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President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed to kick out corrupt leaders from his government before the end of his term next year, escalating a raging war of words with his deputy.
The President’s statements made on Monday in his Mt Kenya backyard came just a day after his Deputy President William Ruto publicly complained that he had been branded “a thief” despite having campaigned for his boss and won the presidency.
Speaking in Gikuyu, the Head of State, while addressing crowds in Karatina, Nyeri and Rukenya said he will act decisively.
Other legal means
“And I’ve said it before, that I’m not seeking votes again and will, therefore, ensure I’ve purged all fraudsters. Isn’t it? Do we agree on that? I don’t fear anybody and nobody should blame me for that. It’s time to work,” he declared.
The President cannot sack his deputy, but he can use other legal means such as impeachment to remove him.
DP Ruto has, since falling out with his boss, avoided direct references to President Kenyatta while on his campaign trail, but on Sunday, he accused the President of political “conmanship” for branding him a thief.
“Now they’re calling me names, branding me a thief. When I supported Raila Odinga, they said I was dependable; when I supported Uhuru Kenyatta I was dependable. Today when I opt to make the jobless prosper, they label me a fraud. Are these not cons? To hell,” said the DP.
The bitter exchange sets the stage for an uneasy Mashujaa Day fete tomorrow should the DP decide to attend the celebrations to be held in Kirinyaga County.
The President warned central Kenya residents to be wary of whom they want to elect in next year’s General Election. He appealed to them to shun sustained campaigns targeting his administration.
At Rukenya, in Kirinyaga County, after inspecting the Sh8.5 billion Thiba dam, the President accused his deputy of going round the country hurling insults at him and offering empty promises to Kenyans.
“When some leaders achieve their political ambitions, you will not see them again when you are in need. Be watchful. Use your brains well lest you suffer forever if you make a mistake of choosing a wrong leader.
“Kenyans should go slow because the country is not going anywhere,” he said in a veiled reference to his estranged deputy.
He caused laughter when he told supporters to receive handouts from his deputy “but choose wisely when time comes to elect a leader,” he said.
Accusing some leaders in his government of frustrating his efforts to rally them behind his development agenda, the President said he won’t stop pursuing peace and unity of all Kenyans.
He urged his political base to focus on the work his government was doing. He cited the recently reduced fuel costs and said Kenyans should soon expect lower electricity bills.
“I don’t speak much but even God is my witness that I’m working. And you’ll see more, very soon,” he said in Karatina.
The President said he will return to the region and tell the residents the political direction to take.
“This is not time for politics. We’re now working, but when time comes, I’ll play politics,” he added.
The President said the Thiba dam will double rice production and supply clean water to residents once complete.
“We’re determined to ensure the project which will improve the living standards of the residents is completed,” he said. The dam is scheduled to be completed this year and is expected to increase water supply to farmers in the expansive Mwea Irrigation Scheme.
The President said the government will also build a hospital within the dam site.
“The residents from this village agreed to give out their farms to pave the way for the construction of the dam, and we’ve reciprocated by building a hospital for them,” he said.
President Kenyatta also inspected road and water projects at Kagio area.
Earlier, the president urged Kirinyaga leaders, led by Governor Anne Waiguru, to unite and work together as a team so as to achieve faster development and prosperity for their county.
He cautioned the leaders against politics of deceit and empty rhetoric. Good leadership, he said, emphasises peace, cohesion and unity of the people as enablers of development.
He met the county leadership at Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri County ahead of the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Wang’uru Stadium in Mwea.
Governor Waiguru, who read a memoranda by the leaders, thanked the President for his leadership, which, she said, had helped transform the lives of Kirinyaga residents through various development projects implemented by the government.
She said the ongoing dualling of the Kenol-Sagana-Marua highway, and construction of Kutus-Kianyaga-Kiamutugu-Githure and Karima-Kianjege-Mukangu roads as well as Nyamindi bridge will enhance mobility in the region. – nation.africa.