Kenya’s Deputy President Ruto links abortive trip to Uganda to 'handshake'

Wednesday August 04 2021
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The DP said the incident was a political witch-hunt. PHOTO | FILE

By Nation. Africa

Nairobi. Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday linked his abortive trip to Uganda on Monday to the 'handshake' deal between President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The DP said the incident was a political witch-hunt.
Dr Ruto was on Monday blocked from flying to Uganda in what his office protested as a sudden change of rules that have governed his trips since he became the second-in-command in 2013.
The DP said in an interview on Inooro FM that the schemers of "the ugly incident" wanted him to go ahead with his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta. He said he will never fall for such a trap.
Dr Ruto said whenever he is traveling outside the country whether for a public or private mission he has never been asked to seek clearance from his boss.
"I have been the deputy president for nine years and I have traveled to many countries for both public and private missions. At no one point have I ever been asked that I need clearance from anywhere. So,  which kind of law is this which has started operating now?" the DP posed.
He further said" "I have traveled to Uganda,  Rwanda,  Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for government duties and private trips,  I have never been asked by anyone that I need clearance from anywhere. This clearance requirement that began on Monday,  where is it coming from?  It is only a plot of making me to exchange words with the schemers but I have no time to waste. I leave everything to God. God will deal with them."
As a holder of a diplomatic passport issued to him in his capacity as the Deputy President, the DP’s office is supposed to inform the State whenever he intends to travel outside the country for security and logistical reasons
But he related his aborted trip to Uganda to one of the challenges he has been undergoing in the Jubilee administration since the March 9,  2018 political truce between the Head of State and Mr Odinga.
"What transpired at Wilson on Monday is just a continuation of what has been going on for the last four years.  We have been through a lot of challenges," said Dr Ruto.
"Many MPs have been purged from committees and some leaders axed from their leadership positions. I have been pushed to the periphery in the government," he added.
In the wide-ranging interview, the DP said the incident was aimed at humiliating him and to show him that he had no say in the Jubilee government and they were more powerful people than him.
He disclosed that the agenda of the private mission in Kampala went on without his presence accusing some junior officials in government, who are hellbent on his presidential quest, of trying to provoke him to engage in word war with them.
"For a period of four years,  people have tried to push me harder.  Some have said I am competing with the President and that I have disrespected my boss and I have ignored all. Even blocking me from flying was meant to see if I will engage in word war with them," he said.
"Blocking me from going to engage in a private mission is not important. I cancelled the trip and I am going on with my life. What was to take place in Uganda,  went on without my presence and things are progressing," Dr Ruto said.