On Thursday, Dr Ruto’s supporters complained about what they termed as attempts of the organisers of the event to humiliate and embarrass the DP. According to a story carried on Friday’s Daily Nation, leaders who have openly shown support for Dr Ruto under the Tangatanga faction of Jubilee were conspicuously missing from the list of speakers.
It was only Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, the report says, who is the Majority Leader in the Senate, and Mr Adan Duale, the Majority Leader in the National Assembly, got a chance to speak.
“We were not even informed that we would speak as we were not given any programme indicating the list of speakers of the day,” Mr Murkomen said Thursday.
“I guess that it was an afterthought to allow us to speak, reading from the mood in the building.”
Mr Murkomen said although the event was meant to start a conversation on national unity, the running of the event and mobilisation of delegates were aimed at silencing the DP’s supporters. The story continues.
“It was purely a one-sided event,” he said. “They mobilised their own people; they didn’t want us to talk and they heckled us.”
Mr Murkomen was heckled when he complained about the treatment given to some leaders.
Dr Ruto’s supporters said the DP had been forced to wait for some minutes for President Kenyatta’s convoy and that of Mr Odinga to leave the venue before he was cleared to leave.
The DP, in the co-driver’s seat, watched the convoy of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga leave ahead of him.
Some delegates leaving the venue also shouted at the DP, accusing him of opposing the initiative.
Earlier during the day before the meeting started, Dr Ruto was seen waiting outside the VVIP holding area where President Kenyatta, Mr Odinga and other dignitaries were holed up as members of the Presidential Escort Unit and the President’s aide-de-camp Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Lekolol kept guard outside the door.
Interior PS Karanja Kibicho has been fingered for making sure Tanga Tanga and DP Ruto were badly humiliated in the event.
As the event started, Tangatanga politicians tried to protest after discovering that Suna East MP Junet Mohamed was listed as an emcee for the event.
Unlike in past events, the official programme was distributed about 30 minutes after it had started.
In the programme, Mr Odinga spoke after Dr Ruto and it was the ODM leader who invited President Kenyatta to address the meeting.
“The programme looked like that of an ODM party convention. They even selected Junet Mohamed who is one of the party’s loudest mouths to be the emcee in the section meant for leaders’ speeches,” Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro complained.
According to Belgut MP Nelson Koech, Mr Mohamed only picked ODM and Kieleweke-leaning politicians to speak.
“It seems he was forced to call on Mr Murkomen and National Assembly Majority Leader Adan Duale after protests from other leaders present. Before that, he hadn’t called any leaders who openly support the DP,” Mr Koech said.
North Mugirango MP Joash Nyamoko accused Mr Mohamed of being partisan.
Allies of the President and Mr Odinga who spoke at the event include women reps Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) and Sabina Chege (Murang’a), governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Ali Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) and Kiraitu Murungi (Meru). Siaya Senator James Orengo also spoke.
The other speakers who have in the past said Dr Ruto had no chance of becoming President in 2022 but who were invited to address the gathering were Kanu secretary-general Nick Salat and Cotu boss Francis Atwoli.