BY BMJ MURIITHI
Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday apologised to Azimio la Umoja- One Kenya Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga following Friday’s attack on his motorcade in Soy, Uasin Gishu County, in which a chopper he was in was stoned in what his close associates say was an attempt on his life.
Addressing the press at his Karen office, Ruto said that what happened to Mr Odinga was regrettable and called on the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambi to apprehend those who damaged Mr Odinga’s helicopter by pelting it with stones.
“As (United Democratic Alliance) a party, we call for an election free of violence,” Ruto said.
He continued; “I also apologise to Raila Odinga for what happened to him yesterday (Friday). It was really unfortunate and I hope those who engaged in this exercise regret what they did.”
Ruto said that any UDA candidate who will be found to have participated in the planning, funding or execution of the violence will be punished by the party in accordance with its rules.
The punishment, according to the DP, may include expulsion from the party. He said violence and discrimination are not what the party stands for, calling on his supporters to exercise political tolerance.
The attack on Mr Odinga happened as he was attending the burial of his long-time froiend Mzee Jackson Kibor at Kabenes,
It saw the windshield of the chopper he had used cracked.
“We will demonstrate our commitment to an election that is peaceful by taking the necessary steps that our members engage in this election on the basis of ideas and not any acts that are as unfortunate as we saw yesterday (Friday),” Said Ruto.
DP Ruto is Mr Odinga’s main rival in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in this year’s August 9 General Election. Mr Odinga’s stoning happened in an area where DP Ruto has a huge following.
His apology however did not seem to sit well with some of Mr Odinga’s confidants.
“I have seen them shedding crocodile tears. We want them to call for the arrest of the main perpetrators, including Uasin Gishu Governor jackson and MP Caleb Kositany,” said Suna East MP Junet Muhamed.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) later summoned Kositany, his Kapseret counterpart Oscar Sudi and Uasin Gishu County Assembly Speaker David Kiplagat over the chaos.
In a statement released on Saturday evening, the DCI said preliminary investigations had revealed that the three leaders allegedly organized and coordinated the violence that was witnessed.