Details have emerged of a closed-door meeting held by Deputy President William Ruto and his political allies a day before his widely-reported altercation with interior PS Karanja Kibicho at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Media reports indicate that the meeting held at the rural home of a controversial Jubilee party MP on Tuesday a day before DP Ruto reportedly confronted interior PS Karanja Kibicho.
Details about the meeting remain scanty but it is believed that the growing opposition to DP Ruto’s 2022 bid by a section of Jubilee party leadership was part of the agenda.
Participants at the meeting are reported to have explored a ‘plan B’ of possibly sourcing for a new political vehicle for 2022 amidst reports that not all is well in the Jubilee party.
DP Ruto who has been ranked as the front runner to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta has been facing growing opposition to his 2022 bid from within and outside the Jubilee party.
Several Jubilee party MPs under the umbrella of team Kieleweke have openly warned that support for DP Ruto in 2022 by the vote-rich mount Kenya region is not guaranteed, dismissing claims of any pact between the DP, the president and the region.
Some of DP Ruto’s closest allies, led by Nairobi governor Mike Sonko are on record alleging a secret plot by state house operatives led by PS Kibicho to scuttle Ruto’s quest to succeed President Kenyatta.
Confrontation at JKIA
Wednesday’s widely reported confrontation between the DP and PS Kibicho at JKIA was perhaps the clearest sign of the tension in Jubilee.
The People Daily quoted its sources indicating that a visibly angered Ruto did not waste chances after spotting Kibicho in the delegation that was to receive President Kenyatta.
He is said to have hurriedly walked to the PS and went on a 15-minute tirade as other members of the delegation watched in silence.
Reports indicate that a visibly angry DP Ruto hurriedly walked to the PS who was part of the delegation that was to receive President Kenyatta and went on a 15-minute tirade as other members of the delegation watched in silence.
During the altercation, Ruto reportedly took issues with the PS for ordering regional commissioners, county commissioners and other national government officials not to attend his meetings citing a recent trip he made to Turkana.
The Standard reports that the head of state has demanded a detailed explanation the Wednesday night confrontation, which according to a senior government official who witnessed the incident- almost degenerated into a fist fight before those around them intervened.
A well-placed source confirmed to the publication that “The President wants to know what exactly transpired”.
The two however dismissed the reports of the confrontation as rumours.
In a statement, DP Ruto’s director of communications Emmanuel Tallam, stated that reports on the confrontation are fake news.
“That JKIA story is fake. It is a creation of rumour-peddlers of fake news keen to sustain a hopeless narrative,” said Tallam.
“How can I have an exchange with the Deputy President? That is a cheap allegation that does not hold any sense,” remarked Kibicho.