Deputy President William Ruto yesterday accused his opponents of sponsoring violence against him and his allies.
Ruto, who was in Kisii to preside over a fundraiser to support boda boda associations in the area, claimed violence schemers have also been coercing the police and the national administration to frustrate him.
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Violence rocked the area ahead of his visit yesterday when his supporters and opponents clashed, leading to demonstrations along the streets of Kisii.
Ruto said those inciting Kenyans are only trying to achieve their selfish interests.
“We are not fools. The intimidation is aimed at causing mayhem during the 2022 elections. This country is full of learned people who will make the right decision on the voting day,” he said.
The DP said he played a key role in the formation of the Jubilee government and warned those trying to intimidate him from within to brace for a tough political contest.
“I traversed the whole country campaigning for Jubilee only for a few people to hijack the development agenda for purposes of politicking,” he said.
He said his role as Deputy President is to ensure the government achieve its development goals. “We promised our people that once we form a government, we were to create jobs and initiate development projects. That has not stopped. We have actualised most of our campaign promises,” he told the gathering.
Addressing boda boda riders at Nyanchwa Adventist College, Ruto said because of the overwhelming support from the region during the 2017 elections, Jubilee had appointed several individuals from the community to different government departments.
“I am not a tourist and I have not travelled to Kisii because I don’t have something meaningful to do. I have come because our people need support. There are those who were born into rich families. They don’t understand the pain our mothers underwent to ensure we achieve our dreams,” said the DP.
During his visit, the DP also warned of alleged illegal orders issued on the provincial administration and the security sector. “The Inspector-General of Police should not be used to achieve political goals,” he said.
He added: “This country belongs to all of us. The arrest of political leaders is primitive and only serves to achieve selfish interests.”
Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, who hosted the DP, said he will not put any reverse gear on the quest to ensure that Ruto gets majority votes from the region in the next polls.
“We have planned to travel together. The journey has just started. We may not shout about our plans but we remain determined and optimistic that we will get to the end,” he said.
Dagoreti South MP John Kiarie claimed there were plans to arrest and harass those supporting the DP. “It doesn’t mean that those of us in Jubilee who support Ruto are disobeying President Uhuru Kenyatta. All of us are equal before the eyes of the Lord.”
South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro said those attacking them were only guided by divide and rule tactics.
“The diversionary tactics will not stop us from demanding that we get answers on the billions stolen from the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa). If they will not explain how they spent our taxes, let them prepare for countrywide public meetings to demand answers,” he said.
Regional Police Commissioner Magu Mutindika and the Regional Police Commandant Lydia Ligami were forced to convene a security meeting Thursday morning as youths in Kisii threatened to disrupt Ruto’s visit to the County.
A security meeting was hurriedly called after police officers from the area took more than two hours to respond to chaos that had erupted in the town between two rival political groups.
Mutindika arrived in Kisii shortly after 9 am and headed straight to the security meeting moments before Ruto arrived. The regional police boss and her CID counterpart David Kipsoi later went to Kisii Sports Club to welcome Ruto. Provincial administration officers were also at hand to receive the DP.
Earlier, at around 5 am, youths had lit bonfires at Daraja Mbili in Kisii town to protest Ruto’s visit. Another group arrived, forcing the police to shoot in the air to disburse them. Reinforcement was called in from other police stations.
Ruto accused senior police officers of allowing hooligans to take charge of the town. “Stop taking orders from politicians and uphold your work ethics. There is no alternative, adhere to the rule of law.”
Osoro said he had received several threats from some people in government. “There is no way people can cause chaos less than 50 metres from a police station and the police fail to arrest them,” he said.
Two people were admitted to Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital with head injuries. Yesterday, Kisii Governor James Ongwae appealed to political leaders to keep the peace. Ongwae said: “I appeal to leaders from within and outside the county to respect our political stability and avoid the chaos that disrupts innocent people’s lives.”