Deputy President (DP) William Ruto on Wednesday fired another salvo at Raila Odinga after a section of over 20 MPs comprising ODM and Jubilee members accused his allies of peddling lies.
In the tweet posted on Wednesday, DP Ruto accused the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and its leader, Raila, of using violence as a tool to achieve their political goals.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Jubilee and ODM brigade held a press conference to defend Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho against claims that they failed to secure Kibra polls.
Led by Budalangi MP Raphael Wanjala and Mombasa Women Representative Mishi Mboko, the MPs said Dr Matiang’i and Dr Kibicho were not to blame, indicating no incidents had been reported by alleged victims of violence in Kibra by-election.
“There are those who are now complaining about CS Matiangi and his PS and they want to paint them in a negative way. The CS did not do anything, and no one should tarnish his name. Those who are saying they were violently attacked in Kibra should report because up to now no complaint has been presented to the authorities,” Wanjala said.
But the DP called on ODM and Raila to publicly renounce violence as a political tool and undertake to accept defeat, probably in their 2022 presidential contest.
Over the weekend, Ruto had also called on Raila and his party to renounce violence publicly in a tweet that also targeted the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
“Tinga, that we discuss BBI, meant to sort out election violence when you have not only refused to renounce terror but continue to brazenly celebrate am perpetuate it, is to take kenyans for fools!,” the DP said in the terse tweet posted on Sunday.
On Tuesday, Jubilee and ODM lawmakers exchange bitter words over Kibra poll violence, especially the roughing up of Jubilee MPs and former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale.
Ruto’s allies, led Caleb Kositany and Kimani Ichungw’a, the over 15 MPs claimed that Raila held a meeting with the Interior CS and his PS on the eve of the Kibra by-election.
The MPs claimed that a plan to protect ODM goons was hatched in that secret meeting.
“We have evidence that Raila met Matiang’i where they planned on how to deal with the Jubilee members. It’s no wonder even after an uproar from the public no arrests have been made despite overwhelming evidence to confirm a crime,” Ichungw’a said during a press conference at Parliament Buildings.
But ODM MPs issued a quick rejoinder, counter-accusing Jubilee MPs of being sour losers.
Led by Minority Whip Junet Mohamed, the ODM members dismissed claims that they engaged goons to rough up Jubilee MPs, saying the said goons were only Kibra voters.
“Our Jubilee colleagues came to Kibra with an intent to bribe and buy votes but were instead stopped on their tracks,” Junet said.
But several videos filmed in Kibra during the election showed goons pelting stones at Khalwale, including one who threw what seemed like a large boulder at the Kakamega bullfighter.
The violence against Khalwale was so vicious the former senator had to get his own stones to protect himself from goons.
Jubilee’s Kimilili MP Didmus Baraza was also roughed up by goons who had accompanied ODM MP Simba Arati in Kibra.
But ODM MPs said allegations of vote rigging and violence by Jubilee team are a ploy Ruto to discredit BBI.
“The Kibra by-election rigging issue is just a strategy to discredit the BBI report. Ruto should instead come in the open and state his stand on the matter,” said Junet.
BBI, a creation of the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila — the then leader of the opposition — was meant to strengthen national healing, cohesion, unity and charting a way forward for non-violent elections.
The BBI’s report, has been highly anticipated, especially after Thirdway Alliance Party’s Punguza Mizigo initiative was dismissed by county assemblies.
The country had for sometime been primed for a possible referendum to change the Constitution, but the debate has seemed get more and more muted with every day BBI team delays releasing its report.