Top Statehouse operative posed one question to William Ruto: When Uhuru appointed him as a running mate and a subsequently as deputy president, was deliberate ‘looting’, violent land grabbing and vociferously supporting armed robbers part of the JOB Description?
Top Statehouse operative Hon David Murathe burst back into the political scene with a bang by taking on Deputy President Ruto whom he has been saying must not be the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya. He has said he will sue to block Ruto’s candidature on the 2022 elections and is seen as the patron of the Kieleweke movement
Below, interview with KTN’s Yusuf Ibrahim where he talks of his stand and why he is hell-bent to stop William Ruto.
Yusuf: There are those saying that you did not resign but you were forced out of the party. What do you say?
Murathe: I am interim vice chair just like any other party official right now. There is a transition clause in our party which says that interim officials mainly from our party (Jubilee) should be in office for a term not exceeding three years. But you can go before.
Yusuf: Is that what you decided to do?
Murathe: We have come to a point where people are jostling for those positions. After all I have no ambition to get back to politics or to aspire to any position. I am retired.
Yusuf: When you are making statements that there is no MOU signed between Jubilee and DP William Ruto, and that you will go to Supreme Court to block his 2022 bid. Are you making them as private citizen or as Murathe the vice chair or a friend to the President?
Murathe: That is precisely the reason why I opted out. There is a perception that whenever I say something, I say it at the behest of either the president or other forces and it’s like I don’t have a mind of my own. I feel unshackled now. They can no longer attribute what I am saying to my party position or my closeness to the President.
Yusuf: Have you ever sat back and wondered how this will augur with those who support the DP? And how will it affect the unity of Jubilee Party?
Murathe: MOUs are written public documents which are also deposited with registrar of political parties. The MOU between Raila and Kibaki in 2002 and the MOU between Raila and Kalonzo in 2013 and 2017 are public.
I want to dare them to produce an MOU. I can assure you and I challenge them if you claim there was an MOU, produce it for the whole world. There was none. The arrangement was that they would share government. In some instances, they took more lucrative positions. The President and Deputy came together and agreed that if we win this thing, this is how we are going to share it. They [Ruto’s side] took treasury, agriculture, land, energy which provided them with certain opportunities to plunder.
Yusuf: People are asking why are talking about the MOU now. Why didn’t you talk about it in 2013 or in the runner up to 2017? Or is about 2022 succession politics?
Murathe: No. There was an arrangement in 2013 about how when we win government, the government would be shared in certain manner. When it came to 2017, the President was going his final term. I keep saying that this Presidency is a pair. I am bringing it now because this narrative is getting engrained in people’s minds. The narrative that you have to support us and if you don’t X and Z will happen and it’s dangerous. It has to be checked now.
Yusuf: Why didn’t you raise it in 2017?
Murathe: There was nothing to raise. This Presidency was a pair and they were both defending their seats. I keep saying that if they had side arrangement between the Deputy and President, that is their business. This thing is like a pressure cooker, the more you tell people that we have this arrangement and in the event that the Deputy President does not win, there is a huge potential for explosion. They will go saying that we supported you in 2013, we supported you in 2017 and now you reneged on your promise. That is why we are raising it now so that people can start to accept that Mt Kenya after Uhuru should be free to make up their own mind about which way to vote.
Yusuf: Murathe, when you talk of individuals who have been looting. Do you mean to say that this looting is only one side and not the other?
Murathe: Unfortunately, that is the narrative they have been giving. If you look at the number of people arraigned in court on [the] Kenya Power [issues], majority are Kikuyu…only that the top are Kalenjins. Maina SGR Kenya Railways is Kikuyu, if you look at Mwangi who is arraigned for NHIF is Kikuyu. Nobody talks about it. But they want to hype about Kenya Pipeline, Kenya Power, Cereals Board? Come on! Give me a break. If you hear majority of these guys talking. They know the President’s determination in the fight and against corruption. They know that most of them are candidates for prison because people living in glass houses don’t throw stones.
Yusuf: You sound satisfied with the way the government is conducting war against corruption?
Yusuf: You have already moved to the court. But what does this say about Jubilee’s internal dispute resolution mechanism?
Murathe: No. This is not an issue of internal Jubilee disciplinary. This is a point of law. The DP is President. He acts President whenever the President is away. The most recent is when the President went to the ICC. He was given all the instruments. Should anything happen to the President, he takes over automatically without having to go to the mwananchi for fresh mandate. The President can’t sack him. He is on that ticket together with him.
Yusuf: What is the political message?
Murathe: The political message is that we do not have a problem with our marriage with communities in Rift Valley. We have a problem with an individual. We are dealing with a personality who some of us believe is not suitable for that office. He has his own supporters, we have our own people who are thinking alike. We will have these formations and Kenyans will select which one will work best for them.
And by the way, now that I am out they will not have a punching bag…let them invent their new punching bag.
Yusuf: When did you find out that the Deputy President is not suitable?
Murathe: Experience. We have watched him how he runs things and it’s all out there. There are people whose toes he steps on. There are people he gives directives to do unorthodox stuff which ends them in trouble. And we say that there is nothing we can do, we can only sort it out at the ballot. Even that Kalenjin nation, we are saying that why can’t you give us somebody else but not this one.
Yusuf: Which year did you find out?
Murathe: These things came out when the fight against corruption became intensified. These things are now in the open. He is in court for example with his lawyer Ahmednassir fighting the issue of Weston for example. There are allegations of his involvement in the maize scandal where farmers in Rift Valley were shortchanged. The sugar scandal it came the other day…and everytime these things are pointing fingers at an individual as either the God-father or getting involved.
This piece was first published by the STANDARD NEWS DIGITAL