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Ruto faces wrath of residents in backyard for unfulfilled pledges

By Robert Kiplagat | January 20th 2017
Deputy President William Ruto (right) being lectured by an angry Sogoo resident regarding unfulfilled Jubilee development pledges in Narok South. [Photo: Robert Kiplagat/Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto encountered hostility from members of the Kipsigis community in Sogoo, Narok South, Thursday.

The DP, who was accompanied by Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, was forced to listen as locals, who demanded a chance to address him, said the Government had ignored them in terms of development despite voting for Jubilee in the last elections.

They cited roads such as Ololung’a-Sogoo and Mulot-Olenguruone, which they said Jubilee had pledged to tarmac.

“When you came here last time, you promised to tarmac these roads within 100 days but nothing has happened. They are in deplorable condition. If only you and the governor (Isaac Ruto) could leave your choppers and drive through these roads to understand what it feels like,” said a representative identified only as Kiplele.

The DP remained calm as the representative spoke but occasionally stole glances at the speaker and nodded as if in agreement.

Realising the mood on the ground, Mr Ruto opted to address their grievances from the sunroof of his car instead of speaking while seated.

Speaking in Kalenjin, he acknowledged the development delays and assured them that the projects would commence in the next three months.

Before the DP arrived earlier, a section of the crowd opposed to Sogoo MCA Moses Cheruiyot had threatened to disrupt the meeting if the MCA was allowed to speak.

It took the intervention of Mr Keter to calm the rowdy youths.

Area Woman Rep Soipan Tuya was also not spared as the hostile residents heckled her to a point where she was unable to address them.

The DP expressed shock when the residents said they were considering not registering as voters because registration officials were allegedly demanding Sh300 as a bribe in exchange for national identity cards.

“I am your leader. Tell me the truth always, however bitter. I have heard you. The road issue has been tendered and works will start by April. We are in Government and by the end of this year, you shall see what we have done,” said the DP amid cheers.

On the registration of voters, the DP said there were about 10,000 adults without ID cards in the area and directed those registering to issue the documents without conditions.

He appealed to the locals to register in large numbers, saying whoever did not register as a voter had no authority to question the Government.

“No Kenyan shall pay to get an identity card as the Government has already paid for it. Anyone demanding a bribe in exchange for an ID card should be reported to the police,” said Ruto.

He also rubbished claims that he had endorsed some leaders, saying Jubilee nominations would be free and fair. He added that all aspirants for elective positions would have the space to explain themselves to the electorate.

You might also like: Uthamaki: Mr President, deal with these ‘Wakikuyu wenye siasa kali’

This comes barely a week after a number of Narok leaders led by Emurrua Dikirr MP Johana Ng’eno and his Narok West counterpart Patrick Ntutu, who is eyeing the governor’s seat, accused him of endorsing Narok Governor Samuel Tunai.

Ruto later toured Kuria, where he said Jubilee had the interests of the Kuria people at heart and pleaded with them not to support the Opposition, which he accused of making false promises.

 —Additional reporting by Dalton Nyabundi

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