Deputy President William Ruto says “some rogue officials in Government” — through key agencies such as the DCI, KRA and EACC — have embarked on a spirited scrutiny of the communication between him (Ruto) and his close political friends.
Ruto says the alleged tapping of his allies’ phone calls by the State intelligence unit is aimed at discouraging lawmakers and other leaders in the Jubilee administration from associating with him.
The deputy president remarked that his friends have been complaining to him that every time the authorities suspect that they (friends) met Ruto, the State agencies (KRA, EACC, DCI) usually threaten them with lawful action, particularly being charged with graft, tax evasion and other criminal offences.
Ruto says to beat the phone-tapping trap set by the State, his allies have resorted to calling him via instant messaging service, WhatsApp, which has end-to-end encryption.
When one’s communication is end-to-end encrypted, his or her messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, and calls are secured from falling into the wrong hands.
“WhatsApp end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what’s sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. Your messages are secured with locks, and only the recipient and you have the special keys needed to unlock and read your messages. For added protection, every message you send has a unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically: No need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages,” says the social networking platform on its official website.
Due to the end-to-end encryption technology by WhatsApp, DP Ruto’s allies have allegedly resorted to communicate with him via the platform to avoid being monitored by State intelligence apparatus.
“Marafiki zangu siku hizi wananipigia simu na WhatsApp. Wanaambiwa ati wakijihusisha na Deputy President, watapelekwa EACC, watapelekwa KRA, mara DCI itawakujia (Of late, my friends have been calling me through WhatsApp. They are usually threatened [by top Government officials] that if they communicate and associate with me, [and the State comes to know about it], they will be investigated by the EACC, KRA and DCI, and, thereafter, be charged in court),” Ruto said in an interview on Weru Television on Sunday night (September 6).
The DP, however, distanced President Uhuru Kenyatta from the woes facing his allies.
“The people using those offices (DCI, KRA and EACC) to intimidate my allies are not acting on behalf of the president, the deputy president or the Government of Kenya; they are doing so on their own behalf,” said Ruto.
Only a day after the DP made the remarks — that his close rooters are being targeted –, his close political friend, Johanna Ng’eno, who is the Member of Parliament for Emurua Dikirr Constituency, was apprehended after he made snide remarks about President Uhuru Kenyatta and his late father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
The lawmaker said, among other crude statements, that the Head of State was treating Kenya as a personal property, “the same way his late father did, but we won’t allow it”.
Ng’eno was arrested Monday evening in Trans Mara.
Barely hours after his arrest, another of DP Ruto’s close allies, Oscar Sudi, who is Kapseret representative to the National Assembly, criticised the Government over the arrest of his colleague in Parliament.
Sudi used crass language to attack President Kenyatta and former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta.
The two MPs’ controversial statements, which came a few hours apart, forced Deputy President William Ruto to call for sobriety, tolerance and restraint by members of his political camp.
“Leaders should exercise restraint and avoid insults and bad language against other Kenyans. Unsavory words against mothers and Head of State is a no, no. No amount of anger justifies use of offensive insulting language. There exists decent ways to communicate however one feels,” tweeted the DP on Twitter Monday night (September 7).
Even as Kenya’s political temperatures continue to rise over 2022 general election’s possible formations, the deputy president said in the Sunday interview that he was still optimistic that President Uhuru Kenyatta would support him (Ruto) in his presidential bid, observing that he and the Head of State “have a long history together”.
The DP also made a U-turn from his earlier remarks that the “Deep State” was planning to stop him from ascending to power.
This time around, Ruto said “the so-called Deep State does not even exist”.
“Hii mambo ya Deep State ni upuzi. Watu ambao wanasema hiyo, wamelewa na bangi. Hakuna kitu kama Deep State. Mimi ni Deputy President wa Kenya, kama kungekuwa na hiyo Deep State, ningekuwa najua. Angalia ni akina nani walianza kusema mambo ya Deep State (This notion that the Deep State exists is nonsensical. Those who are claiming that the so-called Deep State is in operation, are high on bhang. There is nothing like the Deep State in Kenya. I know this because I am Kenya’s Deputy President, [and, by virtue of being a holder of that office, I am privy to certain confidential information in Government]. Just look at who started talking about the existence of Deep State, [they are persons in the opposition, who are not within Government circles],” he said.