The public camaraderie exhibited by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his estranged deputy William Ruto, during the annual National Prayer Breakfast on May 26, 2022, flickered out just four days later, during the Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1.
During the annual National Prayer Breakfast day, the two leaders struck conciliatory tones. In his speech, Dr Ruto said, “I may have fallen short of my boss’s expectations, and I ask for forgiveness.” President Kenyatta returned the gesture, saying, “I hope the prayers of DP Ruto come true as I’m really looking forward to a lot of peace and enjoyment in the years to come.” These are welcome words of assurance from the two leaders who have not seen eye-to-eye for some time now. Their political fallout, characterized by a public exchange of angry words, had put the country on tenterhooks. Dr Ruto’s camp has been accusing President Kenyatta of seeking to extend his stay in office by using Mr Raila Odinga–who was not present at the event–as a proxy. But the President’s sentiments on his retirement seem to have settled the matter and signaled that his transition would be smooth. However, the public exhibition of friendship by the two leaders proved to be short-lived. In his last Madaraka Day celebrations, the President broke protocol by not giving a chance to his deputy to give his speech, as has been the tradition for the past nine years. After inviting his guest for the event, Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio, to make his remarks, the President went straight to his speech. Since 2013, the DP spoke before inviting the President to address the nation.
Furthermore, the President kept throwing barbs at his deputy throughout his lengthy remarks and appeared to indirectly endorse the choice of former Justice, National Cohesion, and Constitutional Affairs Cabinet Minister Martha Karua as Mr Odinga’s running mate.
The DP was also left out of an earlier event at State House where the Cabinet Secretaries thanked the President for picking them to serve the nation.
Later in the day, during a football match dubbed Hustlers Cup final at Thirime Primary School in Kiambu County, the DP’s allies hit out at the President for humiliating his number two.
Clearly, there’s no love lost between the two!