Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka has dismissed reports that he supports Deputy President William Ruto even as he continues to accompany him on his tours.

Lusaka defended his presence at Ruto’s fundraisers in Western saying he accompanies the DP as a high-ranking state official from the region and not as his supporter.

In an interview with the Star, Lusaka assured the tours have not affected his sobriety and sense of responsibility when executing Senate roles.

This follows concerns by political observers that his presence at Ruto’s rallies is putting the House into disrepute.

“Have you ever heard me, even during those events, say that I will support so and so? Of course, I’m a politician and I’m ambitious. When the time for politics comes, we will make the announcements,” he said.

“I know there are people pillorying me on television talk shows and gatherings that I’m not independent, that I’m doing DP’s bidding. That’s hogwash.”

Lusaka said that as a high-ranking State official, protocol dictates that he receives the Deputy President whenever he visits.

“How would it appear if the DP of the republic toured the Western region and the highest-ranking state official from the area is missing? What will my people think of me?” Lusaka posed.

According to the Senate Speaker, the tours have afforded him the opportunity to interact with residents and familiarise himself with their needs — “a fact that is important to me given I’m still young and ambitious”.

“[It is this mature leadership] that has made the House under me to be respected and regarded as the House of reason.”