Do not follow me blindly, Ruto tells allies

Deputy President William Ruto with political leaders during a meeting with United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party aspirants at Karen residence, Nairobi. [Susan Nyamasege, DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto has challenged Kenyans to back visionary leaders with development agenda and not follow them blindly.

The DP said he did not want any sycophants among his followers and encouraged his supporters to interrogate his agenda.

Ruto, who was speaking at his official residence in Karen yesterday, said he did not appreciate any fanatical following and would want his followers to back him based on reason.

“I want you to support leaders who have plans and agenda for this country. Leadership is about coming up with policies that can transform the lives of people,” he said.

At the same time, Dr Ruto urged Kenyans to demand development plans and track records from leaders.

“There are people who are following others blindly. I do not want anybody to follow me blindly. I want us to agree that we are going this way and everyone must reasonably understand that we are going this way for this reason," said Ruto.

The Deputy President has encouraged his supporters to scrutinise and understand his economic revival platform - Bottom-Up Economic Development Model - which he is asking his supporters to rally behind.

He said the economic model will radically transform the country by creating and expanding economic opportunities.

The Deputy President said the bottom-up economic model is anchored on five main pillars that will eradicate poverty in the country. 

He said his major focus was on creating jobs for the unemployed, supporting SMEs mainly by providing affordable loans and providing farmers with the right farm inputs at affordable prices. 

“We will also improve the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to offer universal health care that will cater for their medical needs,” he added.

He noted that the model also seeks to improve the country’s saving culture by increasing contributions to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).    

Ruto was speaking when he met aspiring leaders from Muranga, Kirinyaga,Nyandarua,Embu, Kiambu, Machakos,Kitui and Makueni who want to run on his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

It will be a busy two weeks for Ruto who has a number of similar meetings lined up with aspirants from across the country.

The DP will today meet with other aspiring leaders from Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga, Kisii, Nyamira, Migori,Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya.

Ruto, speaking on the voter registration exercise currently underway, asked Parliament to allocate enough resources to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to adequately conduct the voter registration exercise.

His comments come as IEBC reported underwhelming figures from the first week of voter listing.

Ruto said IEBC should go to the lengths to ensure that the targeted 6 million eligible voters are enrolled. 

“Parliament should allocate additional resources to IEBC to enable it to discharge its mandate and make sure no voter is denied the opportunity to vote next year,” said Ruto. 

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