Ruto: Raila is just a “project,” not a real candidate.

The Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga was accused by Deputy President William Ruto on Tuesday of avoiding responsibility by skipping the debate. Dr. Ruto expressed his sadness that Mr. Odinga is only a “project” and not “a real candidate” in the upcoming elections.

The country’s second-in-command used the opportunity to launch a scathing attack on the Azimio candidate, whom he accused of being a puppet of “his Handshake brother” — President Uhuru Kenyatta — during the debate that was originally scheduled but was changed to an interview of Dr. Ruto due to Mr. Odinga’s absence.

“My competitor is not here because he is not the real candidate. He is a project. He has not come for debate because he is dodging difficult questions,” Dr Ruto said. 

He added: “My competitor is not here because he doesn’t have a plan. He doesn’t have an agenda. He cannot articulate anything to the people of Kenya that’s why he is not here.”

By boycotting the debate, Dr. Ruto, the Keny Kwanza presidential candidate, accused Mr. Odinga of having “absolutely little regard for the people of Kenya.”

Mr. Odinga’s absence, in his words, showed “complete disrespect for the people of Kenya.”

“They believe that the system and the deep State will decide. Dr. Ruto delivered the closing remarks at the debate held at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Karen, Nairobi. “I want to tell the people of Kenya tonight that they are the ones who will make the decision on August 9 and that their vote is what will make the next government happen,” he said.

Mr. Odinga, according to Dr. Ruto, is a member of the Jubilee government as a result of his “Handshake” agreement with President Kenyatta.

On March 9, 2018, Mr. Odinga and the President signed a truce on the doors of the president’s Harambee House office, which is referred known as the “Handshake.”

Second, Mr. Odinga’s absence is due to his unwillingness to respond to probing questions. After all, he has served in this administration, the “Handshake” administration, for the past five years. The DP stated during the discussion that a portion of foreign envoys were there that “Kemsa happened and many other things happened, in fact my adversary could not get here because he is not the genuine candidate, he is a project.”

The DP asserted that the “Handshake” between the president and Mr. Odinga was to blame for the Jubilee administration’s second term being marked by underwhelming performance.

“The handshake equation threw a wrench in the Big Four plan. We immediately revised our strategy, abandoning the entire Big Four approach.

“We visited BBI (Building Bridges Initiative), handshake, and the rest is history. We were unable to fulfill the promises we made to the Kenyan people, he claimed.

He further claimed that his efforts to contact President Kenyatta in order to save the Jubilee schemes fell on deaf ears.

“I tried, as it has become a tradition for me to support my boss, and many times I tried to push the Big Four plan to the point where my boss, the president, asked me that he wanted to do things differently and that he wanted to gather a different group of people to help him deliver on what he wanted to be the legacy of the fourth president. Unfortunately, the Big Four suffered a big blow because the entirety of that program did not take place.”

The Big 4 Agenda’s failure in terms of food security, he said, was caused by being undermined. Because of the Handshake equation, we modified our strategy and abandoned the entire plan.

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Written by Esther Oyugi

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