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Ruto’s online exchange with Raila at night leaves Kenyans divided

Ruto fired the first salvo on Saturday night, with Odinga responding with a clip from the archives

A collage image of President William Ruto and Raila Odinga

President William Ruto’s latest online war of words with Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga has left Kenyans divided.

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In a strongly-worded tweet, Ruto castigated Odinga of threatening to mobilize the public to protest, accusing him of being delusional after losing elections even with the support of the system/deep state.

The head of state alleged that the Azimio leader wanted to use rogue commissioners to subvert the will of the people, writing:

“Even with the system/deep state you lost the election. Stop deluding yourself & lying. The coup to overturn the people's will using rogue commissioners, you are now threatening us with maandamano about, failed. Their guilt or innocence will be determined by tribunal. Rule of law it is.”

Odinga responded by sharing a clip of Ruto in 2007 lamenting to the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) over discrepancies in the disputed presidential election results, which are the same concerns raised by Odinga in his petition challenging the president’s win in 2022 elections..

"Usijifanye leo hii kwamba umesahau (Do not act like you have forgotten what happened) when the shoe was firmly on the other foot. Let me just leave this here," Odinga wrote.

A section of netizens opined that as the head of state, such comments do not reflect well on a president who frequents churches preaching unity and urging leaders to come together.

Others opined that the person in charge of Ruto’ s social media account needs to be reminded that the UDA party leader is now the president and not a presidential aspirant campaigning and as such, the language should be presidential.

@BonnyK’Ochieng opined that the language used was not presidential noting: “Hii language ain't presidential…Stop playing politics na this account. Behave.”

@Kajwangakdibogo opined that “a president shouldn't have time for such tweets”, an opinion that was also shared by Godffrey Odhiambo who asked: “So you want to respond to anything”.

@wellsgerge gave his take writing: “Mr. president, please be Presidential. These twitter arguments, politicking and insults are sideshows. Focus on your manifesto and deliver , stop wasting time on none issues..when you take this route, you might end up a 1term President..Be careful”.

Others saw nothing wrong with Ruto’s tweet, noting that like everybody else, the head of state is at liberty to express his opinion on any platform including on social media and urged him to ignore Odinga for now.

@brianmunene wrote: Dear Mr. president just do what is necessary for this country and cut off the negativity coming from baba... Kenyans want to forge ahead and get on with their lives.

“Bwana president just concentrate with taking this Country to where it should be. Kenyans are suffering with this hard economy and I see you are already doing a commendable job…” Added @Don001C.

Odinga is set to hold a series of consultative forums with his supporters in Nairobi to deliberate on the direction that the country has taken.

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