Raphael Tuju, the executive director of the Azimio Presidential Secretariat, now says that William Ruto, the deputy president, was actually paid to support President Uhuru Kenyatta while wearing a Jubilee uniform.
Before declaring support for Mr. Kenyatta in 2013, the DP had expectations, including financial offers, according to Tuju, who is also the former secretary general of Jubilee.
“Let the people of Mount Kenya not think that Ruto supported Uhuru willingly in the first place, this is a person of blackmail. He was paid. I can confirm before a court of law how it went,” Tuju said in a Wednesday interview with Inooro FM.
“He came with conditions that had to be met in order for him to back Uhuru. To him, politics is a business. That is why when he was making appointments in the cabinets and parastatals, he had to be given a 50% share which he then gave to his people and his friends.”
Mr. Tuju characterized DP Ruto, the current front-runner of the Kenya Kwanza alliance, as an unethical leader who cannot be trusted with the nation’s highest position, calling this year’s State House contest one in which voters need to choose leaders based on character.
“Trying to blackmail Kikuyus that he supported them is false. He was paid and this is someone you cannot trust with the Treasury and the Central Bank,” he said.
“What’s important in this election is the issue of character, what kind of person is William Ruto and his running mate Gachagua? Or Raila Odinga and Martha Karua?”
He defended Raila Odinga’s choice to skip Tuesday night’s Presidential Debate, stating that sharing the stage with DP Ruto would only damage his (Odinga’s) reputation.
“Sitting with Ruto on the same stage, when we are very aware of his character, is looking for trouble. You will only emerge dirty,” said Tuju.
He asserted that Odinga’s absence from the forum would not have made a difference in his campaign for the president and that the topics that would have been discussed there will be addressed in the town hall meetings that the Azimio leader had scheduled in its place.
In place of the “conventional debate,” Mr. Odinga and his running mate in the August 9 election, Martha Karua, will have a televised town hall in Nairobi to interact with voters, according to the campaign secretariat.
“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,” the secretariat’s spokesperson Prof. Makau Mutua said in a statement.
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