Ruto reveals Kalonzo rejected offer to join gov’t
President William Ruto now says Wiper leader Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka is in the opposition by choice.
Speaking during a church service at AIC Kitui Township in Kitui County on Sunday, October 23, the Head of State revealed that Kalonzo, a member of the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition, rejected his offer to work with him after the Kenya Kwanza Alliance trounced the former in the August 9 polls.
The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party boss told the congregation that he reached out to Kalonzo after the polls but the Wiper leader insisted that he was comfortable in the opposition.
Ruto, however, expressed his interest in working with Kalonzo in the future if he changes his mind.
"Mmmeniambia kuhusu maneno ya ndugu yangu mkubwa Stephen. Akiwa tayari kufanya kazi na mimi, mimi niko tayari. Niliwaambia wakati nilikuwa hapa, kama mnakumbuka kuwa mungu akinijalia niunde serikali nitatafuta ndugu yangu Stephen nimshirikishe katika kuendesha hiyo serikali.
"Lakini nataka mjue nimemtafuta akaniambia anataka upinzani kwanza. Wacha ajaribu alafu tutaona mahali itafika. Ata ile ya upinzani ni kazi pia. Si tulisema kazi ni kazi," Ruto said amid laughter from the congregation.
Loosely translated: "You have told me issues about my elder brother Stephen. I want to tell you that if he is ready to work with me, I am ready. I promised you the last time I was here if you remember, that if God makes it possible for me to form government, I will look for my brother Stephen and involve him in running government.
"But I want you to know that I looked for Stephen, sat down with him…told him here is the government, let us work together. He told me he wants to try opposition first. So, let him try opposition first then we see where he gets, then we can talk later. There is no problem, even opposition is work."
Ruto was responding to remarks by Kitui Governor Julius Malombe and his Machakos counterpart Wavinya Ndeti, who urged the President to work with Kalonzo for the benefit of the area residents, who voted overwhelmingly for Azimio leader Raila Odinga in the last election.
Speaking at the same function, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the Kenya Kwanza administration is ready to work with Kalonzo if he 'behaves'.
"Sisi hatuna shida na Kalonzo Musyoka, tunamngoja. Nyinyi watu wa Ukambani ndio mtaamua. Ukweli ni kwamba tulimtafuta tukitaka akuje upande wetu, na yeye akarudi kwa ule mzee wa kuzimia," he said.
Loosely translated: "We don't have issues working with Kalonzo. We are still waiting for him. Ukambani people need to decide. The truth is, we have been looking for him but he seems stuck with the opposition."