ODM leader Raila Odinga has hit at Deputy President William Ruto, accusing him of wasting Jubilee’s first term in “cutting deals” and blackmailing the President.

Raila claimed the DP frustrated his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, and that the March 9, 2018 handshake provided relief to the head of state.

Ruto has been relegated to the periphery in the running of government since the March 9, 2018 handshake between the President and ODM leader.

In the first term, the DP was a central figure in the running of government and frequently toured various parts of the country launching projects.

The ODM boss noted that there was nothing going on in the first half of the Uhuru administration and that all focus was on how to “cut deals” with multimillion-shilling projects that were being initiated.

Speaking when he received defectors at Chungwa House, Raila said the situation could have worsened if he did not come together with Uhuru to bring the country together through the handshake.

“I found Uhuru was held by the neck, could not do anything. Right now he can breathe and supervise development projects. This was not possible in the past because the interest then was to get where to make money,” Raila said.

The remarks came days after Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju admitted during a press conference that the 2013-2017 term was marked by blackmail from the DP who was determined to get his way in the administration.

Uhuru has also been on record admitting publicly that his administration has performed better in his second term because of his decision to unite with Raila.

“I have done much more than I was able to do even in my first term. Why? Because I have been able to focus myself working in conjunction with my colleagues and being able to focus on the development agenda and not the political agenda,” Uhuru said.

Tuju, who was speaking at the party’s headquarters on Monday, confessed that the troubles of the Jubilee administration started with Ruto’s incessant blackmail and demands.

“From when the Deputy President took office in 2013 and demanded proposing half the Cabinet, the rain started beating us. His proposals were too biased ethnically and it left the President with no options but to work with the remaining half to accommodate the rest of Kenya,” Tuju said.

“These unfortunate demands of the DP would extend to other senior political appointments in government for the whole of 2013 to 2017 circle.”

Ruto has, however, consistently trashed Jubilee’s development record in the second term, saying the handshake interfered with the administration’s priority development agenda and instead pursued a law change.

According to the DP, the handshake derailed the whole Jubilee agenda, including Big 4—Uhuru’s legacy plan.

 “We must also say the truth. Our plan to create millions of jobs in the second term after laying the ground in the first term was put aside and the priority became the BBI,” Ruto said in an interview with Citizen TV.

Raila also faulted the DP for what he termed failing to deliver campaign promises and now resorting to dishing out wheelbarrows to the youth.

“Some came here with lots of promises, which were pure lies. They told us we are analogue and promised children laptops, have you seen the laptops, that stadia will be built in each of the 47 counties, have you seen them?” he posed.

Raila was accompanied by Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris, ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna and party’s executive director Oduor Ong’wen when he received the defectors.

Also present was former Molo MP Njenga Mungai.

The defectors, the majority of the defectors had decamped from the Orange party to Ruto’s UDA.

Sifuna welcomed the defectors, saying the party is out to bring all Kenyans together ahead of the 2022 polls.

“I want to assure all those who have joined our party that this is the most democratic party in the country. That is why our party leader started the journey to unite the country under Azimio la Umoja. As a party, we believe politics is about persuasion, we are not demanding for anybody to pay any debts,” Sifuna said.

“I believe that under the leadership of Raila, our youths can have the opportunity for economic growth and we can live as brothers.”

By The Star Kenya

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