Irene Githinji and Kirera Mwiti @PeopleDailyKe
Deputy President William Ruto yesterday reaffirmed his loyalty to President Uhuru Kenyatta and dismissed claims of a possible fallout with his boss.
In what looks set to douse the weeklong high octane intra-Jubilee politics, both the President and his deputy called on leaders to shun divisive politics and stressed the importance of peace and unity in achieving the country’s development goals.
As if addressing himself to some Mt Kenya MPs, perceived to have been sniping at him over recent storm in Jubilee Party over 2022 Uhuru succession, Ruto said leaders should not be distracted by non-issues and rather focus on uniting and serving Kenyans.
At a separate function later, the DP asked Jubilee leaders to respect President Uhuru and urged him not to be distracted by non-issues.
Saying there is no place for ethnicity, division and false promises in Jubilee, Ruto urged the President to continue being steadfast on his path of uniting and serving Kenyans.
Earlier at a function, they both attended, Uhuru urged Kenyans to join him in efforts to push for a peaceful, prosperous and united Kenya, saying the move will not only go a long way in achieving the country’s aspirations but will enhance mutual respect.
“We all know that if we pull together in the direction of peace, there is nothing we cannot achieve. We are committed to bringing people together so that we can learn to respect each other, which is the only way to develop this country,” said the President.
“Join us in this struggle for a peaceful, prosperous and united Kenya. Where people sow hatred, you shall sow love. Where people sow division, you shall sow unity because at the end of the day that is what will ensure we take our country forward,” he added.
The President made the remarks when he attended Sunday mass led by John Cardinal Njue at the Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Parish, Ridgeways in Kiambu, which was also attended by Ruto, former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta and several other MPs.
This was the second time the two leaders were appearing in public together since the acrimonious declaration by former Jubilee vice-chair David Murathe that Central Kenya does not owe the DP any political debt followed by Gatundu South Moses Kuria’s claim that President Uhuru had sidelined the region that had voted him to a man, while favouring places that had voted for Opposition.
The claim ignited uproar from a section of Mt Kenya leaders, including sitting governors and former legislators who leapt to the President’s defence on development projects in Mt Kenya. But some went further, insinuating that those attacking the Presidents development record were doing so at the behest of unnamed leader who was bent on dividing Central Kenya vote come 2022.
Then last week the first sign of Jubilee moving in to bridge the rift came when party secretary-general Raphael Tuju told a press conference that Jubilee was intact and the President and his deputy were pulling together.
On Saturday, Uhuru and Ruto had attended the wedding ceremony of James Bukusi and Makena Murungi at the Ngong Racecourse, Nairobi. The bride is the daughter of Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi.
While addressing the congregation, Ruto echoed the President’s sentiments on peace and unity across the country.
Notably, it was the same theme of unity the previous day when Ruto and ODM leader Rail Odinga were in Kisumu for the installation of the new Catholic Archbishop of Kisumu Philip Anyolo.
Affirming his position vis-a-vis the President, Ruto said he had taken the oath of office to assist the President and has faithfully done what is expected of him.
And later, at another service in Naivasha’s Joy Celebrations Church, Ruto denied that there is a leadership crisis in Jubilee Party.