Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s enhanced role in government, complete with privileges-some of which Deputy President William Ruto has not been getting in recent days has raised eyebrows and caused discomfort in DP Ruto’s camp.
Discomfort in DP Ruto's camp as Raila enjoys enhanced state roles and privileges that DP Ruto has not been getting lately
Raila is not an employee of the government- Raila's spokesman declares as DP Ruto's allies demand to know his role
From a bitter rival to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Odinga now enjoys more delegated authority by President Uhuru Kenyatta and has represented the government at various functions.
Wherever he goes, a host of senior government officials are always on hand to receive him in a manner that befits his status.
This is in sharp contrast to DP Ruto’s frequent tours across the country whose events have been skipped by top government officials.
Case in point is last Friday where Odinga was received by a host of senior government officials when he presided over the ground-breaking ceremony Tatu City housing project by Unity Homes.
On the same day, there was no top government official in sight when DP Ruto visited Kisii and Nyamira counties for various events.
This is not the first time that the DP is finding himself in such a situation where senior government officials boycott his events and even clashing with Interior PS Karanja Kibicho who told him that “security starts with you”.
In one recent incident, Kibicho said county commissioners and the county security teams failed to attend the deputy president’s event in Nyeri because they received invitation at the last minute.
When the deputy president visited the volatile Turkana county last month, the county commissioner and the senior security apparatus boycotted the event – allegedly on the instructions of the Interior PS.
Jitters in DP Ruto camp
Odinga’s elevated status and the trappings of power is now causing discomfort in DP Ruto’s camp amidst concerns that it is part of a wider scheme to edge out DP Ruto in the 2022 poll and possibly get President Kenyatta’s endorsement.
Pokot South MP David Pkosing, a key Ruto ally opines that Mr Odinga’ is hanging around the President and harbouring hopes of being endorsed for presidency in the 2022.
“This is a serious miscalculation because the politics of endorsement has a history of failure in this country.” Pkosing asserted.
Others who have demanded to know Odinga’s role in government are Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and his Nandi counterpart Samson Cherargei who are apparently unhappy and unsettled with Odinga’s current role.
Raila is not an employee of the government- Raila's spokesman Dennis Onyango
In February, Odinga who has been consulting President Kenyatta frequently held a meeting with Cabinet Secretaries and has launching government projects with Cabinet Secretaries trooping in to his Upper Hill private offices.
Despite all the indications of the trappings of power, Mr. Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango clarified that the African Union’s High Representative for Infrastructure Development “is not an employee of the government”.
Onyango insists that Odinga “is only helping the country get past its bitter divisions and to move forward in line with his agreement with President Kenyatta”.
ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna attributes the close working relationship to “an improved working atmosphere” following the handshake.
He dismissed the notion of enhanced state security to the former Prime Minister, stating that it is enshrined in the constitution and “he (Odinga) was only being mistreated in the campaign period”.
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