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DP Ruto almost slapped me in 2018, Eugene Wamalwa claims

Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa now says Deputy President William Ruto nearly slapped him when he led a delegation from Western Kenya to State House in 2018.

Mr Wamalwa, who spoke during an Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party rally at Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega, said Dr Ruto was angry because he had not been informed about the visit.

“The DP was very furious and demanded my resignation. He wanted me to explain why I had taken the leaders to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta without his permission,” the minister said.

Mr Wamalwa added that Dr Ruto confronted Interior CS Fred Matiang’i when President Kenyatta gave the latter additional government responsibilities.

“I have forgiven the DP for the embarrassment he caused me. The incidents show that he cannot be trusted with leadership,” Mr Wamalwa said.

Last week, the Daily Nation ran an article on a leaked audio clip in which Dr Ruto is heard saying he nearly slapped the President in 2017.

According to the piece, the President had said he was ready to step down after the Supreme Court nullified his re-election.

In Kakamega, Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga said Dr Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza team should prepare for a bruising election battle.

Mr Odinga said he has been to many parts of the country “and all indications are that I will win the presidency with ease in August”.

“There are 30 days left to the August 9 General Election. Let our competitors know that I have a formidable team. They should be prepared to face the disappointment of losing hands down,” Mr Odinga said.

Mr Odinga was accompanied by his running Martha Karua, Wiper Party chief Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Wamalwa, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and several lawmakers.

The Azimio rally was lit up when Mr Odinga invited Congolese music superstar Mbilia Bel to perform the “Nakei Nairobi” hit as many in the crowd sang.

After her performance, Ms Bel told the crowd: “Mungu abariki baba yetu. Abariki Kenya. Abariki Afrika (God bless our father. God bless Kenya. God bless Africa).”

“I urge Western Kenya not to make the mistake of voting for Kenya Kwanza. That side has nothing to offer. I promise Kenyans the third and final liberation. Our focus is improving the country’s economy,” Mr Odinga said.

“We want to fight ignorance, disease, hunger and corruption. We will not relent in the fight against corruption and making Kenya a great country.”

Ms Karua said Kenya Kwanza leaders should not complain when the Azimio side tells citizens the truth about them.

“We are in danger of finding ourselves in a pit if we do not vote carefully and ensure the country has respected leaders. Azimio is offering Kenyans, mature leaders who have the experience to run the country and take it to the next level,” she said.

Ms Karua added that the Azimio leadership stands for peaceful campaigns and respect for all, “unlike our Kenya Kwanza competitors”.

“I ask our youth and women to vote for Raila because he will take care of their interests,” Ms Karua said.

Mr Musyoka said the election would open a new chapter in the country by ushering in the Azimio leadership.

“We have campaigned in Coast, Eastern, Central, Nairobi, Nyanza, Western and other parts of the country. Kenyans are ready to vote for Baba as their fifth resident,” Mr Musyoka said.

He urged Western Kenya residents not to follow Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula.

Mr Joho said the Kenya Kwanza leadership is tainted with corruption and it would be a mistake if Kenyans vote for Dr Ruto.