Uhuru to Ruto: Come for me and leave my family alone

When former President Uhuru Kenyatta handed over the instruments of power to President William Ruto during swearing-in at Kasarani Stadium on September 13, 2022. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta has dared President William Ruto to go after him and leave his family out of the political wars between the government and the opposition.

Speaking at his son, Jomo Kenyatta’s Karen residence, Uhuru decried the apparent harassment of his family, days after his mother, Mama Ngina Kenyatta, had her security withdrawn.

A fiery Uhuru had responded to a distress call by his son, who told him that officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations had raided his premises in search of weapons.

He said that the alleged raid had been politically instigated courtesy of his association with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, citing threats to his family by State functionaries.

“I got a report from my son that he had come and as he was leaving the watchman at the gate told him there were people claiming to be DCI officers in a vehicle with Sudanese registration and claiming they want to see him,” the former Head of State told journalists.

“From my knowledge, when the police want to do something they don’t come in foreign number plates... they have a warrant and state their case and produce their warrant... I told them don’t open the gate,” he went on, wondering why the government had chosen to go after his family.

“They have removed their security and now they want to remove their personal weapons. Are they doing that because they are planning something? If they are planning something, my only plea is that they don’t plan against my mother or children. Plan for me,” he said. 

“When I was president I defended my country. As a retired man, I am protecting my family and I will. And I will not be intimidated,” he said.

“I have no other explanation to give because these things are flowing in a row. I have a whole minister of the government saying... people who have been guarding my mother for the last 50 years withdrawn at night,” he responded to a question on whether he thought the raid was political and tied to his association with Raila, he asserted that it was his “democratic right to associate with the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader”.

The raid comes in the wake of allegations by Ruto that Uhuru was funding the nationwide anti-government protests.

Such allegations are as recent as yesterday, coming from Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua in Murang’a.

The former president denied such claims, accusing Ruto of deflecting the issues Kenyans have raised by trying to link him with the protests.

“The issues Kenyans are talking about have nothing to do with me. Have you seen me at any of those events? Have you seen me talking about those things?” Uhuru posed.

“These issues are not new and when I was president I dealt with the issues that Kenyans were raising.”

Over the last few months, the former president has taken a beating from Kenya Kwanza, who have made waves of allegations against him as he kept a studious silence.

“The fact that I have been silent doesn’t mean I’m scared. Come for me. What does my mother and children have to do with anything? I am here. They know where I am 24/7. Why intimidate a 90-year-old woman and children? Maybe silence sometimes is not right.”

Uhuru said that the fact that he handed over peacefully to Ruto should show that he harbours no ill intentions, against allegations that he plans to frustrate the government.

During the briefing, he would also reveal that he has not spoken to Ruto, who he said has shown “no indication that he wanted to talk to me”.

“You have a tête-à-tête with somebody who wants to have a tête-à-tête with you. He has not shown any indication that he wants to talk to me. As a retired person, why should I look for somebody who doesn’t want to talk to me?” he added, urging respect for the rule of law.

The former Head of State also defended his involvement in the affairs of his Jubilee Party, stating that he would not hand over the party to government “puppeteers”. 

On Tuesday night, security officers guarding the Muthaiga and Gatundu home of the Kenyattas were withdrawn in unclear circumstances.

 Mama Ngina, mother to retired President Uhuru Kenyatta, enjoyed state protection by officers from the General Service Unit and Administration Police by virtue of being a former First Lady.

The family had to bring in private security on Tuesday night to offer security to the private residences.

On Wednesday, a group claiming allegiance to the Kenya Kwanza movement notified the Muthaiga Police Station of their intention to hold a protest at the Muthaiga residence.

This was timed to coincide with the opposition protests against the high cost of living.

In March, goons raided the Kenyatta’s Northlands land farm in Kiambu, where they stole sheep, cut down trees and even started subdivided the land. The invasion, which was widely condemned, occurred without police intervention.


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