Former Lugari Member of Parliament Cyrus Jirongo has warned other presidential candidates against underestimating Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto.
This is after the former Agriculture Minister who has been opposing the Building Bridges Initiative bill that seeks to amend the Constitution of Kenya 2010 lost terribly in both houses.
On Tuesday, May 11, 51 out of 67 senators who participated in the voting process endorsed the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 sending it to a referendum should the High Court give the proposed changes a green light.
This happed just a week after the National Assembly overwhelmingly passed the bill with 235 members endorsing for the Constitution Amendment against 83 Ruto’s lieutenants.
However, Jirongo who once worked with DP Ruto in the YK92 KANU youth wing has said Ruto is popular in some parts of the country and he should not be written off ahead of the 2022 General Election.
“People are not stupid; they can gauge your character, there was a bit of hawking that led people to believe that the following was genuine, but there are areas in this country where Ruto is popular; you cannot write him off,” Jirongo told K24.
Ruto has been popularizing his hustler narrative which focuses on a bottom-up economic model as he seeks to succeed Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta in the forthcoming General Election.
Other presidential aspirants who have expressed their ambitions to succed Uhuru Kenyatta who is retiring in August 2022 include Raila Odinga (ODM), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Alfred Mutua (Maendeleo Chap Chap), governors Wycliffe Oparanya, Hassan Joho and Kivutha Kibwana among others.
Ruto in a televised interview last month ruled out possibilities of him forming a coalition with Raila adding that of all the presidential contenders, only Raila Odinga was the strongest.
“From where I sit, Raila is the most formidable opponent that I have in 2022 and I do not know how the politics of Kenya would look like. If Raila will not be my competitor, who will be my competitor? Because from where I sit, the two strongest forces we have politically is the Hustlers and the ODM team on the other side,” Ruto said.