President William Ruto has detailed his new friendship dynamics with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who he described as a long-time ally.
Speaking during a tour of Mfangano Island, Homa Bay County, the President described Raila as ‘his person’, an indication of a newfound truce between the duo.
He further explained that his 2022 General Election victory was beneficial to him, Raila supporters, and every other Kenyan and that he would work with all politicians to ensure he secured his legacy.
Much to the delight of the crowd, the head of state fondly recalled his political journey with Raila before they fell out after the 2007 General Election.
President William Ruto speaking in Ugenya, Siaya County during his four-day tour of Nyanza on October 6, 2023.
He claimed that he pushed for Raila to be named as the Prime Minister in the 2010 Grand Coalition Government headed by the late President Mwai Kibaki.
“For him to become a former prime minister, who looked for that post for him? Am I not the one who fought for it alongside other people?
“At that time I was a Raila person. However, since I became President, Raila has become my person. Is there any problem with that?” he stated.
On the other hand, he maintained that all Kenyans would be treated and served equally in his government, allaying any fears of the Nyanza being excluded from his development agenda.
“I want to tell Nyanza residents they will be served by the government just like all Kenyans. No region in Kenya will be discriminated based on party or political affiliation.
“Kenya is one and we will work for all Kenyans. There is no one in the opposition in Kenya, opposition ends after the elections,” he reiterated.
On Friday, October 6, the President spoke against remarks that the government belongs to individuals who voted for his administration. This is contrary to his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, who has constantly claimed that the said individuals are shareholders in the government and ought to be given utmost priority.
Opposition leader, Raila Odinga, also criticised Gachagua in past media appearances, stating that the leaders in power ought to unite rather than divide the nations.
Prior to Ruto’s Nyanza tour, Raila also clarified that he was not opposed to the President’s tour of his backyard, adding that all Kenyans deserved to be served by the government in power. However, he opined that the tours should not be used to coerce the region to join Kenya Kwanza.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua arriving at the UDA National Governing Council at Bomas of Kenya on September 29, 2023.
“I do not want to prejudge the outcome of these National Dialogue Committee talks. Let us wait and see,” the ODM boss stated in an interview with KTN News on Wednesday, October 4.
Meanwhile, Gachagua has also been seeking to extend an olive branch to former President Uhuru Kenyatta, whom he once served as a Personal Assistant.
The DP also called on his troops to desist attacks on the President as he sought to unite the whole country. Political analysts opine that Ruto, Raila and Gachagua appear to be reading from the same script after bipartisan talks organised to unite the trio commenced.
Nonetheless, Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to respond to Gachagua seeking a truce to end their feud. Embattled Jubilee Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni, while speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Saturday, urged Gachagua to desist from speaking on Uhuru and concentrate on other matters.
“Isn’t he the one who said that they had swallowed Jubilee Party? Let them leave the party alone,” Kioni stated.