The rivalry between ODM leader Raila Odinga and I has ened, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
“Uhasimu na uadui wa kisiasa kati yangu na ndugu yangu mkubwa Raila umekwisha leo. Mimi ndio kijana mkubwa wa Baba yetu Raila Odinga, na hapa mimi niko nyumbani,” Ruto said.
(The political rivalry and enmity between me and my big brother Raila has ended tody. I’m the elder son of our father Raila and I’m at home here)
He spoke on Thursday, when he toured Nyanza alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila.
Ruto continued: “Vile Prime Minister amesema, leo tumefika hapa na tumekubaliana ya kuwa ile uhasama ya zamani tumezika.. tunaanza ukurasa mpya ya kuunganisha Wakenya.”
(Just as the Prime Minister has said; today we are here and we have agreeed to bury the former rivalry between us. We are starting a new chapter of uniting Kenyans)
“Mkiona Uhuru na Prime Minister Tinga mwenyewe ako hapa na uone hustler pia ako kati yao, mjue mambo iko sawa. Sisi wote tutatembea safari moja ya kuunganisha wakenya.”
(When you see Uhuru and Prime Minister Tinga himself is here with the hustler, you should know everything is well. We are all on the same journey of uniting Kenyans)
Earlier, Raila, who is also an AU envoy, welcomed Ruto at the Kisumu International Airport ahead of the President’s visit.
The two were seen sharing light moments at the airport.
“Sharing light moments with Ruto as we await the arrival of President,” Raila said via Twitter.
The love-hate relationship between Ruto and Raila goes back to the 2002 General Election when the former supported then Kanu leader and now President Uhuru Kenyatta. Raila at that time backed former President Mwai Kibaki.
Kibaki won and formed the government in which Raila, who had declared ‘Kibaki Tosha’, was appointed Minister for Roads and Public Works.
Ruto took over as the Kanu secretary general, while Uhuru remained chairman and party leader.
They were the face of the opposition in Parliament.
No sooner had the NARC government been formed than Raila and Kibaki fell out, forcing Raila to join forces with the Uhuru and Ruto-led opposition.
They successfully campaigned against the draft Constitution in the 2005 referendum under the Orange banner.
This saw the birth of ODM before the 2007 polls. Ruto backed Raila, Uhuru supported Kibaki.
Kibaki, running on the PNU ticket, won the 2007 general election and faced a challenge by Raila whose camp rejected the results sparking chaos across the country.
The post-election violence was ended after the two entered into a power-sharing deal.
Ruto eventually abandoned ODM and founded his own United Democratic Movement.
In the 2013 election, he entered into a coalition with Uhuru’s The National Alliance (TNA) party.
Uhuru and Ruto entered into a pact by which each will serve for 10 years as President. Ruto has played a major role in Jubilee’s double victories 2013 and 2017.
In 2017, their rivalry was reignited after Ruto implied in a tweet that Raila was thwarting his own presidential ambitions in 2022.
“So, Tinga went all the way to the USA to seek support to scuttle the possibility of a son of a peasant from being elected prezo in 2022! Balaa!” Ruto tweeted