President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto with their certificates after IEBC declared them winner of the October 26 election at Bomas of Kenya on Monday, October 30, 2017
BROMANCE: President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto with their certificates after IEBC declared them winner of the October 26 election at Bomas of Kenya on Monday, October 30, 2017
Image: FILE

By Reporter

A section of Kalenjin and Kikuyu elders in the Rift Valley now claim President Uhuru Kenyatta is frustrating his deputy William Ruto through elaborate state machinery. 

The elders spoke as Ruto’s allies began to take the war to Kenyatta’s doorstep and to undo changes in at least two county assemblies that had the blessings of the President.

The tension in Jubilee is likely to explode, with reports that the President is planning a grand house cleaning that may see some of Ruto’s men kicked out from leadership in the party and Parliament.

Speaking to the Star, patron of the Kikuyu Council of Elders in the Rift Valley Gilbert Kabage and the Kalenjin Myoot Council of Elders chairman retired Bishop Paul Leleito claimed Uhuru was frustrating Ruto through proxies.

They said Uhuru’s studious silence while his lieutenants were attacking the DP was a clear indication that he endorsed the attacks.

Kabage challenged Uhuru to come clear if he was no longer interested in honouring the 2013 succession deal with Ruto, instead of “humiliating him.”

“What Uhuru is doing to the DP belongs to an uncivilized generation. We have seen tribal clashes in 1992, 1997 and a bad one in 2007-08. We want to speak to the powers that be that we will not be taken in that direction again,” he said.

The DP’s critics have always said his troops were using threats of violence in his Rift Valley turf to coerce the Kikuyu community to back his presidential bid.

“If Uhuru wants to form a coalition with Raila, they can do without all this drama and humiliation of the DP and his allies. Kenyans will decide who will lead them when the time comes,” Kabage said.

He said were it not for Ruto who campaigned vigorously for Jubilee Party across the country, Uhuru would not be the President.

“Uhuru should think twice of the handshake that took place at Afraha stadium, Nakuru county, and the pledges he made. He made those pledges in the presence of a multitude and we will stand by that,” he said.

But in a rejoinder, Kikuyu Council of Elders chairman Wachira Kiago termed the statement as reckless and irresponsible.

“Uhuru is always talking about uniting Kenya. How then is it that some people are saying he is pitting two communities against each other?” he posed.

“It is very unfortunate that such statements could come from elders. There are a number of issues facing the country at the moment that the elders can focus on,” he added.

The DP has himself publicly claimed that the “system” has been weaponised to ruin his presidential run in 2022.

He has been missing in action as Kenyatta battles to contain the Covid-19 pandemic that has sank the Kenyan economy to its knees.

Lately, however, Ruto has taken to social media, quoting select Bible verses that seem to be sending coded messages to his detractors.

“Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident,” he tweeted on Sunday.

Yesterday he tweeted: “I love speaking in tongues. The devil doesn’t understand this language of God (1Cor 14.2). Those who have no godfathers let’s proudly speak in tongues to our God the Father. With this pandemic let’s pray for God’s healing, work together to feed the hungry and plan to repair our hustles.”

In an interview with the Star, Leleito noted that the “country was heading in the wrong direction under the watch of Uhuru.”

 He challenged the President to come out openly and tell the country the trouble he has with his deputy

“We are concerned as the Kalenjin community and as elders about what could be the problem with the two leaders. They came together in 2013 promising to unite not just the Kalenjins and the Kikuyu people but all Kenyans, but this is now fading,” he said.

He said Ruto being the second-in-command should be accorded respect, and called on Uhuru to take a clear position on the matter.

“We know where we have come from as a country and where we are heading. The Kalenjins and the people of Mt Kenya, as well as other Kenyans, should not accept to be divided again. They say where there is smoke there is a fire and the President should tell us what is happening,” he emphasised.

Jubilee deputy secretary general Caleb Kositany, a close ally of the DP, on Tuesday began a war with the Kenyatta wing, attempting to undo county assembly leadership changes initiated by his boss, Raphael Tuju.

Kositany wrote letters reinstating assembly officials in Kirinyaga and Kajiado.

He claimed to have reinstated Kirinyaga assembly majority leader James Murango who was dismissed for spearheading the impeachment of Governor Anne Waiguru.

Ironically, it was Uhuru who instructed Tuju to save Waiguru, one of the strongest proponents of the handshake, from lynching by MCAs.

The motion was scuttled.

Kositany’s move is seen in Uhuru’s circle as another attempt by the DP to annihilate strong leaders from Uhuru’s Mt Kenya backyard.

Ruto was accused of engineering massive rigging of the Jubilee primaries in 2017 to install his favourites.

In Kajiado, Kositany claimed to have reinstated majority whip Martin Kimemia and his deputy Justus Ngossor.