Uhuru dismisses Ruto’s presidential bid as inconsequential
By Justus Karanja
President Uhuru Kenyatta has dismissed his deputy William Ruto’s presidential bid, arguing he is not the best placed to lead Kenya after him.
Addressing Jubilee parliamentarians and leaders who endorsed him to stay as party leader even after his tenure at State House lapses this year, Uhuru ruled out backing Ruto, saying he is unsuitable to lead the country.
During a closed door consultative meeting at State House, Nairobi, the MPs mandated President Kenyatta to negotiate on the party’s behalf and seek a coalition with like-minded parties ahead of the August polls; a decision that will be ratified by the party’s National Delegates Convention on February 25th and 26th.
Though no footage or photos were availed, sources at the meeting said President Kenyatta dismissed talk of the Jubilee Party being dead, after his deputy William Ruto walked away with a chunk of the ruling party’s MPs, MCAs and governors.
President Kenyatta is said to have insisted that he opted to stay away from politics and concentrate on fulfilling his pre-election pledges.
While urging the remaining MPs to partner in revamping the party, the president dismissed claims that his deputy had an unassailable lead in the presidential succession race, having kicked off his campaigns earlier.
He recalled the 2002, 2007 and 2013 campaigns, saying there was sufficient time to change the tide in his succession race.
Some of the MPs who attended the meeting described President Kenyatta’s handshake partner, ODM leader Raila Odinga, as the most ideal candidate to succeed him.
“For us we’re not interested to pursue whether you have resigned as a member of Jubilee to go elsewhere…where you go is your issue . In fact if the deputy president decides to resign from Jubilee and go elsewhere, we’re not interested in pursuing what becomes of him,” said Kieni MP Kanini Kega.
“All we’re interested in are our party members. We might not be having a presidential candidate in Jubilee…so the candidate that we’re looking forward to working with, your guess is as good as mine, however we have also opened our doors so that we can also accommodate other formations.”
Nyaribari Chache MP Richard Tongi said: “We empowered the president to go and negotiate, for purposes of ensuring that the next leader of this country will be a person who will propagate and finish the projects that he started.”