Just days after Deputy President William Ruto announced that he is ready for the proposed referendum, he has changed tune and distanced himself from the clamour to amend the Constitution.
The deputy president, who spoke Saturday at Engineer market in Nyandarua County during a tour of the area, clarified that he has no time to engage in the referendum debate.
He said he is busy implementing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda, and accused the opposition, led by Mr Raila Odinga, of hypocrisy in regard to the referendum.
“I have no time for that rhetoric, I am a busy man. I am busy serving the country and spearheading implementation of the development agenda; those are the instructions I have from my boss President Kenyatta,” said Mr Ruto.
He said Mr Odinga’s “domineering time” has expired.
“He told us that the Constitution was good and campaigned for it. Now he is again forcing us to engage in referendum talk. We are busy; no one is going to force me to join the calls for a referendum. There are no fools in Kenya,” said Mr Ruto.
He said Kenyans have many challenges that require immediate attention and Constitutional review is not among them.
“I am the only sworn deputy president in this country. Mine is to assist the President achieve his development agenda and leave a legacy, not to engage in empty talk,” said the DP.
He said those calling for a referendum should not force Kenyans into it.
“Those calling for Constitutional review should hold their meetings to deliberate on what they want changed then bring it to Kenyans to decide,” he added
Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia, who accompanied the DP, said it is too early to engage Kenyans in campaigns, adding that the government of the day should be allowed to implement its development agenda without distractions or imposing conditions on it.
“We are just from the longest campaigns in the history of the world. We need to do things the sober way and allow the government to serve Kenyans. What we want is development for our people and unity of all Kenyans,” said Mr Kimemia.
He said that Kenyans are contended with President Kenyatta’s leadership and development agenda, which he termed as mwananchi-oriented.
“I am also certain that the government will deliver on all promises it made to Nyandarua people. We have already started witnessing some promising signals. We are hopeful and we have faith in President Kenyatta’s leadership,” said the governor.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said the referendum should be conducted together with the 2022 General Election.
The leaders promised to support DP Ruto in his 2022 bid to succeed President Kenyatta.
“Mr Ruto has stood with us, he has supported our agenda, we shall walk with him to the last mile,” said Mr Kimemia.
His sentiments were echoed by Kinangop MP Kwenya Thuku who said Nyandarua residents will not be swayed in their support for Mr Ruto.