NAIROBI — The bad blood between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto has caused anxiety in the county, Kenya’s clergyman said on Monday.
The Rev Canon Sammy Wainaina of the Anglican Church of Kenya was quoted by the Star newspaper as noting that poor leadership had given Jubilee and the opposition politicians the leeway to purport to speak for Uhuru.
“We are concerned as a church that the state of the nation is not good at all,” Wainaina, who is the provost of the All Saint’s Cathedral, Nairobi, told the Star.
He, however, said the hard-hitting letter he on Sunday addressed to Uhuru is not the official position of the ACK. He wrote the piece “after reflecting on the political developments in the country and interaction with people”.
He told the media that the views were his as the provost.
“My office is allowed to reflect on such things. So those are my thoughts and were not sanctioned by the church leadership,” he was quoted as saying..
The letter posted on the church’s website, also seen by this reporter noted that the relationship between Uhuru and Ruto is not as close and healthy as was the case in 2013.
He warned that the failing UhuRuto “marriage” has a direct implication on the future generations since “our senior-most leaders are teaching our youths to be disloyal.”
“It is with much reflection on the state of this country that I have found the strength to write to you. Like children in a troubled marriage, Kenyans are worried and apprehensive about your government and your relationship with your deputy,” he said.
“Your vision and promises made Kenyans believe in you and your presidency. The chemistry between you and your deputy redefined our leadership – kneeling for prayers during your inauguration, addressing the nation together, dressed in similar fashion was unprecedented.”
In a veiled hitting of President Uhuru, he said the country is slowly burning in all aspects “that moulds our national fibre”.
He noted that the current political climate is not conducive.
“We have one government but currently, we are operating like a failed state. Your election as President depended on the support of William Ruto and versa since. You were voted as a duo. You, therefore, both have a symbiotic relationship.”
He also questioned Uhuru’s silence even as his ministers “openly disrespect” Ruto.
“It is said when you see the dog barking, the owner is around. Where do they find such arrogance? When does the Deputy President say something to the effect that ‘…unless you kill me, I will not be afraid’, where does that leave the nation? We can tell that your government is split down the middle.”
Wainaina also noted that although the handshake was welcome, it has left Jubilee in total confusion.
For instance, he said Ruto is seeking public sympathy because Uhuru has abandoned him “to the jaws of the opposition”.
He noted that if indeed the DP is corrupt as being alleged by the opposition and a section of anti-Ruto politicians, then the rule of law should be followed to remove him from office.
“The altercations between the two sides are not good for the nation. It is the high time you rose to the occasion and offered political guidance. Find it in you the need to find time to sort out your issues with your deputy. This washing of the dirty linen in public is not good for the nation,” he said.
Wainaina also said the Building Bridges Initiative “has become a political tool rather than an opportunity to dialogue.”
He raised concerns that there has been no civic education on the BBI, acknowledging that politicians with vested interest have hijacked it.
“What Kenyans are looking for is an affordable government that can be held accountable; an imperial president that the current constitution has created is a danger to the nation. We call for an issue-based referendum after a stakeholder’s conference that will come up with the questions,” he said.
He, however, said the church will not support a “yes” or “no” referendum.
He said Uhuru has scored poorly in ensuring that he provides visionary leadership that is kept alive with the citizenry.
Wainaina warned the President that if he does not change his style of leadership, he might not have a legacy to leave behind when his second and last term ends in 2022.
“The [Big Four] agenda has been swallowed by the BBI noise. It’s paramount therefore to move with speed and reclaim the nation back to the vision,” he said.
“We call for an independent audit on the government loans to ascertain their legality. We suspect that Kenya is paying fictitious loans to enrich people in government. Please don’t leave Kenyans poorer than you found them,” he added.