It may be easier to get an audience with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House than to gain access to Deputy President William Ruto.
This is according to current and former members of parliament from Northeastern region who accuse National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale of blocking them to access Mr Ruto.
Politicians from the three counties of Northeastern who are allied to Jubilee Party could not meet the Deputy President, and blame Mr. Duale for that, saying he frustrated their efforts and made it difficult for them to access Mr Ruto.
Ruto, who became Kenya’s deputy president in 2013, is a top contender for the presidency in 2022, and is vigorously campaigning across the country, attending political rallies and holding fundraising spree across Kenya, splashing hundreds of millions of shillings in church fundraising and other causes.
Somali politicians could be seeking Ruto’s cash and be part of his ‘fundraising team.’ And others, who failed to recapture their political seats in the 2017 general election, just want state jobs through the Deputy President. It appears, if anyone of them wants to see Mr Ruto, they have to be cleared by Duale.
Duale, who is also the MP for Garissa Township, has been acting as Ruto’s no. 1 gatekeeper for Northeastern leaders since 2013 when he became the Majority Leader
“He has become a thorn in the flesh. Adan Barre (Duale) is blocking us from accessing the deputy president. Yes, sometimes you need his connections to help us meet the deputy president, but he was not helpful,” a former member of parliament, who sought anonymity, said.
Another Jubillee MP said he tried hard to secure an appointment with the Deputy President, but could not get one.
“If you are from northeastern, you have to see Duale before you to meet Ruto, and it has not been helpful,” he said.
Some of the lawmakers said Ruto has to drop Duale if he wants to succeed in his future political ambitions, adding the Majority Leader is a hindrance to Ruto’s ambitions by undermining other leaders.
According to these leaders, it is easier to get access to State House than to meet Mr Ruto.
Duale is serving his third term in the parliament and is the third highest-ranking politician in the country.
A handful of Ruto’s closest aides and allies, including Duale and of course, the Senate Majority Leader, Kipchumpa Murkomen, can pop into Ruto’s office without an appointment.