Wajackoyah denies claims Roots party was sponsored to frustrate Ruto’s State House bid
Roots Party Leader George Wajackoyah has refuted claims that the political outfit was sponsored by the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition to frustrate William Ruto's bid for the presidency in last year's general election.
Controversial political strategist Mutahi Ngunyi told a local news outlet on Saturday that Azimio funded the launch of Wajackoyah's presidential manifesto to "irritate" Ruto, who was then serving as retired President Uhuru Kenyatta's deputy.
But in a swift response, Wajackoyah dismissed the remarks as an insult to the Roots party.
He accused Ngunyi of peddling propaganda to please Ruto following his recent defection to the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
"These remarks are baseless, unfounded and serve as an insult to our party. Roots party is a National party and does not subscribe to tokenism, a field Mutahi Ngunyi holds a PHD in," Wajackoyah said in a statement.
"... We are aware of Ngunyi's frantic pleasing of the president and refuse to be used as an entry narrative in unholy political matrimony."
Wajackoyah, who has been advocating for legalisation of marijuana (bhang), maintained that the Roots party remains committed to the "Economic Liberation of Kenyans through the legalisation of hemp".
However, Wajackoyah's running mate in the last presidential election, Justina Wamae, supported Ngunyi's claims that the Roots party boss was compromised ahead of the August 9, 2022 poll.
"Let it be known the man (Wajackoyah) was never a project until a few days to manifesto launch. Team Justina provided the requirements to be cleared by IEBC. He knows in his heart," Wamae, who has since fallen out with Wajackoyah, said in a social media post.
According to Ngunyi, Azimio plotted to cripple Ruto's bid by deliberately scheduling the launch of Wajackoyah's manifesto to clash with a similar function by the then-deputy president.
He claimed that the support came from the friends of Uhuru, who had endorsed Azimio candidate Raila Odinga's fifth stab at the presidency.
"I got a little bit of it from the friends of Uhuru Kenyatta and we funded Wajackoyah's launch and the way we did it is that we wanted it to happen on the same day that Ruto was doing his launch," Ngunyi told NTV in an interview.
"…Our thinking is that Ruto is of a choleric temper so I wanted to do this as a way of irritating him so that when you have half screens on the TVs."
Ngunyi further claimed that he was coerced into supporting Raila's candidature by the previous administration.
According to the controversial lawyer, he had his bank accounts frozen after showing support for Ruto's 'hustler vs dynasty' agenda, forcing him to toe the line.
"Uhuru's argument was that this would end up hurting some of us and I said in any case you will not be running for president what's the problem with it, let us do it and at least propel your deputy into office," he said.
"But when I did that I was actually asked to stop, at some point my accounts were frozen two times."