Presidential aspirants Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Kalonzo Musyoka made a grand entry into Eldoret town where major political statements were made.
In what was seen as a strategy to block Prime Minister Raila Odinga from their perceived strongholds, Uhuru, Ruto and Kalonzo vowed to work together ahead of the General Election.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto hold hands in unity during a rally at 64 Stadium in Eldoret town Friday. Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka also attended the meeting where four ICC suspects were prayed for. PHOTO: PETER OCHIENG/STANDARD
Mr Ruto, who is Eldoret North MP, hosted the G7 Alliance rally, which about 70 MPs attended. And Ruto declared the next president would either be Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta or himself. Apart from the Vice-President, the other presidential aspirant at the rally was Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa.
Ruto, however, said he, Kalonzo and Uhuru would work as a team to capture national leadership.
“Uhuru na mimi tumejipanga na huko mbele tutaamua baadaye. Bwana Wiper (Kalonzo), Eugene Wamalwa, Cyrus Jirongo, Ali Mwakwere, Raphael Tuju pia wako na sisi (Uhuru and I are prepared and we will announce later. Wiper, Eugene, Jirongo, Mwakwere and Tuju are also with us),” Ruto said.
The leaders said that although they were in different parties, they would form a force that would form the next government. Uhuru and Ruto said their political march has started in the North Rift town of Eldoret and would end “at the finish line in State House”.
They dismissed those who are celebrating their predicament over the ICC verdict, saying they would be in for a shock when elections are called.
At the same time, Uhuru said his exit from his Finance ministerial post would give him an opportunity to travel across the country and sell his policies. He added: “I am now joining Ruto as a hustler and will travel across the country to unite citizens.”
Uhuru told the well-attended rally at 64 Stadium, Eldoret, that their lawyers are following up their case at The Hague. In the meantime, he said, they will sell their policies because they will be part of the General Election.
The meeting was also called to pray for Uhuru, Ruto, Head of Public Service, Francis Muthaura, and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang, who are charged at the ICC, with crimes against humanity. The ruling on confirmation of charges was made on Monday, from The Hague.
“Some leaders have hatched an agenda to split us. Some say we are not fit to vie for seats, but their schemes will fail,” he said.
Ruto said their ICC cases were schemes by their political competitors to reduce competition for president.
Kalonzo, on his part, said he is disturbed by claims he is waiting to benefit from Ruto and Uhuru’s tribulations.
“It is hurting me that some people claim that I am waiting to benefit from any difficulties faced by my friends Uhuru and Ruto,” said Kalonzo.
Kalonzo said Uhuru and Ruto would be in the ballot and that he would be competing with them democratically.
“Whoever wins among us, would be respected,” he said.
Sang, who also attended the meeting, said his family was disturbed by his case at the ICC.
Cabinet Ministers Mwakwere, Naomi Shabaan, Njeru Githae, and Samwel Phogisio, among others, accompanied Ruto.
Wamalwa invoked the memories of the late Masinde Muliro saying a committed leader “should be ready to be jailed, be bankrupt or even killed”.
Other MPs urged President Kibaki to dissolve Parliament saying the G7 group is ready for elections even if it is called within two months.
Earlier, business stalled in Eldoret as the convoy of vehicles ferrying the leaders snaked through the streets. Uhuru, Poghisio and Charles Ketter rode in one vehicle, and so did Ruto and Wamalwa.
The leaders also said they would today be in Kiambu for yet another prayer rally for Uhuru.
By TITUS TOO, The Standard