Deputy President William Ruto has hit back at former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo after the ex-legislator last month linked him to the murder of slain businessman Jacob Juma.
Speaking at Tande Secondary School in Malava Constituency, Kakamega County on Saturday June 4 during the funeral service of former Cabinet Minister Soita Shitanda, Ruto said Jirongo’s remarks were motivated by the bitterness he harbours toward him, following his political success – compared to Jirongo’s, who was his ally during the Youth for KANU 92 heydays.
Jirongo on May 12 – during the requiem service for Jacob Juma –, demanded that Ruto be interrogated by the CID over Jacob Juma’s death, after the late entrepreneur claimed the DP was part of a plot to assassinate him, in a series of controversial tweets on his handle early this year.
Jirongo further claimed that Jacob Juma once slapped DP Ruto and that is where the hostility between Ruto and Juma began. The former Lugari lawmaker had likened Ruto to Cain, who was jealous of his brother Abel in the Bible story.
Well, the DP close to a month later has retorted.
“My brother Jirongo gets annoyed with me because in the past I was his ‘mtu wa mkono’ (handyperson). It puzzles him how this odd-job man rose to higher positions of power,” Ruto told mourners at Tande Secondary School, Saturday.
It would be remembered that Jirongo and Ruto were part of the Youth for Kanu 1992, popularly known as YK92 – a lobby group that campaigned for the then president Daniel Moi at the height of multiparty politics.
Jirongo was the face of YK92 and even at one point; KSh500 note was christened Jirongo, due to his flayombance and sensational money dishing tendencies. William Ruto was then a junior member of the YK92 lobby group, while Jirongo was its face and Mr Moneybags.
Ruto says Jirongo wasted the opportunity to become an integral cog in Kenya’s political arena – thanks to his lack of strategy and political blueprint.
“I have told him quite often, it is all about ‘kujipanga’ (strategy). I acknowledge I was his junior, but why is he so chronically bitter at me? I attribute my fate to God. I advised him to be strategic on matters politics; he should not be gullible. I told him things would go bad if he rushed, and he did not listen,” Ruto said.
Making reference to self, Ruto schooled political clinkers.
“I work alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta as I put my political arsenal in order. I know what I am doing, my friend. We learnt from history how retired president Daniel Moi walked in the footsteps of Kenya’s first president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta,” he said.
Characteristically, the Deputy President did not fail to make a jibe at his political foe, opposition Chief Raila Odinga and his 2013 failed presidential bid.
“My other friend (Raila Odinga) made noise and quarreled with former president Mwai Kibaki, where is he now? He is in the political wilderness. I know history, that is why I don’t quarrel with my friend Uhuru here… If you plan well, things will go well.”
Ruto has set his eyes on the presidency in 2022, and has announced he would back President Kenyatta’s re-election bid next year.