– DP Ruto has intensified his 2022 campaigns, defying Uhuru’s warning against premature politicking
– Ferdinand Waititu, Ndindi Nyoro and Kimani Ichung’wa have been the face of Tanga Tanga in Mt Kenya
– Kipchumba Murkomen and Oscar Sudi have crudely challenged the handshake and war on corruption
President Uhuru Kenyatta has never attempted to conceal his dislike for Tanga Tanga; the Jubilee party wing he feels has let him down by prioritising politics at the expense of development.
He has time and time again censured the rebellious group for opposing his handshake pact with opposition leader Raila Odinga as well attempting to frustrate his revitalised war on corruption.
It thus came as no surprise when he launched a stinging tirade against Tanga Tanga politicians during the Akorino Annual conference held at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday, June 16, referring to them as “giko” (trash).
Here, we look at some politicians who were the supposed subjects of the furious presidential tongue-lashing.
1. William Ruto – Deputy President
President Uhuru memorably coined the slogan Tanga Tanga (loitering) in mid-2018 in a crude reference to Deputy President William Ruto’s endless political tours across the country just months after they had been re-elected to office.
Many interpreted this as a rebuke, considering the Ruto’s frequent outings to ‘inspect development projects’ across the country have been dominated by 2022 succession politics.
Critically, some politicians have exploited the meetings to openly fight the president and his plans, while the DP has personally used the outings to consistently launch crude attacks on Raila.
2. Ferdinand Waititu – Kiambu Governor
Being the governor of the president’s home county – Kiambu – has not stopped Waititu from openly siding with Ruto in his tours.
Barely a week passes without him assuring the DP of Mount Kenya support in 2022.
Waititu, who is facing corruption claims, has been widely faulted for poor development record in Kiambu and was recently embarrassingly heckled in Ruto’s presence for not honouring a pre-election pledge to build a market for traders at Githurai.
Waititu has been warned several times by the head of state to stop politicking and work.
3. Kimani Ichung’wa – MP Kikuyu
The second-time MP has been a vocal, unflinching and unapologetic supporter of DP Ruto, with his blunt attacks on Raila and utterances regarding the war on corruption piercing right through the president’s agenda.
He rarely leaves Ruto’s side nowadays and had accompanied the DP for a church service and funds drives in the Rift Valley before making it to Kasarani for the dressing down.
4. Ndindi Nyoro – MP Kiharu
The rookie politician features prominently on the list of the DP’s spanners boy and earlier this year noted, that “our business is Ruto; and Ruto is our business”.
The head of state appears to have no time for the MP and in March 2019, handed him a rather savage dressing-down before his own constituents during a funeral ceremony in Kiharu.
The electorate cheered on the president as he warned Nyoro that he will be voted out in the next election, and that he didn’t want the MP’s “dirt”.
Nyoro sat near the president and right behind Ruto at Kasarani on Sunday and looked dazed by the scolding.
5. Oscar Sudi – MP Kapseret
The sharp-tongued and controversial legislator stands out among DP Ruto’s henchmen; he specialises in hitting below the belt and his abrasive statements that border on hate speech have pushed him to multiple frictions with the law.
Notably, Sudi was the first to respond to the president’s criticism against Tanga Tanga on Sunday, once again using unsavory words targeting Uhuru before deleting his social media post.
4. Kipchumba Murkomen – Senator Elgeyo Marakwet
The lawyer-politician never shies from commenting on anything and everything – provided it’s in the DP’s defense.
He has since 2018 been at the heart of what has been termed politicisation of the war on corruption, not to mention his knack for throwing distasteful jibes at Raila.
5. Kimani Ngunjiri – MP Bahati
The fire spitting lawmaker is no stranger to controversy and has been a thorn in the president’s flesh.
He is deeply involved in Tanga Tanga affairs and has been caught up in several chaotic incidents while politicking.
He is particularly a fervent opponent of Uhuru’s handshake with Raila and recently caused a political storm when he publicly challenged the president to resign from Jubilee party and join ODM.
6. Aisha Jumwa – MP Malindi
The embattled two-time MP has dived into Tanga Tanga politics like a duck to water and has recently been a permanent feature in Ruto’s countrywide tours.
She was in May 2019 roundly condemned by Kenyans after she turned a popular Christian worship hymn into a praise song for the DP.
7. John Kiarie – MP Dagoretti South
The first time MP has also been a Tanga Tanga adherent and has been accompanying the DP across the country.
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