Deputy President William Ruto has challenged ODM boss Raila Odinga to commit that he will not call for mass action if he loses the August 9 general election.
This even as the DP plans to storm the former prime minister bases in Nairobi on Monday in his battle for the control of the capital city.
On Sunday, Ruto hit out at Raila hours after the latter threatened to jail the corrupt should he win the presidency.
Although he did not mention Ruto by name, the remarks were widely seen as targeting the DP whom he has accused of theft of public funds.
While questioning the source of his wealth, Raila has lashed out at the DP, saying he is the chief beneficiary of official looting, and vowed to recover the proceeds of crime.
“I will take them all to Kamiti. Kenyans are not fools,” Raila said after the crowds roared back saying Ruto in response to his question as to who is the thief.
In a hard-hitting response, the DP who was in a tour of Nairobi’s Eastlands, vowed he will not buy fear from Raila, asking him to make public commitment that he will accept the August 9 results.
Ruto alleged that Raila’s team had resorted to intimidating him with fear for the last four years without success.
“Don’t waste your time trying to sell fear to us.We have told you we are not buying threats, blackmail and intimidation. You have been threatening us for the last four years and your threats have amounted to nothing,” Ruto said.
He added: “We know your track record, we know the people who propagate violence, and we know the people who cannot accept the outcome of any election. We know the characters who swear themselves in all the time.”
The DP made the statements on Sunday during his campaign tour of Nairobi county.
At Jacaranda grounds in Embakasi East constituency, DP’s team encountered opposition from a group of stone-throwing youths forcing police to fired teargas to disperse them.
Ruto blamed the Jacaranda chaos on Raila whom he accused of planning the disruption to protect his turfs from penetration by the ‘Hustler’ group.
“We will not allow anybody to balkanise the country and create bedrooms,” the DP said
He said the ODM boss has only six months to misuse the youths, adding that his administration will constructively engage the youths in nation building and keep them away from politicians who misuse them.
“You have planned this violence, it is your signature. This violence you want to use as a means to get to public office, I want to tell you will not succeed,” Ruto said.
He labelled Raila a master of violence who has never accepted any poll results, and who has gone to all lengths to get power, including swearing himself illegally.
“After beating him in August 9, he should not call for mass action and demonstration. He should accept the wishes of the people of Kenya.”
On Monday, Ruto will comb through Langata, Kibra, Westlands, Dagoretti North and Dagoretti South constituencies.
Ruto think tanks are working on a strategy to make UDA snatch from Raila’s Azimio – which has the backing of President Uhuru – at least half of the 17 constituencies in the capital.
Among the constituencies Ruto’s team are straining their eyes on are Kasarani, Roysambu, Kamkunji, Dagorreti South, Lang’ata, Embakasi South, Embakasi North, Embakasi Central and Embakasi West.
On Sunday, the DP put a strong case for his bottom-up economic model in Nairobi as move to woo the city believed to be under lock and key of the Azimio faction.
Coming a day after the grand launch of ODM leader Raila Odinga’s campaigns in Thika, Ruto spelled out his economic recovery plan for the city’s downtrodden if elected the fifth president in August election.
Addressing several rallies in Embakasi South and Embakasi East, Ruto promised his administration will not only pump billions of shillings to elevate the small-scale sector but will also give a listening ear to the hustlers.
If elected, the second in command pledged to set aside Sh150 billion fund for expansion of small-scale businesses and get them out of expensive loans from shylocks.
He declared Nairobi a ‘hustler city’ and that his government will prioritise interventions and policy changes that will guarantee decent living standards for all Kenyans.
“We want to form a government that understands the language of the common man,” he said.
He also dismissed Raila’s bid, branding him tycoon’s project who, if elected, will only protect the vast business empire of his sponsors.
“There are few billionaires sitting in a boardroom and in hotels to decide who will be the next president. I want to tell those in the boardrooms that you will be shocked,” Ruto said.
The August election, he reiterated, will not be decided by a few billionaires in a boardroom but by Kenyans in a free and fair elections.
He told tycoons behind the Mount Kenya Foundation that they have one vote like mama mbogas in the State House race.
“Even if you have billions in your account, your vote is one just like the common mama mboga,” he said.
Some of the leaders who accompanied Ruto during Nairobi campaign blitz included former Machakos senator Johnson Muthama, former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru, nominated Senator Millicent Omanga and EALA MP Simon Mbugua.
Others were Silvanus Osoro (South Mugirango), Nixon Korir (Lang’ata), John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Kimani Ichungwah (Kikuyu), Wilson Sossion (nominated).