NATIONALNEWS

Ruto’s allies roast Atwoli over remarks

PD Team and DPPS

Politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto have hit out at Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary general Francis Atwoli for claiming the DP will not be in the presidential contest of 2022.

Led by National Assembly’s Leader of Majority Aden Duale, the leaders said Atwoli’s remarks were inconsequential.

“When you say William Ruto will not be in the ballot, what is your agenda?” asked Duale.

Atwoli made the remarks on Saturday in Lamu county during a fundsdrive in aid of a women’s sacco.

“For all those you will elect, I want to tell you that the name of William Ruto will not be there. You can take that to the bank,” said Atwoli.

Speaking in Ng’ombeni Kwale county yesterday, Duale maintained Jubilee Party was intact, despite the wrangling.

Hirelings

“When I speak, I speak for the President and the Deputy President. Those few noises from a section of MPs are from people who have been hired,” he said.

And in Kakamega, leaders, who had accompanied Ruto to a Sunday service at Salvation Army church, told off Atwoli and accused ODM of plotting to lock out the DP from the 2022 General Election.

The leaders included Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Governor Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu), MPs Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Malulu Injendi (Malava), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo), Dan Wanyama (Webuye West), Charles Gimose (Hamisi), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), John Waluke (Sirisia) and former Kakamega Senator Boni  Khalwale.

“How does Atwoli know he will be there in 2022? It’s God who elects leaders and we want to tell him that Ruto will be Kenya’s fifth president,” said Washiali.

Khalwale said Atwoli had also told them in 2012 that Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto would not be in the ballot in 2013 but was embarrassed when the two ran and won.

Development record

The legislators urged the Luhya community to support the Deputy President in 2022, saying he is the best candidate to take the country to the next level of development.

Injendi said the 2022 presidential race would be between those who are pro-development and those who excel in empty rhetoric.

“As the Luhya community, we should support Ruto in 2022 because his development record is clear. We should support leaders who are committed to development,” said Injendi.

Lusaka and Waluke said the community should learn from past mistakes of supporting candidates who ended up in the opposition and support Ruto to ensure they are part of the next government.

Ruto drummed up support for the Big Four agenda saying it is going to steer the country to greater heights of development.

“We will transform Kenya through the implementation of development projects. Our opponents do not want to see the lives of Kenyans transformed,” said Ruto.

At a different event, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi also castigated Atwoli over his remarks, accusing him of being part of a plan to eliminate DP ahead of the next General Election.

Succession plan

In a press conference in Eldoret town, Sudi claimed the rising political star of DP had made him a target for elimination and vowed  his supporters will continue to rally support for him.

Sudi accused Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho of causing bad blood between leaders allied to the President and DP.

He claimed Kibicho was sponsoring a group leaders to derail the DP’s 2022 succession plan.

“We are telling Kibicho to stop misusing public resources by sponsoring leaders opposed to Deputy President’s 2022 presidential bid,” said Sudi.

By-elections

Speaking on Saturday during a fundraising for Mogotio Socio-Economic Women Organisation, Ruto warned ODM leader Raila Odinga against using his Handshake with the President to cause havoc in Jubilee Party.  He  said Raila’s intention was to break Jubilee.

“If you’re our visitor then you behave as one or go away and the idea of causing confusion must stop,” Ruto said.

Ruto assured supporters that  Jubilee leaders will protect the party.

He told Raila to focus on ODM which, he said, was facing a lot of problems after losing recent by-elections in Ugenya and Embakasi South. —Reporting by Noah Cheploen, Winstone Cheseremi and  Munira Mandano

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