Deputy President William Ruto says he will not resign but continue working with President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure realisation of their shared agenda and vision for Kenyans.
Dr Ruto responded on Saturday, a day after President Kenyatta told him to resign, saying one cannot “insult people” while also taking credit for the government’s success.
The President condemned the “petty politics of division and balkanisation” and noted the need to unite the people, not incite them against each other.
Speaking during a fundraiser in aid of several churches at Ngaremara in Isiolo, the DP said he will continue respecting the President and his decisions.
DP Ruto said though he has been relieved of some of his duties, he will continue performing duties assigned by his boss diligently.
“I am a respectful person. When we went to look for votes, we had a common agenda, vision, manifesto and plan for Kenya and that is what we want to achieve,” he said.
“I will continue respecting the decisions of the President because he is the one in charge and who calls the shots. I will not undermine his decisions but continue discharging my roles.”
Swipe at Raila
The Deputy President, however, accused Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga of bringing confusion into the ruling Jubilee Party and told him to tell Kenyans whether he is in the government or the opposition.
“These people who have joined us in Jubilee should tell us if they are in the government or the opposition. They should choose to stay with us and remain silent or quit because you cannot have your cake and eat it too,” he said.
He once again criticised Mr Odinga for questioning the government on development, saying Jubilee’s work can clearly be seen.
He gave the examples of the Standard Gauge Railway, 7,000 kilometres of tarmacked roads across the country and the connection of five million Kenyans to the power grid.
“You cannot say you are with us and then ask about laptops and stadia, and claim Jubilee has done nothing. If you cannot see what the government has done, it is time to exit,” the DP added.
He stressed the need for unity, saying he is ready to work with people from all walks of life as Kenya is a nation of respect.
While drumming up support for his presidency, Dr Ruto said his government will ensure resources are directed to the grassroots so that the economy grows from that level.
Noting that this will end the current system in which resources trickle down from the top, he said Kenya is not facing a challenge of the formula for sharing resources, but the one for creating jobs and wealth.
Isiolo leaders among them Governor Mohamed Kuti, senators Fatuma Dullo and Abshiro Halake (Nominated) and MPs Hassan Odha and Abdi Koropu, of Isiolo North and South, respectively, gave the event a wide berth.
Area MCA Ekwam Teru was the only one out of 16 ward representatives in attendance.
Leaders allied to Jubilee’s Tangatanga faction, who accompanied the DP to Isiolo, asked him to remain silent and do his work as he worked hard to form the government.
Turkana North MP Christopher Nakuleo said President Kenyatta’s call for him to resign is likely to divide the country and raise political temperatures.
“We, as the ‘hustler’ nation, are focused on supporting Dr Ruto despite the insults but we should stay silent because we also formed the government of the day,” Mr Nakuleo said.
Garissa Woman Representative Anab Gure and Meru MPs John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South), Josphat Kabeabea (Tigania East) and Mugambi Rindikiri (Buuri) said the President should honour the promise he made before taking over power – that he would lead for 10 years and the DP for another 10.
Mr Mwirigi said Kenyans should not allow anyone to give them political direction in 2022 but choose the leaders of their choice.
“No leader has more than one vote. Let us not wait for a political direction but decide for ourselves come 2022,” he said.