I will create diaspora ministry - DP Ruto

POLITICS |

Deputy President William Ruto addressing dancing to a jig when he visited Pokot.[Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has vowed to create a full-fledged ministry dedicated to diaspora matters because of their key participation in the country's economy.

Ruto who virtually addressed Kenyans in the United States of America (USA) during the opening of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party offices at Seattle, Washington State, said people in the diaspora send back billions of shillings and their contribution to the economic wellbeing of the country could not be gainsaid. 

Ruto addressed his supporters on Saturday June 19, 2021, at around 7 am Kenyan time.

The Diaspora Ministry, Ruto said will run like that of Devolution and will seek to address challenges facing Kenyans in every part of the world and their positive contribution to the Kenyan economy.

Murang'a senator Irungu Kang'ata who represented Ruto in the UDA meeting opening remarks said Kenyans in the diaspora were keen to see a Ruto presidency come to fruition.

"The Kenyans I interacted with are looking forward to 2022 when Ruto takes over from President Uhuru Kenyatta. They are enthusiastic about the bottom-up economic model and their planned inclusion in the matters of the running of the country," said Kang'ata. 

Ruto's opening of UDA office in the US, is part of his strategy to widen his networks and woo diaspora voters. 

The office in Seattle is expected to coordinate the party activities, including registration of diaspora members and mobilisation of campaign resources in the USA and Canada.

Two months ago, Ruto held a six-hour virtual meeting with some Kenyans in the US, the Middle East, South Africa and Australia as he moved to charm the diaspora.

In the 2017 general election, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) restricted the voting exercise to the five countries in East and Southern Africa Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa.

President Uhuru Kenyatta garnered 1,504 votes ahead of National Super Alliance (NASA) candidate Raila Odinga who garnered 1,321 votes.

Uhuru won in Uganda, South Africa and Rwanda.

Raila emerged victorious in Tanzania and Burundi where he garnered 394 and 48 votes ahead of Uhuru’s 393 and 47 votes respectively.

Legally, Kenya’s constitution mandates the IEBC to register all Kenyans in the diaspora who are eligible to vote but only allowed to vote only for the president.

As the DP's team was busy with the diaspora voters, yesterday he was presiding over the empowerment of the Akirimet reformed warriors in Sigor Constituency, West Pokot County where he took a swipe at his competitors playing tribal politics.

"On the ground issues are very difficult. There are those who are used to using us and thrives in lies that tribalism is the problem and therefore we should amend the constitution to get positions, we are telling them the problem is not tribalism but the ailing economy," said Ruto.

He added, "We must revive the economy. Everyone is suffering and want empowerment to do business and have money. This can be achieved through the change of the business model, to be bottom up approach. The people’s problem is money and they must stop lying to us. Stop issues of the constitution change, instead change the policies that is what is important."

The DP lauded the socio-economic transformation going on in the Northern Kenya region saying it is encouraging.

"The infrastructure programme in the region is changing lives. At the centre of this transformation is peaceful coexistence. I am glad that communities are embracing peace as they abandon retrogressive activities such as cattle rustling and engaging in business and agriculture. That is the way to go," he noted.

Ruto said the upgrading of infrastructure and equipping of learning institutions even in marginal areas further the country’s broad and inclusive transformation agenda, guaranteeing a fair chance for everyone to succeed in.

jngetich@standardmedia.co.ke

 

 

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