President Uhuru Kenyatta political axe has been sharpened and it is working against DP William Ruto. Just a day after he kicked out Deputy President William Ruto’s allies from Key Senate positions, the purge is now heading to the National Assembly.
President Kenyatta is now targeting Ruto allies occupying key posts in the National Assembly. Those targeted are chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee Kimani Ichung’wah, Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali and his deputy Cecily Mbarire. It is still not clear whether Majority Leader Aden Duale, a close ally of Dr Ruto, is also facing the axe.
Days after sealing a post-election coalition agreement with Ruto’s political nemesis and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, Uhuru has grabbed another key Rift Valley bigwig, former Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto.
This as it emerged that Opposition chief Raila Odinga has called a critical meeting of the party’s Central Management Committee on Thursday to strike a deal on a working arrangement with Jubilee.
Rutto was picked by a chopper from his rural home in Bomet for a meeting with the President.
However, in a statement through his Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party, Ruto admitted he was picked by a helicopter but denied he was to meet the President.
The former Bomet Governor clarified that he had indeed travelled from his rural home at Tumoi village, Chepalungu Constituency on Wednesday to Nairobi with his wife and landed at Wilson Airport, but added that the trip had no connection to State House.
“It is true, I flew to Nairobi from Bomet this morning with my wife who is in the essential service sector and who was required for an official engagement by her employer in Nairobi,” said Mr Ruto via telephone from Wilson Airport.
“As we speak, I am waiting for my car to pick me to my residence in Nairobi. I am surprised by the speculation and stories flying back and forth on social media linking my travel to the political realignments in the country.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta is said to be crafting a team of professionals and politicians to be appointed to various positions in an impending cabinet reshuffle. And Isaac Ruto was a key figure in the next Cabinet Uhuru wants to end–or perhaps, extend his term with.
Sources said Uhuru had already requested Raila, Kalonzo and Musalia to submit two names each of individuals they wanted to be named to the Cabinet.
Rutto, who dumped Jubilee ahead of the 2017 polls and formed his CCM party, is being brought on board by the President as part of an elaborate scheme to significantly cut the DP to size in his own turf.
“The Rift Valley will now become noticeably fragmented for Ruto, the ground in which he hitherto could be the boss would shift,” said former Cabinet minister Franklin Bett.
Tiaty MP William Kamket said the President was determined to vanquish his deputy completely and that it was no longer a secret that Ruto had fallen out of favour.
“Ruto is currently technically sacked,” declared the Kanu lawmaker who is a key ally of Gideon and an ardent backer of a unity government.
However, on his defence, Mr Rutto dismissed claims of any political involvement, adding that it is not unusual for him to use helicopters to various destinations.
“People should not read too much into this,” he said.
The former Council of Governors chairman had been working closely with Kanu chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi after the last general election before backing President Uhuru Kenyatta in the Presidential run-off which was boycotted by ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Mr Ruto previously served as Minister for Vocational Training and was also in charge of Environment and Natural Resources.
National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed, a key confidant of Raila, hinted at an impending political rearrangement.
“Why is Tangatanga opposing the Kanu-Jubilee coalition? New coalitions and alliances are just about to start. This is the problem of living in denial. You get stuck in a past that no longer exists. Things have changed. Kenya has changed. Siasa bado (we are yet to see more politics),” Junet tweeted.