Deputy President William Ruto fired back at his closest rival in the race for Kenya’s top job, Raila Odinga, on Sunday, accusing him of ducking the much-anticipated presidential debate debate.
The DP spoke during a rally at the Erera grounds in Kisii on Sunday, flanked by his allies in Kenya Kwanza.
According to the DP, Raila has given the debate a wide berth because he is unable to tell Kenyans why the price of basic commodities has shot up since the handshake.
“He has feared going for the debate because they have no plan and agenda. They have no policies to sell, that is why they are wondering what they will come to do in the debate,” DP Ruto said.
“They cannot articulate any agenda because they have none. That man who is full of rhetoric lacks clarity on what he wants for Kenyans,
Kenya Kwanza also made it to Kapkatet grounds in Kericho for a rally on Sunday, where DP Ruto allies continued their onslaught against the Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya flag bearer.
Kenya Kwanza’s Wetangula stated that in Raila’s absence, DP Ruto would seize the opportunity to rally support for the Kenya Kwanza manifesto.
According to Wetangula, DP Ruto will not debate other contenders, Roots Party’s Wajackoyah and Agano Party’s Mwaure, who are scheduled to face off in the debate’s first round on Tuesday.
“Ruto will go for the debate but not with watu wa bhang, he will use the 90 minutes if the debate to display KK manifesto,” Wetangula said.
Kenya Kwanza allies also waded into the standoff featuring the IEBC and the DCI in the matter of three Venezuelans arrested with election stickers at the JKIA.
The DP accused the Directorate of Criminal Investigations’ boss, George Kinoti, of playing politics.
According to the DP, the DCI boss is incompetent, and the DCI is being used to advance a political agenda.
“Huyo Kinoti hakuna kazi anafanya hii Kenya, anendesha tu makesi za kisiasa, yeye ni mtu ya sinema, anaendesha kesi kwa gazeti, anatuandikia barua sijui kilomita ngapi,” DP Ruto said.
“Mr. Kinoti please, save your time and stop writing letters, leave matters of election to the IEBC, you have no business in IEBC,”
Meanwhile, Raila who said he would be skipping the Tuesday debate said joining DP Ruto on stage would be “a bad idea”. He termed Ruto as a leader who “will do and say anything” to seek power.
“… he has become desperate. He is a man who has no regard for ethics, public morals, or shame. That is why he has demanded that the debate not focus on corruption, integrity, ethics, and governance — the key existential questions that Kenya faces. These issues sit at the core of the Azimio campaign,” said the secretariat’s spokesperson Prof. Makau Mutua.
“Any debate devoid of these questions would be an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans. That is why we do not intend to share a national podium with a person who lacks basic decency.”
The campaign secretariat said that instead of the “traditional debate”, Mr. Odinga and his running mate in the August 9 race, Martha Karua, will hold a televised town hall in Nairobi to engage voters.
“It would be a colossal mistake to reward such a person with a national debate…. In lieu of a traditional debate, we plan to take part in a televised town hall at Jericho Social Hall in Nairobi’s Eastlands with ordinary Kenyans to offer our solutions to the challenges facing the country and common people,” said Prof. Mutua.