Ruto says handshake strained friendship with President Kenyatta

Deputy President William Ruto has yet again pointed fingers at the handshake as the catalyst that led to a frosty relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

While admitting that he was indeed aware of the handshake between President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, he revealed that it quickly mutated into a plot to kill the opposition in the country.

“The handshake was formed to kill oversight of the government, we didn’t discuss that members of ruling party would be jettisoned so that members of the opposition can occupy committees in parliament,” said Ruto

Speaking during an interview with the Voice of America (VOA), the Deputy President stated that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) aimed at changing the constitution was not part of the agreement between him, President Kenyatta and Odinga in the formation.

Ruto pointed out that he was left in the dark when it came to the details surrounding the March 2018 handshake.

“We didn’t agree that this was an exercise in changing the constitution and form an exercise of succession. Everything we didn’t agree became the handshake, expect from the things we didn’t agree about,” he said.

In his current tour in the United States of America, Ruto painted a picture of how Odinga and Kenyatta betrayed him while formalizing the handshake that now seems to edge him out of government and by extension draw him further from his presidential ambition.

“I have no problem with the handshake, my problem is that it became what I did not agree with,” he stated.

He asserted that the handshake was a loss to the nation pouring cold water on the political rhetoric’s by his boss (President Uhuru Kenyatta) that the handshake was the solution to the country.

“We lost the opposition, we lost the government, we lost the big Four agenda. We lost direction,” Ruto noted.

The President and his deputy have been engaging in an exchange of words as they sit on opposing sides ever since the handshake.

While endorsing Odinga for presidency, Kenyatta took a swipe at leaders opposed to the handshake, accusing them of being against development and uniting Kenyans.

“Many doubted. Many told Raila it was impossible to sit at the same table with Uhuru. Their work now was to constantly oppose the government,” President Kenyatta had stated.

The Head of State had said that he never went back on his pre-election deal with Ruto.

“I told him that I have an agreement with my deputy. And the agreement was that we had already formed the government. But now the agreement I want with you, which we need to agree, we cannot be waking up every morning to fight each other,” said the President.

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