Martha Karua opens new war against William Ruto

Martha Karua opens new war against William Ruto

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Central Kenya leaders like Martha Karua opposed to William Ruto taking over from Uhuru Kenyatta have started regrouping in a bid to frustrate the DP’s chances of inheriting the large voting bloc in the 2022 general election.

The leaders opposed to Ruto, most of them who lost in either the Jubilee Party primaries or as independent candidates in the August 8 general election, blame their loss on the deputy president whom they accuse of meddling in the elections.

Those who have not hidden their desire to block Ruto from inheriting the large Mount Kenya voting block includes former Kiambu governor William Kabogo, who is warming up his way to Baringo senator Gideon Moi’s camp.

The junior Moi is said to be eyeing the presidency in 2022, and is expected to give Ruto a run for his money in consolidating the Kalenjin voting bloc.

Gideon, according to sources, is waiting for Uhuru’s inauguration to kick off his campaign to dislodge Ruto in Kalenjin politics.

The latest entrant in the battle to lock out Ruto in 2022 is Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua. Last week, Karua during a liveTV interview publicly declared that she will not vote for Ruto come 2022. She even went further to say, she will decline a cabinet slot if Uhuru offered her.

“My support in the 2017 presidential election was basically for President Uhuru Kenyatta and yes, I knew his deputy was Ruto. In the last election, I supported a ticket which had two people but my main support was to Uhuru and once you support a candidate, it’s like a governor ticket, you support both. There are many people when we were running for governor who would say ‘what about your deputy?’ and those who would tell my deputy, ‘what about the governor?’ but if you really want to support that person, you support both,” Karua said during the interview.

The Narc Kenya leader was speaking a few hours after the High Court in Kirinyaga dismissed the petition she had filed against Kirinyaga county governor Anne Waiguru.

One of the grounds Karua’s lawyer, Gitobu Imanyara had cited in challenging the election of Waiguru as Kirinyaga governor was that the August 8 presidential election was nullified and it therefore, it was impossible to uphold the other elections as valid.

But High Court Judge Lucy Gitari dismissed the petition, terming it defective, hopeless and incurable. Karua had demanded the court to constitute a three judge bench but the judge said the court had been constituted by the Chief Justice David Maraga and one judge was enough.

Waiguru’s lawyers had termed the petition as ordinary petition that would only take a week to be concluded. Karua is likely to file an appeal against the High Court decision.Waiguru was declared winner after garnering 159,606 votes against Karua’s 120,341.

Karua has termed the judgment as an error as it failed to appreciate the law and the authority, saying that it was time Kenya did away with electoral fraud while courts should hear and determine cases on merit and not tricks based on technicalities.

While indirectly blaming Ruto for her predicament, Karua distanced herself from electoral fraud and challenged leaders to adopt transparent ways of acquiring public offices.

The former minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs further alleged that 48,000 votes were added to the total tally of Waiguru, a matter which was pleaded in her petition but was not taken into account by the court.

Waiguru, through her lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo applied for the dismissal of the petition on October 17 2017 on grounds of non compliance, terming it as incompetent and bad in law. The High Court dismissed the petition, echoing Waiganjo’s pleadings that it was “hopeless, defective and incurable”.

The relation between Karua and Uhuru has been frosty since 2007 as the Narc-Kenya leader expected former president Mwai Kibaki to appoint her the deputy prime minister instead of Uhuru, who was then the Kanu chairman. Uhuru backed Kibaki’s reelection in 2007.

Karua was in December 2007 at the head of Kibaki’s team that was fighting to overturn a one-million vote deficit against Raila Odinga who was then polishing his victory speech.

The former Justice minister had at a State House meeting told off those who were contemplating a Raila presidency, dismissing them as cowards before she stormed KICC to defend Kibaki’s controversial win against Raila where among those she confronted was Ruto.

