Shun tribal politics, Ruto tells Kenyans

President William Ruto inspects a guard of honor during the Madaraka Day celebrations in Bungoma County on June 1, 2024. [Interior Ministry]

Kenya has no room for tribal or ethnic-based politics, President William Ruto has declared.

Instead, the Kenya Kwanza administration will remain committed to its development agenda, as promised during the 2022 election campaign.

Speaking at the  61st Madaraka Day celebrations at Masinde Muliro Stadium in Bungoma County on Saturday, June 1, Ruto issued a stern warning to political leaders.

"We will never return to the politics of ethnicity or personality. We will never revert to a politics where people are not at the center," he said.

The president noted that the 2022 General Election was a watershed moment, highlighting several "firsts."

"The 2022 election was defining. It helped clear tribal politics in Kenya and showed that Kenyan voters decide based on issue-based manifestos."

He further pledged to end corruption, asserting that by the end of his term, all Kenyan citizens would benefit equally.

He averred that all public officers, including himself, would be held accountable for managing resources within their jurisdictions.

"We will work hard to ensure our politics focuses on developing Kenya. We will tackle corruption, wasteful spending, and the misuse of public resources," stated Ruto.

Land Grabbing

The president also warned that action would be taken against anyone occupying public land unlawfully. “Kila mtu mwenye ako na shamba hapa na anajua ni mali ya serikali, tafadhali tuheshimiane,” (loosely translated to: "Anyone occupying government land, be warned.”

On Saturday, Ruto announced the government's commitment to a 59-point plan to boost agriculture and food security, aligning with this year’s theme.

"We will reduce hunger, fight poverty, and improve Kenya's health systems."

To address issues in the sugarcane sector, Ruto announced the cancellation of Sh110 billion in debts accrued by sugar factories over the past 40 years. He also announced that cane workers would receive annual bonuses and timely payments.