DP Ruto has been stripped of state roles, says ally

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 00:00 | By
Deputy President William Ruto condoles with John Chesang the father to Sergeant Kipyegon Kenei during the officer’s funeral service at Chemasis, Rongai, Nakuru County on Saturday. Photo/PD/ REBECCA NDUKU/DPPS

Eric Wainaina and Mercy Mwai

Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen yesterday claimed Deputy President William Ruto has been stripped of all State responsibilities.

He said Ruto had been stripped of his key responsibilities and that he was being told to “stay at home.”

“The treatment he has been accorded is wanting. Even former vice presidents had clear roles delegated them just like the DP was during the first term when he chaired most of the meetings dealing with electricity, roads, youth, education and always reported to the President,” he told journalists in an interview.

He posed: “Isn’t it curious that DP has been deprived of his roles? He is almost directly being told to sit at home, yet he was elected?”

Murkomen, who was speaking to the press yesterday, said it is shocking the way State officers were treating the DP. 

He, however, said despite the machinations by the system to politically cripple Ruto and render him a DP without portfolio, he was ready to confront his rivals.

Ruto, who has always projected the image that all was well in the Jubilee administration, at the weekend spoke about his tribulations and those of allies. 

Speaking on Saturday at the burial of Kipyegon Kenei, a security officer who was stationed at his Harambee House Annex, admitted the Jubilee partnership was severely strained. He dared his detractors, which he called the  “system”, saying he was ready for them.

On Sunday, he repeated the same sentiments at a meeting in Buuri in Meru county telling “the system” to go for him directly instead of harassing his friends and allies.

He said he was aware that he is about to enter an even tougher terrain.

Yesterday, Murkomen suggested the President had a hand in his deputy’s tribulations.

“That the DP is facing an onslaught from junior officers leaves many questions unanswered as to the role of the President in the suffering and persecution his deputy is going through,” he said.

Soy MP Caleb Kositany, another DP ally, said they will take the war to the President’s doorsteps.

“We have witnessed a lot of humiliation. We are now seeking an explanation from the President. The Deputy President was not elected alone,” he said. 

Kositany added: “The Deputy President has been a victim of hate and disobedience by junior civil servants.

The question we are asking is where is the President as his deputy is being harassed? We need the President to speak up on this matter. The safety and security of the DP must be guaranteed.”

According to Ruto, the death of  Kenei, the officer linked to a multi-billion-shilling fake deal involving fire arms where his office was used as a conduit, is the latest part of a calculated plot to “stop” him.

“I also know the things that have been planned ahead against me, but I am ready for it. I am ready for it.

If you killed this (Kenei) man so that you can intimidate me, let me tell you, his blood will follow you,” Ruto said during the officer’s funeral on Saturday.

Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, however, said the DP continued to enjoy the support of the President as far as his office role is concerned, but was bitter because Uhuru had declined to support his 2022 election plans. 

“He thought that he would manipulate the government to support his 2022 ambitions which never happened because State officers are following the directives of the Head of State who has warned against early campaigns. That is why he is annoyed,” he said. 

Ngunjiri said most of the DP’s allies who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law claim to have been targeted because they are Ruto’s allies. He accused the politicians of playing victim to attract sympathy. 

Claims of open defiance, undermining and disrespecting his boss and early election campaigns, have been cited as some of the blunders that could cost Ruto the ultimate prize.

The DP has also voiced open reservations about the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) spear-headed by the President and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, well aware that the project had a special meaning to his boss. 

Michael Mugo, the national deputy chairman of Kikuyu council of elders  , dubbed Kiama kia Ma, and formerly of Laikipia University said the DP was a frustrated politician who was ready to do anything to attract sympathy to remain relevant.

“All his political tricks have failed. His allies, especially from Mt Kenya region, are running away from him but he is blaming it on alleged intimidation from the State.

He has been beaten in his own game and he is now in a do-or-die situation to look for sympathy which is a very dangerous,” Mugo told People Daily yesterday.

The incident involving former Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa, and the subsequent murder of Kenei, in which detectives seeking to solve the killing believe some officers at the DP officers were involved, appear to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

Besides the Echesa scandal that touches his office, Ruto and four other persons had been accused of fraud over the alleged sale of a piece of land in Ngong forest to Kenya Pipeline Company for Sh272 million. Ruto allegedly received Sh96 million at various intervals during the alleged transaction.

The case was prosecuted by the then Criminal Investigations Department from 2004 to 2011.

In the case, Ruto and Berke Commercial Agencies, a company associated with him, Joshua Kulei, a former aide of former President Daniel arap Moi, Sammy Mwaita (former Baringo Central MP) and two other firms, were sued for allegedly obtaining money from KPC between August 6 and September 6, 2001.

They were acquitted for lack of evidence but the DCI in January reopened the case. 

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