Karua bravely confronted the ODM campers inside the electoral commission chairman Samuel Kivuitu office at the KICC national tallying centre and after Kibaki and Raila silenced the guns with a handshake that February 2008 afternoon, Karua expected to beat Uhuru in the race for the deputy premier position. But Kibaki opted for Uhuru while Raila picked Musalia Mudavadi to occupy the other slot of the deputy premier.

Karua who was appointed the Justice minister immediately embarked on a crusade to nail Ruto. She was also the first Party of National Unity minister to demand Ruto be held to account for the post-election violence, particularly the Kiambaa church massacre where members of the Kikuyu community who had sought refuge in a church were burnt alive by suspected Kalenjin youths.

But Ruto while fighting back claimed that Karua had sent an emissary over the possibility of joining hands with her ahead of the 2013 general election. Karua who had declared her intention to run for president in 2013 responded at a press conference where she hit out at Ruto saying she would not want to go into an alliance with a politician whom she claimed has “a lot of baggage”.

But Ruto added more mystery to the spat when he claimed that a censure motion against him over the maize scandal which was overwhelmingly rejected in parliament was a consequence of an alleged fallout between him and Karua.

Karua had demanded that Ruto, who was then the Agriculture  minister, takes political responsibility for the maize scandal where grains worth millions of shillings were irregularly sold from the National Cereals and Produce Board.

Ruto later accused Karua of being the leader of a gang comprising PNU diehards who had conspired to take him to The Hague to face crimes against humanity charges.According to sources, Ruto vowed never to forgive Karua for pushing for his jailing at ICC. The deputy president is known to be vindictive.

During the 2013 campaigns for the general election where Karua was a presidential candidate, she repeatedly engaged in a heated online exchange with Jubilee supporters over her role in fixing Ruto at the ICC over the 2007 post-election violence in which over 1,300 peopple died with 6,000 displaced from their homes. But Karua stood her ground insisting that those who found themselves tried at The Hague were as a result of the Waki Report which was passed by majority of the parliamentarians.

“Everyone must account for their deeds and for the accused, it time to account not to look for scapegoats,” Karua wrote in her twitter account. But during the ICC hearings, Ruto’s lawyer Shyamala Alagendra linked then Interior principal secretary Mutea Iringo, senior political adviser to president Uhuru, Nancy Gitau and Karua to the scheme to nail Ruto at the ICC.

Karua’s role in fixing Ruto at ICC was further exposed by controversial Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria who also revealed his role in procuring witnesses against the deputy president.

Speaking at a prayer rally in Mt Elgon, Kuria while admitting to ICC witness coaching said Karua was part of the team and further said he was ready to testify at the ICC on how the witness procuring took place.

But Karua moved to court to stop Kuria from linking her to the procurement of false ICC witnesses. High Court judge Joseph Sergon ordered Kuria to stop linking the Narc-Kenya leader to the procurement of false witnesses. Karua is demanding Sh20 million in the defamation suit.

Interestingly, Ruto is on record fighting both Karua and Waiguru. Through his proxies and sidekicks, Ruto played a big role in smoking out Waiguru as the master of the Sh791 million scandal at the National Youth Service.

At one time, a bitter Ruto told Waiguru to stop cat-walking around and carry her own corruption cross. But now Waiguru and Ruto appear to have buried the hatchet at the expense of Karua. The DP was the chief guest during Waiguru swearing in on Tuesday, August 22 2017 at the Kirinyaga University grounds. During the ceremony, the new governor had fond words for a man whom she had major fallout with when she dragged his close friends into the infamous NYS scandal.

Those Waiguru had accused of looting of billions of shillings meant for NYS projects under her watch as Devolution cabinet secretary included Ruto’s personal assistant Farouk Kibet, ElgeyoMarakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Garissa Town MP Aden Duale, all close allies of the DP. But the issue has been resolved, and now rumours are rife that Waiguru may become Ruto’srunning mate in the 2022 presidential election. Only time will tell.

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