President Ruto clears the air over PEV allegations; allays fears that he will be authoritarian

for Tv47 Digital September 24, 2022, 05:15 PM
President William Ruto when he delivered his maiden speech during the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

President William Ruto has allayed fears that he is going to be an authoritarian leader even as he starts his tenure.

There has been opinions by different political pundits in the country alluding that President Ruto is a tough and uncompromising leader who makes it difficult to build a consensus with on an issue.

But on Saturday, September 24, President Ruto acknowledged that indeed he is a tough politician, but has always find the balance to accommodate differing opinions throughout his long political career.

"I have a history of building consensus and majority of the people who have worked with me have come to appreciate that yes I am firm, I am determined, I am focused, and it is the only reason I have gotten myself here. Unless you are that firm, you can't get nothing done," Ruto said in an interview with Al Jazeera.

He said that the hybrid nature of his election winning campaign team should also proof to Kenyans that he is a leader that is ready to work with anyone for the betterment of their welfare.

"The consensus I have built to win this election should confirm to you and all that I am a consensus person. I wouldn't have put together the team that gave me the opportunity to win this election.

President William Ruto during an interview with Al Jazeera on September 24, 2022. PHOTO | COURTESY

200/08 PEV ghosts

President Ruto also said that the ghosts of 2007/2008 Post Election Violence (PEV) will not be an issue in his relationship with the international community, because at long last he was vindicated at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Ruto and his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta were among those who were indicted at the Hague-based court on crimes against humanity during the PEV that saw more than 1300 people killed.

Although the ICC dismissed the case against Ruto in 2016 because of insufficient evidence, it refused to acquit him with one judge declaring it a mistrial because of a "troubling incidence of witness interference and intolerable political meddling".

And while President Ruto maintains his innocence, he says that the country has moved on from one of Kenya's darkest moments since independence in 1963.

"The members of the international community are knowledgeable people. The law in Kenya, which is universal, is that allegations can be made against anybody. But if allegations are not proven, they just remain rumours and insinuations," Ruto said.

As a matter of fact, Ruto said that by virtue of him and Uhuru elected as presidents is a proof that Kenyans know he did not orchestrate the PEV as speculated.

"People of Kenya by choice went to the ballot in 2013 and elected President Uhuru Kenyatta and me, same in 2017...
I know the international community may carry a bit of that baggage, but I think over the years many of them have come to realise that I am not that person that was being described in those charges."

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