Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Wednesday, 09 Nov 2016 15:17 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Deputy President William Ruto should be prepared for a tough tussle from Central Kenya in his 2022 Presidential bid if emerging signs are anything to go by. Despite Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri assuring the region would support his 2022 presidential bid unconditionally, a nominated Senator Paul Njoroge Ben is quoted on the Star daily today urging President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack and probe Ruto in a new graft purge.
These remarks could set off an enormous storm within the ruling Jubilee Party, pitting Mt Kenya against Rift Valley. Sen. Njoroge said Uhuru cannot risk going into the next election with Ruto as his running mate, saying “Kalenjinland has other better sons who can as well be Deputy President”.
Senator Njoroge, said Ruto and his closest allies are the architects of the Sh1.6 billion NYS heist and his public spat with ex-Devolution CS Anne Waiguru stems from her refusal to participate in the looting. However CS Kiunjuri said that Ruto is the right man to lead the country after President Uhuru Kenyatta to continue with the Jubilee development agenda.
The CS said that Ruto deserves total Mt Kenya support since he has worked closely with President Uhuru in building bridges of friendship and peaceful coexistence between communities, regions and religions. “I’ve known DP Ruto for a very long time and I know he will be able to steer the country forward towards achieving development goals set by the Jubilee government. We will vote for Ruto without a doubt when the time comes and no one should bring any intrigues about it,” Mr Kiunjuri said.
The CS spoke during a fundraiser on Sunday at African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa in Thika where he was flanked by Thika town MP Alice Ng’ang’a, Kiambu Women Representative Anna Nyokabi, Thika town MP aspirant Wainaina Wa Jungle and Kiambu gubernatorial seat hopeful David Kariuki Ngari.
But before Kiunjuri’s assurance settled Senator Njoroge is quoted saying, “I humbly appeal to the President, requesting him to ask his deputy to step aside as happened to his former Chief of Staff Marianne Keitany to pave way for quick investigations,” Njoroge told journalists on Tuesday.
“Let Uhuru understand that we cannot afford this anymore and he has to have a Plan B – and more so from Kalenjinland – and identify another leader as the investigating bodies start their work on William Ruto.” The Jubilee Party lawmaker’s sentiments are also likely to trigger a fresh storm within Ruto's URP brigade inside JP.
In a blunt personal attack on Waiguru, Ruto on Sunday accused the former CS — now a candidate for Kirinyaga governor — of subjecting the country to "cat-walking" when “it's clear public money has been lost”. But Waiguru fought back, saying the DP’s attack on her and his public pronouncements on the NYS probe signaled there was something Ruto was uncomfortable about.
Njoroge said Ruto's “bitterness” with Waiguru emanated from the CS’s refusal to play ball in the looting game plan and recommended a probe of Ruto's bank accounts and those of his closest allies. He said detectives should probe the accounts of Ruto's aide Farouk Kibet, Majority leader Aden Duale and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen. “We cannot continue fooling Kenyans by making them think Waiguru stole the NYS funds, yet the real thieves are enjoying the stolen funds,” the senator protested.
In July, Njoroge backed Kiambu Governor William Kabogo's sentiments that Central Kenya will not automatically back Ruto for the Presidency in 2022. Njoroge said a cartel of politicians operating from Ruto's office is attempting to frighten Kenyans into believing that Uhuru could lose in 2017 without Ruto's support and Kikuyus be ejected from the Rift Valley.
“We have a cartel, a group of Members of the National Assembly and even some from the Senate, who have actually been working very closely with the Deputy President. They have been instilling fear in our people in the Rift Valley and all over, telling them that if you don't vote for Ruto in 2022, he will make sure that Uhuru doesn't win in 2017,” Njoroge told the Star.