Ruto’s Friends Call For End to Handshake “Nonsense” As They Mock Raila

A group calling itself “Friends of William Samoei Ruto” has challenged Opposition leader Raila Odinga to abandon his unity deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying the former Prime Minister has nothing new to offer Kenyans.

Addressing the press in Nakuru yesterday, the group said the outcome of last Friday’s by-elections in Ugenya and Embakasi South constituencies proved them right.

In the Ugenya contest, ODM candidate Chris Karan was beaten by former MP David Ochieng, who vied on the Movement for Democracy ticket, while Wiper’s Julius Mawathe walloped ODM’s Irshad Sumra in Embakasi South.

Although Jubilee did not field candidates in the two races “in the spirit of the Handshake”, Ruto hosted Mawathe and his supporters at his office a few days before campaigns kicked off and gave him his blessings.

Ochieng, who has been linked to Ruto, and ODM bigwigs led by Siaya Senator James Orengo and his Kakamega counterpart Cleophas Malala said as much while campaigning for Karan in Ugenya.

In a tweet congratulating Ochieng and Mawathe, Ruto said the “Hustler Nation” had spoken loudly by rejecting ODM candidates.

Yesterday, the ‘Friends of Ruto’ told Raila to read the writing on the wall. “What happened in Ugenya and Embakasi is a sign of things to come and shows where the presidency is headed,” said Sande Oyolo, the National Coordinator of the group chaired by Alex Kiprop.

Oyolo dismissed Orengo’s threat to impeach Ruto saying such a move would fail. “They themselves have been impeached in Ugenya and Embakasi, so what are they telling us?” he asked.

Asked why they were campaigning yet the presidential election is still more than three years away, Sande replied: “We are not campaigning. We are just friends of Ruto and nothing stops us from making friendship with other Kenyans.”

Kabazi MCA Peter Mbae, who is also the group’s Nakuru County co-ordinator, said the group will hold its next meeting in Nyeri before the official launch in June.

“We already have a national office and county coordinators. We will now move to sub-counties as we expand our next work,” Mbae said.

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