President-elect William Ruto has dismissed the likelihood of having a political handshake between him and his major competitor in the just concluded election, Raila Odinga.
The Deputy President said he intends to work with his opponents in their capacity as the opposition to ensure his government runs under checks and balances.
Ruto was speaking during a joint media interview on Monday shortly after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairperson Wafula Chebukati declared him the president-elect.
He said his competitors have a role to play assigned by the constitution in the opposition to provide oversight of his government.
“My competitors have a role to play. I will work with my competitors in the role that the Constitution assigns the people in the opposition. They will provide oversight over my government and I intend to work with them in that capacity,” Ruto said.
He expressed his disdain for such arrangements, saying he believes in democracy and for the opposition to hold his government accountable.
“I never believed in the handshake stories. I believe in democracy. I believe in a government that has checks and balances. When you have a government that does not have the opposition, you have the very high risk of having a government that is not accountable, precisely what we have seen over the last four years,” the DP said.
A critic of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila’s handshake, the former Eldoret North MP opined Kenyans want an accountable government that is clear on its roles because they are democrats.
“That is why the people of Kenya voted for me and my team. They want a government that has checks and balances. They want a government that is accountable. They do not want a mongrel of a government where nobody knows who is the executive, who is the opposition and who is doing what. I think the people of Kenya want clarity because we are democrats,” Ruto said.
The Deputy President consistently blamed the Uhuru-Raila handshake for derailing their then Jubilee government’s plans to deliver their agenda.