No one owes me any political debt, Deputy President William Ruto declared yesterday.
His pronouncement comes in the wake of what has been a spirited reminder by his allies of a deal that brought the DP’s Rift Valley base and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mt Kenya region together to ensure their 2013 and 2107 elections wins.
In both polls, there was an understanding that Ruto would be Uhuru’s running mate and that latter would back his 2022 State House bid at the end of his term of office.
And in affirming that no community or person owed him or any other individual anything, the DP appeared to be moving to calm fears of a split in the Jubilee over the Handshake between President Uhuru and Nasa leader Raila Odinga,ongoing anti-graft fight and lifestyle audit.
Speaking at the All Saints Cathedral during a Sunday service, Ruto it is the elected leaders who owe Kenyans a debt to deliver on their campaign promises of delivering services and development.
He said another debt is for Jubilee leaders and other Kenyans to help the President deliver on Big Four agenda; universal healthcare, decent, affordable housing, jobs creation through manufacturing and industrialisation and food security.
The DP dismissed those claiming that certain communities had a political debt to pay him for supporting the President.
Ruto said the only debt Kenyans owe each other is love, unity and working to make the country progressive and prosperous.
“There has been debate doing rounds on who owes who or what…but we only have the debt of loving one another and working towards transforming, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law,” said Ruto.
“I want to remind leaders what Paul says in Romans 13:8; owe no man nothing except the debt of love for one another…That is the debt that all of us have, to love one another; no person, no community, no section of Kenya, owes anybody – including myself – anything”.
The DP said it was about time Kenya was put on a platform free from hate, ethnicity and divisions, saying leaders must serve the entire humanity without bias.
Debate has raged over the last few weeks on whether or not Central Kenya region should back Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid for supporting Uhuru in the 2013 and 2017 polls.
Reports have painted divisions in Jubilee Party, amid claims of schemes to frustrate Ruto’s presidential bid. The DP and his allies have dismissed the talk as unfounded.
Last week, Jubilee’s Parliamentary Group meeting was called off, with indications pointing to attempts of forestalling a fall-out.
The meeting was initially geared towards sealing emerging cracks in the party.
Meanwhile, some Coast leaders vowed to continue drumming up support for Ruto’s 2022 bid despite being threatened with disciplinary action by their parties.
Led by Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, the MPs maintained a hardline stance saying the unity deal between Uhuru and Raila called for peaceful co-existence.
“We are tired of leaders engaging in empty rhetoric at the expense of developmen,” she said.
Ruto reiterated that the government is ready to work with leaders from across the political divide, saying the time for politics was over and leaders should focus their energy on development.
And just last week, a vernacular song ‘hatuna deni ya mtu’ (we do not owes anyone anything) was released, which points to a relationship between Central and Rift Valley politicians.
At the same time, Ruto was unapologetic over his contributions to churches.
Yesterday, Ruto presided over a fundraiser towards the construction of All Saints Cathedral Children and Teens Centre (CTC).
Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit urged the church to be in the frontline in the fight against corruption.