the last presidential election.
Raila, who was speaking during a rally at Kamukunji Grounds on Monday, January 23, rejected the outcome of the poll held on August 9, 2022, saying he had been reliably informed that he won the election by more than two million votes.
But responding to the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader on Monday evening, the Head of State said he won the August poll fair and square.
He dismissed the protests from the opposition as attempts to blackmail the government into a handshake, ostensibly to get a share of the Kenya kwanza administration.
Unlike his predecessor retired President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ruto said he won't entertain such talks and urged Raila to focus on his oversight role.
"All that these people want is nusu mkate (share of government). But I want to tell them openly to forget anything to do with the handshake. Don't tell us you don't want a handshake we can see you. We know you. It's clear to us that is what you want," Ruto said while reacting to Raila's remarks that he is not interested in forming a coalition government with the President.
"You played the same tricks with Moi (President Daniel Moi) and managed to get something. You staged protests and got a share of Mwai Kibaki's government. You threatened Uhuru Kenyatta and got a handshake in return. If you think you can blackmail me into a handshake you are dreaming."
Ruto was speaking in Gatundu during the burial ceremony of Pauline Nyokabi the elder sister of Cabinet Secretary(CS) for Investments, Trade and Industry Moses Kuria.
The President also dismissed calls to audit the technology used by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), saying the electoral body had opened its servers to the public for scrutiny during the electioneering period and all the results are on the portal.
On Raila's remarks that Azimio doesn't recognise him (Ruto) as President, the Head of State dismissed the sentiments as old tricks that had failed to bear any fruits in the past.
"We are going to bring impunity to a stop in Kenya... You can fool some people sometimes but you can not fool all people all the time. We will not allow you and you will not succeed," Ruto said adding that Raila's handshake with Uhuru contributed to the high cost of living in the country.
Earlier, the opposition leader said they do not recognise Ruto as the President of Kenya and that the Kenya Kwanza government is illegitimate.
"We as Azimio reject the 2022 election results totally. We can not and will not recognise the Kenya Kwanza regime and we consider the Kenya Kwanza government illegitimate," Raila said.
He claimed Ruto was rigged in a wider scheme involving the outgoing chairman of IEBC Wafula Chebukati.
"I commend all Kenyans who carried out the sacred and patriotic duty and cast their ballot peacefully. You expected IEBC to transmit, tally and announce the results in accordance with the law, free of bias and corruption. But IEBC and the then chairman Wafula Chebukati and two commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu and CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan formed a cartel within IEBC to the exclusion of four new commissioners, disregarded the votes you cast and cooked their own results," Raila said.
"The presidential results announced unilaterally by Mr Chebukati on August 15 were entirely made up by him and had nothing to do with the votes you cast."
According to Raila, the Supreme Court was captured by cartels and made to dismiss his petition challenging Ruto's victory as Kenya's fifth President.
Raila said IEBC whistleblowers had confirmed to the Azimio team that the coalition won with a landslide.
Raila also said the opposition rejects any attempts to constitute IEBC, saying the Kenya Kwanza government is keen to rig the 2027 elections.
At the same time, Raila called on Kenyans to resist and demand the removal of punitive taxes and services including unga, milk, sugar, school books, fuel and electricity.
He said the Kenya Kwanza administration should resign, saying it has neither the mandate nor the ability to govern the country.
"We ask our people to say no to the UDA (United Democratic Alliance) regime. This regime and its unfortunate and unfair policy must be resisted and the resistance starts today," he added.
Other leaders present at Kamukunji were Raila's running mate in the last election Martha Karua, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, former Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugine Wamalwa and several city MPs and politicians allied to the Azimio coalition.