Allies of Deputy President William Ruto yesterday told off Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli for saying the DP has usurped the roles of the President.
On Sunday after a meeting with Nasa legislators at his Kajiado home, Atwoli accused the DP of undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta and usurping his mandate.
“You want to go and preside over projects, functions of government and opening of roads as if you are the head of state… Who is leading? We don’t have two presidents. You wouldn’t be happy if you were also in the same seat,” he said.
But Belgut MP Nelson Koech and his Mumias East counterpart Benjamin Washiali questioned why Atwoli was complaining when the President or even the leadership of Jubilee Party had not. They urged Atwoli to choose between joining active politics or concentrating on his trade union job.
“Atwoli does’t not know the difference between the role of Deputy President and Vice President, as it was in the old constitution. A DP is part of the presidency. His remarks are, therefore, a clear indication he is still stuck in the old dispensation,” Washiali said.
He criticised Atwoli for saying Ruto will not succeed President Kenyatta. The long-serving trade unionist must prepare for a Ruto presidency, Washiali said.
“It’s not the first time Atwoli is issuing such hopeless predictions. Is he God? We know our plans in Jubilee Party. Let him go and support his preferred candidate and we all meet at the ballot. Kenyans will have the final say — not some individuals,” the National Assembly Majority chief whip said.
Ruto has declared his intention to run for President. His critics have accused him of launching early campaigns through his henchmen. He has dismissed the claims as far-fetched and insisted that he is focussed on development projects.
Recent remarks by Jubilee lawmakers Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati) and Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and the resignation of JP vice chairman David Murathe sparked claims of rifts in Jubilee. Some Mt Kenya leaders pointing an accusing finger at the DP. They accused him of undercutting Uhuru.
Ruto allies defended him against allegations that he was behind the President’s woes and claims of brewing revolt in Central Kenya.