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President Ruto dismisses Babu Owino’s claims that Uhuru conned Raila

By Wangu Kanuri September 27th, 2022 2 min read

President William Ruto has dismissed claims by Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino that former president Uhuru Kenyatta conned ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Mr Owino (real name Paul Ongili) has on two occasions suggested that President Kenyatta did not genuinely support Mr Odinga’s quest for the presidency and that he secretly supporting his then deputy William Ruto.

Mid this month, when President Kenyatta hosted the then President-Elect Ruto at State House, Mr Owino said the retired president’s body language painted a picture of a cordial relationship with his deputy long seen as his enemy.

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“Thank you Uhuru Kenyatta for keeping your word to Ruto. Your body language tells it all. It was a long con,” he said.

Then shortly before the Supreme Court upheld Dr Ruto’s election victory, Mr Owino claimed that Mr Odinga had been shortchanged by those close to him.

“Baba you will forever be my Hero. They played you all along. It was a long con. We live to fight another day,” he said.

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But speaking in an interview with BBC’s African Daily, President Ruto termed the claims as mere gossip and rumours.

“Whatever you have heard people talk about, those are just gossip and rumours. Long con- I don’t know what…The reality is that we are a democratic country,” President Ruto said.

The head of state also said that he was okay with President Kenyatta supporting someone else, and that he quickly moved on to build another team.

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“There is no bridge burnt. There is no issue. It was a competition. In a competition there are winners and losers. It could have been me; it could have been them. That was a democratic process,” he said.

On the same vein, President Ruto said his support for the retired president – in 2013 and 2017 – was unconditional.

“I supported him because I believed then that he had the best chance to move the country to the next level,” President Ruto.