Uhuru spanks Ruto, says handshake with Raila intact
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President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday threw a jibe at DP William Ruto and publicly accused him of loitering across the country in weekend politicking.
In a surprise barb, Uhuru said Kenyans should tell Ruto their problems when he is travelling around.
"Hii Kijana anaitwa Ruto unajua kila weekend anatangatanga kila pahali atakuwa anapitia hizi machoro choro mkiona kuna kitu inaenda kona kona mumwambie," Uhuru said.
(âThis young man called Ruto, you know, loiters aimlessly everywhere. He will be passing through these alleys, if you see something wrong happening, tell him.â)
In a clear reference to Ruto who has been travelling around the country, the President said:
âLetâs ensure the work of the citizenry is done...How many say we stop politicking and we go to work?â
The statement will set the grapevine on fire, coming against unspoken fears in Jubilee that Uhuru and the Central Kenya bloc may not be solidly behind Rutoâs 2022 presidential bid.
Read: Ruto allies from Central go quiet over DP â22 bid
A visibly agitated Uhuru spoke at a ceremony at Jacaranda Grounds to issue 50,000 title deeds to landowners in Eastlands, Nairobi.
Uhuru defended his handshake with Opposition leader Raila Odinga on March 9 and fired a salvo at critics in remarks apparently directed at Rutoâs allies who have laid siege to Raila, the handshake and Raila's call for a referendum.
Coming just days after Rutoâs allies dismissed the handshake unity deal as a non-starter meant to split Jubilee, Uhuru said he will not be threatened or distracted from his quest to unite the country by people determined to scuttle the cooperation pact.
"Some people are criticising me for talking to Raila. Raila is a Kenyan and I have the right to talk to anyone who aims to see the country prosper," the President said.
U huru also scolded Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, telling him to end the drama and get down to work.
He rejected Sonkoâs assertions that state officials were frustrating his efforts to run the capital. Sonko has been at loggerheads with senior Interior ministry officials, claiming that they were targeting him for supporting the DP.
Sonko, who was the host, addressed the gathering before Uhuru.
He repeated his complaint that he was being fought by people around the President. âNi watu wako wananichapa left, right and centre. (It is your people fighting me left, right and centre), Sonko said.
Rutoâs allies have been using what appeared to be the Presidentâs lack of public commitment to Railaâs proposal to change the Constitution to argue that the handshake and cooperation had collapsed.
Yesterday a tough-talking Uhuru reiterated that he will continue cooperating with the ODM leader for the sake of unity and prosperity.
"We do nât want division. You all know part of our partyâs agenda was to unite Kenyans. I will continue on that path, whether people make noise or not. I will ensure Kenyans live in peace.
He also warned graft barons who hide behind their tribes that their days were numbered and they should expect no mercy.
"From today we donât want to hear people defending those stealing from public coffers, on the basis of tribe or religion. If you steal, you must carry your own cross.
Speaking of Sonko, the President said, "My agenda is to work with you, Sonko, to improve the lives of these Kenyans seated here. Letâs build roads, letâs give them title deeds, water and ensure our youth get jobs."
The governor has defended his administration against accusations that itâs chaotic and not delivering services.
He has accused 'outside forces unhappy with [my] leadership'.
Also read: Sonko nominates Miguna as Deputy Governor
Yesterday Sonko also told Uhuru not to be threatened by his choice of government critic Miguna Miguna to be his deputy.
He nominated Miguna two weeks ago following the resignation of Polycarp Igathe in January. Miguna was deported to Canada on March 28 in a messy citizenship row.
But the President reacted angrily to the remarks, saying he will not be threatened or intimidated.
"Mheshimiwa Sonko amesema hapa ati mimi nisiogope, nisitishwe sijui Miguna. Mimi natakawa niwaambie na nimwambie na niwaambie ata nyinyi. Mimi naheshimu kila mkenya, lakini siitishiwi na mtu yeyote."
(Honourable Sonko said I should not be threatened, I donât know Miguna. I want to tell you and tell him that I respect all Kenyans, but I will not be threatened by anybody)
"Mtu asifikirie ati mimi ni mtu wa kutishwa tishwwa huko. Kama ni vitisho tutaona vitisho itazidi upande ya nani. Mimi sio mtu wa kutishwa. Mimi sina hiyo ujinga, hiyo ni utoto ut oto ya kuenda huku na huku."
(Let nobody think I am a person who can be threatened. If it is threats , then we will see where the pressure will be more. I donât have that stupidity. That childishness of going here and there. I am not there.)
Uhuru said that his administration has partnered with the county government to roll out Sh4 billion road construction projects in Eastlands.
Ruto himself and a section of Railaâs allies have exchanged bitter words lately, with the DP claiming advocates of the the law change are lazy and incompetent.
"Lazy and incompetent people who donât want to work hard, and incompetent people who canât formulate programmes, and those who lose elections want to use the Constitution as their bogeyman," Ruto said in a clear attack on Raila.
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