NASA leaders have condemned Deputy President William Ruto after the remarks he made about Raila Odinga. Speaking while on a tour at the Coast during the weekend, DP Ruto alleged they are plans to break Jubilee and faulted the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga. “I want to categorically state that we have no space for gossip, and propaganda and conmanship in our party and government…so if you think you are going to use the handshake to export conmanship into our party we are telling you that’s not going to happen,” he said.
The statement elicited sharp reactions from opposition leaders on Monday, who were keen to highlight the fact the Deputy President has his own political intentions. “How can you call Raila a conman?..if it’s political strength you can’t compare Raila’s political strength with William Ruto, Ruto is still on our level,” said Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, who was speaking to the press at Wilson Airport in Nairobi. The Governor said the Deputy President will be respected if he shows other people respect. He said the DP’s aim is already known, and that he is forming a team wherever he goes to stand in opposition to the proposed constitution referendum.
On his part, Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, who was accompanying Governor Joho, said DP Ruto is looking for a scapegoat as he plans to leave Jubilee, saying that kind of politics is no longer popular in Kenya, “For him to leave Jubilee, it’s not a bad idea.” He said the time for politics will come, and urged Ruto to desist talking about the handshake given that it was solely between President Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, and all other people are just part of the deal.
Furthermore, NASA MPs addressed the press on the issue and made clear their disappointment with the remarks. Led by nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi, they said the Deputy President is targeting the proposed referendum in his statements, “Ruto is a person who has been an anti-reformist in this country,” said Osotsi, “In 2010, we all agreed that this constitution had areas that needed to be looked into so Raila as a reformist has the right to make a proposal.” He said some MPs who are allied to the Deputy President have also come up with proposals which require a referendum, and that he shouldn’t utter words carelessly.