Deputy President William Ruto has asked United Democratic Alliance (UDA) aspirants to differentiate between friendship and the running of party affairs.
While addressing the over 600 aspirants at his official Karen residence on Wednesday, August 18, Ruto insisted that closeness with his friends in UDA would not result in their automatic nomination.
The deputy president emphasised his assertion by pointing out that an invitation to his private affairs, including his children’s weddings, is unrelated to the official matters of the party.
He also reiterated the need for forthrightness in the running of party affairs and promised free, fair, and democratic nominations of aspirants ahead of the 2022 elections.
"You can never build a serious national party if there are shortcuts and if the voice of the people does not count," Ruto stated.
He urged aspirants to seek nomination on the basis of eligibility, including adherence to protocol. If party members sought nominations based on personal ties they will be in for a rude shock, Ruto added.
The deputy president acknowledged that he would take the blame for not inviting friends to his personal functions. However, he will not take responsibility for their failure to clinch party tickets in nominations.
"Blame me if you miss an invitation to my daughter's wedding, but for this one (UDA nominations), do not," Ruto asserted.
While emphasizing his point, Ruto heartily mentioned his friend Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, leading to bouts of laughter from the aspirants.
Additionally, Ruto reminded the audience of his vision to build a national party devoid of tribal divisions. He remarked that ethnicity is the biggest problem in Kenyan politics.
Ruto also took a swipe at the leaders of One Kenya Alliance for their inability to pick a flag bearer for the 2022 polls, blaming the quagmire on their lack of a national agenda and their emphasis on tribal arithmetics.
The deputy president did not spare ODM leader Raila Odinga either. He criticised him over the 2018 handshake, blaming it for Jubilee disintegration and stalling of major government plans.
"We have two sets of competitors. We have one group that is still struggling with tribalism, they run tribal parties. They can not even agree on a candidate because everyone has gone to the party with their tribal chief," he observed, promising the UDA candidates a free and fair nomination exercise.