William Ruto delivered a defiant speech yesterday that awoke memories of the scathing and raw historic address which he issued at Bomas during the official launch of the BBI last year in October.
Having observed protocol, and accorded everyone the distinguished notice that they commanded, the Deputy President then went ahead to begin listing the achievements that the Jubilee government had been able to accomplish during their period in office.
He then narrowed down his praise to the president, surprisingly congratulating him for his pattern of development since the handshake. He commended president Uhuru for spreading development fairly ever since the handshake, regardless of whether the region in question voted for him or not.
However, just before he finished, his colourful speech changed tune. Making allusions to the founding fathers, DP Ruto said that the founders of the country shed their blood so that each and every Kenyan could be able to exist in a free country. Without making any direct or open references to anyone, Ruto then went ahead to criticise authoritarianism and what he termed as ethnic bigotry. He slammed any attempt to try and turn the country into an undemocratically run unit characterised by ethnic grouping and worshipping of personalities.
In the past, the DP’s allies have accused the president of having dictatorial tendencies, and showing signs of political intolerance. Just a couple of days ago, UDA supporters, allied to the Deputy President, were dispersed while organising and discussing party issues.
The stinging speech, which was delivered in English, perhaps failed to capture the attention of the animated and expectant crowd, due to the language of its delivery. This was further made so by the president’s response, or lack of it, during his speech.
The president failed to respond, or even given allusion to his deputy’s speech moments earlier. Instead, he concentrated on the development of his government, and his ambitions concerning the handshake and BBI.