addressing the nation
President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation
Image: the-star.co.ke

For the first time, President Uhuru Kenyatta has spoken out about allegations that Vice President William Ruto nearly smacked him.

After the Supreme Court threw down his 2017 victory, he declared he was ready to return home in order to stop any bloodshed.

"If they had slapped me over power, I would have given them the other cheek to slap. Yes, I wanted to go back to Ichaweri because I couldn't compare power with bloodshed," Uhuru said.

On July 3, a video emerged in which Ruto was heard saying that he almost slapped Uhuru in 2017 after he indicated that he was not willing to participate in the repeat election.

The video was played by Suna East MP Junet Mohamed during a rally in Ndhiwa, Homa Bay county.

Ruto defended his reaction to the president's sentiments saying there is no way he was going to let Uhuru give up the presidency to ODM leader Raila Odinga.

"Uhuru started showing signs of giving up. He told me he wants to go to Ichaweri. He told me that we quit the fight for the presidency. I looked at him and told him, you, it is because of respect but I would have slapped him," Ruto said.

"Even if I forced Uhuru Kenyatta to be President, is there a problem? Azimio supporters should stop this nonsense. They are spreading a recording saying that Ruto forced Uhuru to be president. If you were me, would you have accepted Uhuru to abandon us with the way we had pushed him?" he added.

But while addressing the clergy in his Kikuyu dialect on Friday at State House, Uhuru clarified that he was willing to put the country first and let the presidency go and save the country from bloodshed. 

"These seats we occupy (Presidency) are not more valuable than human life. I had said yes, I will not see more people lose lives because of a seat," Uhuru said.

Soon after the nullification of the 2017 election results, the country experienced a sporadic wave of violence with Raila, then under the defunct National Super Alliance (NASA), calling for the disbandment of the IEBC.

Raila claimed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had lost the credibility to conduct the repeat election as directed by the Supreme Court.

Raila boycotted the repeat poll and resorted to street action to force IEBC commissioners out of office.

The tense situation would carry on until March 9, 2018 when Raila and Uhuru reached a truce and made peace on the stairs of Harambee House with a handshake.

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