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Top cleric now denies ruling out Ruto’s 2022 chances

Top cleric Canon Peter Karanja has backtracked on his comments made over the weekend on Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.

The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) General Secretary was reported in the media on Sunday saying that the handshake deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga dealt a death blow to Mr Ruto’s prospects.

He also cited emerging challenge against the deputy president from within the Rift Valley.

But addressing journalists on Tuesday in Nairobi, Mr Karanja denied the media report, stating that the he was quoted out of context.

“It is mischievous to isolate clips of extensive deliberations in isolation without giving the listeners the benefit of the full discourse.

NOT OFFICIAL STATEMENT

“Kenyans are titled are entitled to know the context in which those clips were picked. And we have not said they are not a report of the proceedings, they are not an official statement,” said Canon Karanja.

He said that the ‘sensational excerpts’ circulated by a section of the media were part of the Council’s internal processing at the conference, but explained that they are not the official position of the Council and only constitute some of the raw materials used to arrive at the official statement issued at the end of the conference.

In the clip, Canon Karanja was speaking during the council’s Upper Eastern regional conference in Meru where he also warned the council’s leaders from taking partisan political positions.

“There are a very few dangers on the way because the handshake appears to stand in the way of Ruto. So if you love Ruto that much reinterpret the handshake and explore keenly what are its total ramifications.

“If Raila is re-engineering himself through the handshake, and is very likely. It is likely through it to cause major havoc on Ruto’s design and skim but another jogoo has emerged in the Rift Valley called Gideon who is very rich because he is part of the dynasties and his father does not like Ruto at all,” the general secretary said in the July 1 clip.

The Canon argued that the clips, put in proper context, should be seen as part of the ongoing discussions used in the political analysis, academic and social discourse, but if otherwise used in isolation, are misleading.