William Ruto-Uhuru is not part of the ‘deep state’, which I’ll beat anyway

By Daily Nation

Deputy President William Ruto has said he will beat the so-called deep state in its schemes to sabotage his presidential ambitions, telling his rivals to prepare for a battle next year.

The DP also claims that President Uhuru Kenyatta is “a friend” and has no interest in competing against him, saying the Head of State has assured him he will not influence the 2022 succession.

Speaking live on Tuesday night on Inooro TV, Dr Ruto put the deep state on notice, saying “we in the hustler movement intend to beat you in 2022,” and proceed to rule the country as the third President Mwai Kibaki (2002-2013) did.

“I’m warning those in the deep state. I have beaten them in many of the recent by-elections. I have stopped their reggae. Now they are saying I will win but will not be sworn in. Take it from me as the Deputy President: there is no system or deep state that can beat the will of the people and the law.”

The Oxford dictionary defines the deep state as “a body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy”. He said his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party will field candidates against its affiliate parties in the 2022 General Election.

Dr Ruto said Mr Kibaki revitalised Kenya’s economy by allowing institutions to act independently and giving a free hand to the Cabinet and parastatals to deliver, only playing the part of appraising programmes. He said that if he is elected, his administration would also demand that county governments report on their County Gross Domestic Product (CGDP) and growth projections in annual budgetary percentages.

“I will do away with the culture of pushing for consumption laws…Consumption must first be preceded by-laws to guide production. We must produce equitably so as to consume equitably,” he said. His “bottom-up” economic model, he said, will emphasise youth enterprises and his first agenda in this regard will be to conduct a national census on unemployed young people.

“I will create a database that will inform a national action plan of gainful employment. We must rise above the petty politics of using the youths as political muscle but abandoning them immediately after the vote,” he said. Resources to empower economically forgotten groups, he said, will come from his fight against corruption.

Minimum expectations

“We have corruption in this country because of a national conspiracy between government and suppliers. It’s a national culture. I will standardise the rules of engagement,” he said.

“I will establish structured dealings that will put in place delivery time frames, minimum expectations before pay is effected and pending bills paid unconditionally once contractual agreements are met.”

Money is stolen, he said, when it remains in ministries for too long without being utilised for the purpose it was set aside for. On fringe parties, the DP seemed to soften his stance, though maintaining that he will not yield to pressure by small parties to zone off certain regions.

“We in UDA will not do that. We are building a national party and the last thing we will do is to be told to keep off certain regions. I will cooperate with the leaders in those parties but we will compete against them,” he said.

Dr Ruto said he welcomes partnerships but not if they limit UDA’s competitiveness in fielding candidates in all contestable seats.

“Take this from me: I have not told anyone to fold his/her party. But my interest is to build UDA. We in UDA will compete against those parties,” he said. He said he supports the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill 2021 (now being fiercely debated in Parliament) if it does not create an imperial registrar of political parties.

“This is the office that has been listing voters in political parties that they have not applied to be members to…I am for a win-win settlement of the stalemate where we will adopt both pre and post-election coalitions,” he said.

Understands the metrics of the UDA party

If his competitors manage to bulldoze the amendments through Parliament and the President ascents, he said, he will challenge it in court. On nominations, he said he has the experience to properly manage primaries.

“I take personal responsibility to guarantee that nominations will be free and fair. I have 25 years of experience in nominations and I know that they can build or destroy UDA. I cannot risk bungling them,” he said.

About perceptions that he has endorsed his friends and allies, Dr Ruto said. yes I have my friends who have been harassed and persecuted for supporting me …. But I cannot risk giving them direct tickets or rigging them in. They have to compete. There are many ways to reward friends.” On picking his running mate, he said it was critical but not yet urgent.

“It is important to note that the running mate must be someone who understands the metrics of the UDA party…someone who appreciates the party and understands it. Someone who will demonstrate a fair idea and knowledge of what the job entails. It is a hard job to pick one. Yes, I will have the final word about the candidate but it will be a highly consultative and competitive affair,” he said.

He said he was unsettled by the killing of his head of security, Mr Kipyegon Kenei, in February and the December 10 death of his chief of staff, Mr Ken Osinde.

“In the matter of Mr Kenei, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) treated us to a comedy of investigations, declarations and threats…It was a matter that was used as political leverage and that is why they have not given us answers to the murder.”

The DP said he had known Mr Osinde for 20 years, adding that it was painful to lose “a personal friend and a patriot par excellence”. The Christmas period, he said, gave him an opportunity to audit himself as a person, a family man, an investor and a politician.

“My honest results are that I’m not an angel and I’m not the devil. I’m known. I’m not a new name in politics. I’m only evaluated on the measure of who supports or opposes me. But my personal guarantee is that I have compassion and I care.”