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Defiant Ruto Sneaks Up On Uhuru In His Own Backyard

Ann KE

May. 22, 2020

After lying low following a brutal purge on his allies, DP William Ruto moved to President Kenyatta’s backyard on a food distribution drive characterised by heavy political symbolism. The government last month banned direct food and non-food donations to the vulnerable and directed that such support should be offered through the Covid-19 Emergency Fund. However, on Wednesday Ruto moved to the expansive Kikuyu constituency with donations tucked in bags clearly emblazoned “William Ruto Foundation and Kimani Ichung’wa.” Critics say Ruto is simply daring Kenyatta that he would go directly to the people for his 2022 presidential bid despite the Jubilee takeover.
Sources said similar drives are lined up by the DP in most constituencies where MPs backing his bid are facing the President’s wrath.
Ruto has been quietly making donations in various parts of the country including the Coast through elected and religious leaders. “What we saw in Kikuyu is that the Deputy President was telling the President that he is not going to be cowed. Honesty, there are very many places that the DP could have distributed food. For him to choose to do it in the President’s backyard is trying to send the message that he can go the President’s backyard without his permission,” Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu told the Star. “The fact that the food that he was giving was branded in his name is part of that defiance…He is actually using the donation for politics.. Previously, Ruto would take to social media to deliver a blistering attack on his detractors. He has not publicly commented on the removal of Kipchumba Murkomen and Susan Kihika as Majority Leader and Majority whip respectively. Also read Ruto,s Allies Now Claim That Their Lives Are In Danger
On Frday, another confidant of the DP, Kindiki Kithure, was set to fall as Senate Deputy Speaker. “I have instructions as Chief Whip to punish any senator who did not attend the State House meeting. We are only punishing Jubilee members who are defying the party and its leadership…If you defy the party leader, we will punish you by enforcing the law,” Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kangata said on Thursday. It is not clear when the DP registered his foundation. On Thursday a section of Ruto’s men claimed there was a scheme to undermine the independence of the Judiciary, neutralise the office of the DPP and paralyse the National Assembly. MPs Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Sylvanus Osoro (South Mugirango) and Nelson Koech (Belgut) raised the issue during a presser at Parliament Buildings.
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