‘They are good friends, it’s just politics,’ says CS Echesa on Ruto-Raila feud


'They are good friends, it's just politics,' says CS Echesa on Ruto-Raila feud
Sports CS Rashid Echesa tours heritage sites in Kisumu on October 2, 2018. PHOTO/COURTESY

In Summary

  • The CS described the public spat between the two camps as “just politics” saying the the two former allies (Mr. Odinga and Mr. Ruto) are in cordial friends.
  • He further added that the ongoing spirit of the handshake should be given time to play out, urging the media not dwell on sideshows.
  • The war between the two camps began when DP Ruto, while speaking on Sunday in Kisauni, Mombasa County, hit out at Mr. Odinga, accusing him of having a plan to wreck the Jubilee Party.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has downplayed the recent war of words between Deputy President William Ruto and Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s allies.

The CS, who spoke on Tuesday when he toured heritage sites in Kisumu, described the public spat between the two camps as “just politics” saying the the two former allies (Mr. Odinga and Mr. Ruto) are in cordial friends.

“There’s no war, it’s just politics. There’s nobody who is up in arms, as far as I am concerned. Deputy President and Raila Odinga, as far as I understand, are good buddies and I don’t think there’s any issue,” said Echesa.

He further added that the ongoing spirit of the handshake should be given time to play out, urging the media not dwell on sideshows.

The war between the two camps began when DP Ruto, while speaking on Sunday in Kisauni, Mombasa County, hit out at Mr. Odinga, accusing him of having a plan to wreck the Jubilee Party.

Mr. Ruto further accused the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader of taking advantage of the unity deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta to further his personal political agenda.

“The handshake is not a license so that you can bring confusion, propaganda and conman-ship into our party,”said Ruto in a veiled attack at the ODM Party leader.

“We will not entertain propaganda in the government. They joined us so that we can transform Kenya but if their intention is to break the Jubilee Party or the government, we are telling them ‘we are watching you.’”

Following the DP’s rant, a section of ODM party leaders warned him against throwing tirade at the former premier, saying the Mr. Ruto is not Mr. Odinga’s political equal.

“Let him not call Raila names like conman, Raila is not his equal. Raila is a statesman and it will take William Ruto another 50 years to achieve what Raila has achieved as a person politically in this country, so we demand from him respect if he is to be respected as a Deputy President,” said Suna East legislator Junet Mohamed during a press conference on Monday.

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, on his part, said: “How do you call Raila Odinga a conman? What do you have to be conned? If it’s about political strength then you cannot compare Raila Odinga with William Ruto. William Ruto is at our level, and you will see the dust we will show him.”

However, youth in Nandi County on Monday came to the defence of DP Ruto accusing Raila Odinga is taking advantage of the handshake to scuttle the Jubilee party.

Led by Brian Mandago and Kiptum Tum, the youth warned opposition leaders against using the truce to divide Jubilee.

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Story By Allan Obiero
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