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Helping flood victims is more crucial, says Ruto

By | Jan 16th 2010 | 2 min read

By Karanja Njoroge

Agriculture Minister William Ruto who snubbed the Mau tree-planting launch spent the day in Mogotio assisting victims of the recent floods in the area.

Accompanied by four Rift Valley MPs, Ruto discounted claims the event aimed to rival the Mau function officiated by Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

He said both events were State functions, organised by the same Government and with equal importance.

"While others are in Mau we are here to assist the victims of the floods," he said.

Ruto, who has been opposed to Raila over the Mau issue, said it was unwise for all ministers to attend one function at the expense of others issues of national importance.

Ruto was accompanied by Assistant Minister Charles Keter and MPs Moses Lessonet (Eldama Ravine), Luka Kigen (Rongai) and Sammy Mwaita (Baringo Central).

Sports Minister Helen Sambili, who is the area MP was conspicuously missing from the event.

Lessonet conveyed Prof Sambili’s apologies, saying she was held up in Nairobi officiating a ceremony organised by Mathare United Sports Club.

2012 ambitions

During the event Ruto reiterated his 2012 presidential ambitions.

In an apparent reference to the Mau event, he said leaders should not use national issues and events to gain political mileage.

"There is no competition or controversy in the two (his and Mau) events," he said.

Speakers at the function dismissed the tree-planting exercise, saying it was not as important as saving the lives of those affected by the floods.

Ruto distributed Government food donations worth Sh13.5 million.

He dismissed claims that the Kalenjin community cannot make it in politics unless it supports other people.

"We are tired of supporting people who fail to make to the top seat. This time round we are going to have one of our own," he added.

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