Kenya Deputy President rules out coalition with small parties
Deputy President William Ruto has slammed the door for any possible coalition with small political parties ahead of the 2022 General Election as he warned those opposing his presidential bid to prepare for a bruising battle.
Speaking during his tour of Western Saturday, Ruto said he will not be coerced into what he described as "tribal parties".
"There are people who want to take us back to tribal parties - that a particular tribe should have their own party or certain people to have their own party. We want a national party which understands hustlers' language," he added.
Three of Ruto's allies -- Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria of Chama Cha Kazi (CCK), former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri of The Party of Service (TPS) and Isaac Ruto of Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) have all declared that they will not join the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) despite supporting Ruto's quest for the presidency.
But Ruto said his focus now is on building a national party which will unite all Kenyans and find a panacea to their woes and UDA is ready to accommodate everyone.
Party for hustlers
"We had our party - Jubilee, of which some people visited us and they destroyed it. And because we believe in God, we said we will come up with a political party for all hustlers across the country," he said during his Bungoma tour.
Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali and his Keiyo South counterpart Daniel Rono said talks are underway to ensure that all the leaders supporting DP's State House bid are in one political vehicle.
Washiali, who was fired last year as Majority Whip in the National Assembly for associating with DP Ruto, said in an event that the likes of Kuria and Kiunjuri refuse to fold their parties, they should be ready to chart their own political path arguing that coalitions weaken governments hence not fulfilling its campaign promises.
"We will not allow sideshows in Ruto's leadership which will cause a lot of problems. If you look at previous coalitions, they have been in chaos because of interests that do not benefit Kenyans but certain leaders. If they refuse, they will have to make different arrangements. Come 2022, we are going as one party. They are free to identify another presidential candidate," he elucidated.
The Mumias East MP said even though folding of parties in 2016 had disadvantaged some of them who had theirs, the scenario should not be used to champion for regional parties.
Rono, another Ruto ally, accused leaders from Mount Kenya who have refused to fold their parties of pursuing what he termed as 'selfish interest'.
Ruto said he supported President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013 and 2017 and campaigned tirelessly to ensure he clinched the presidency.
He said he had in 2007 backed ODM leader Raila Odinga and helped him become the prime minister.
Ruto said he will use the same vigour and strategy to clinch the presidency in next year's General Election and wondered why he was being fought.
"Those fighting me should know that in 2022, it will not be business as usual. I know they are planning hard to derail my State House bid but they need to know it will not be a walk in the park. I will give them a run for their money. We shall teach them a lesson to make them understand that in this country, the son of a single mother can campaign and clinch the presidency," said Dr Ruto.
At the market, he gave Sh1.2 million to 400 women traders while in Malava, he donated a car to Shem Shamala, the high priest of the African Church of the Holy Spirit.
In Bungoma County, Kabuchai MP Majimbo Kalasinga sensationally claimed that he was very much ready to work with deputy President and be part of the next government.
The MP was elected in a by-election in March on a Ford Kenya ticket after the death of MP James Mukwe.
But in a quick rejoinder, Wafula Wakoli, an aide to Wetang'ula dismissed claims that the Ford Kenya leader was working with UDA.
Dr Ruto laughed off attempts by politicians allied to President Kenyatta and Odinga to amend the constitution to accommodate the Building Bridges Initiative saying the move was a waste of time.
He said leaders should be focusing on how to alleviate the economic burden Kenyans are facing following the increase in fuel prices.
"Before we change the constitution, our focus should be improving the economy to ensure the ordinary Kenyan has something to put on the table at the end of the day," said Dr Ruto.
He said UDA was gaining support after 150 MPs ditched their parties to join it.
Ruto condemned acts of violence after a crowd pelted businessman Jimi Wanjigi with stones as he addressed as rally in Migori town on Friday.
The DP was accompanied by former Sports CS Rashid Echesa, former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary-general Seth Panyako and MPs Kawanjiko (Kiambaa), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), John Waluke (Sirisia), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) and Dismus Barasa (Kimilili).