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Mumesahau Raila? Inside 7 wars of words among Ruto’s allies

By Winnie Mabel November 9th, 2023 4 min read

For months preceding the August 2022 General Election and in the following months following their controversial victory, President William Ruto’s allies united on one front- to vilify opposition leader Raila Odinga as a godless man who had no idea how to lead a country and had joined the former president in plundering the country’s financial resources, claims they could not prove.

A year into their regime, the same politicians have continued ‘campaigning’, making promises to Kenyans on what they intended to achieve as they continued vilifying Raila Odinga.

But then, it would now appear their outward show of unity against the opposition is imploding as in recent weeks, government allies, under the Kenya Kwanza banner, have been fighting among each other and publicly trading words in various matters.

Nairobi News samples six instances of politicians and career civil servants engaged in a war of words and causing a public spectacle of themselves:

      1. Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot vs Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, Ministry of Public Service, Performance and Delivery Management – On November 7, 2023, Senator Cheruiyot was quoted in the media describing CS Kuria as an embarrassment to President Ruto. “At every given opportunity, he has done nothing but embarrass the appointing authority…the earlier CS Moses Kuria is let off his duties, the better for this administration. No wonder the people of Kiambu resoundingly refused to elect him as governor,” said Senator Cheruiyot. The Senate had been sitting when Mr Cheruiyot said CS Kuria had unbecoming conduct following the latter’s tweet in which he claimed they were being misled on the Kawira Mwangaza impeachment evidence and they should stop it. “R (Are) you sure you want a fight with parliament and parliamentarians right now?” Senator Cheruiyot then asked CS Kuria.
      2. CS Moses Kuria vs Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua- In September 2023, these two engaged in a war of words involving Riggy G’s claims of Kenya being a company of shareholders who voted for President Ruto while their detractors could watch from the sidelines as other places enjoyed development projects. CS Kuria said Kenya has 47 mini-economies that work together for the good of the country and everyone in Kenya counts as a shareholder. DP Gachagua did not take this lightly and remained adamant on his shareholders theory, saying he was not apologetic. He also called on ‘leaders’ to stop issuing hopeless statements to Kenyans and to stop the hypocrisy when addressing citizens. Recently, CS Kuria denied there was any rift between them as this was not the first time they were publicly facing off.
      3. Uasin Gishu Woman Rep Gladys Shollei vs Sports CS Ababu Namwamba- In August 2023, Ms Shollei particularly took issue with CS Namwamba over the handling of athletes from her county who go abroad to represent Kenya but are not treated with dignity upon returning to Kenya. She called out his alleged mismanagement of the Sports ministry that mishandled sports representatives in favor of staff who took their opportunities on flights and at international meets. She also accused CS Namwamba of launching a Talanta Hela app that does not exist.
      4. Nandi Senator Cherargei vs Ababu Namwamba- Senator Cherargei backed Ms Shollei, going as far as claiming the Sports ministry had stolen the allowances of athletes from his county to the tune of millions. He also accused the Sports Ministry under Namwamba of giving staff’s clandestine lovers opportunities to go abroad at the cost of athletes and went ahead to call for the resignation of CS Namwamba. The CS denied all these allegations in the end and said he would not resign to please one man given that he had accomplished much in the one year he had been in office.
      5. Economist David Ndii vs the Kenya Kwanza government- In speaking his truth, David Ndii has never shied off from telling his online followers to not expect anything from the Kenya Kwanza government despite being the President’s economic adviser. At one point, he called out the wanton and rampant overspending by the government on unnecessary things including foreign travel, and unnecessary government borrowing despite promises to stop the borrowing sprees and procurement cartels ruling in the Kenya Kwanza government.
      6.  David Ndii vs DP Rigathi Gachagua- Earlier, Ndii and CS Kuria had been engaging with Kenyans online in light of the recent hike in fuel prices in Kenya. Their responses left much to be desired with Ndii going as far as saying he did not trust government and anyone who did is a ‘sucker’. Kuria, on his part, told complaining Kenyans to dig their oil wells. This did not sit well with DP Gachagua who censored them for talking down at Kenyans. “Responsible leaders should be sensitive and inspire hope to the people hope for a better tomorrow.  Talking down on the people and demoralizing those who look up to them for solutions and a way out of the difficult situation they find themselves in is not good leadership,” said DP Gachagua in September 2023.
      7. Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi’s ally Kibisu Kabatesi vs the Public Service Commission boss, Felix Kosekei- Mr Koskei wanted PCS Mudavadi to move offices from Railways House to Old Treasury on Harambee Avenue and create space for CS Moses Kuria to occupy Railways after he was moved to the Public Service docket. Mr Kabatesi, days later, tendered his resignation from PCS Mudavadi’s office.

    Also read: Moses Kuria turns on Senators over Kawira Mwangaza’s impeachment trial

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