Ruto: Gov’t ready to provide Raila with enough security for Azimio protests
President William Ruto has hit out at the opposition over plans to stage countrywide rallies to protest against the bid to kick out four electoral commissioners from office.
Speaking during an interdenominational church service at the University of Embu on Sunday, December 3, the Head of State accused Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga of a plot to destabilise the country with violence.
Ruto, however, said he won't be destructed in his plans to implement the Kenya Kwanza Alliance's campaign manifesto.
He said the protests are not new and promised to provide the opposition leaders with enough security to avoid violence and destruction.
In an apparent ridicule, President Ruto revealed that he had instructed Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to engage the opposition on their demonstration plans with a view of getting a schedule ahead of their first rally.
"I have asked Interior CS Prof Kithure Kindiki to ask Azimio to give him their schedule of demonstrations so that we provide enough security to avoid the destruction of people's property," Ruto said, arousing laughter and giggles.
"They can demonstrate every day, once a week, every month and for how many years. We want to know. because we are used to them. We will remain focused whether there are demonstrations or not."
He affirmed that the demonstrations would not hold the country back.
"They can plan all they want but I want to promise them that Kenya is not going to remain the same. You will not blackmail this nation. You will not threaten the people of Kenya because we are determined to move the country forward and you will not hold us back," Ruto added.
Raila on Friday said the mass action will start with a major rally at the historic Kamukunji Grounds on December 7.
Addressing journalists in Nairobi Raila vowed to “resist the capture and emasculation of key institutions,” accusing the Kenya Kwanza government of “taking a machete to hack and mutilate the Constitution.”
He claimed the four petitions seeking the removal of the four electoral commissioners from office was a well-calculated scheme to rig the 2027 elections.
"The events in parliament yesterday on the formula of appointing IEBC Commissioners and the hounding of the 4 Commissioners has got nothing to do with integrity, but about 2027. Ruto wants to rig 2027 election in 2022. We should not allow this to happen,” Raila said insisting that his victory was stolen in the August presidential poll.
"If that's what the administration has decided to prioritise we are ready to join them down that path... President William Ruto has declared war on us, we are not going to be quiet and watch instead fight back by protesting."
Raila made the remarks moments after the President appointed a nine-member tribunal led by Court of Appeal Judge Aggrey Muchelule to inquire into the petitions seeking the removal of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Vice-chair Juliana Cherera and commissioners Irene Masit, Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi.
The four rejected presidential results announced by IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati on August 15, claiming the final tallying of the results was opaque.
The four also filed affidavits supporting Azimio’s unsuccessful petition challenging Ruto’s win at the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Deputy President Gachagua said on Sunday that Raila's planned demonstrations are nothing but a desperate ploy aimed at getting a handshake, that has benefitted him before.
He claimed the March 2018 handshake between Raila and retired President Uhuru Kenyatta was the reason behind stalled projects in Mt Kenya Ruto's government inherited from the former administration.
“Last time, he staged similar protests until he got himself into President Kenyatta and William Ruto’s government. Uhuru bought into his threats and let him into his handshake government and he wrecked it,” Gachagua claimed.
“All these road and dam projects have stalled and it is because of him, he held the president hostage… All the economic mess we are having today is as a result of that handshake," he added.