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Your donations will not hand you power, Raila and Joho tell DP

By David Ochami | September 14th 2020

ODM leader Raila Odinga and his deputy Ali Hassan Joho in a past event. The two have been on a tour at the coast where they drummed support for BBI. [File, Standard]

ODM leader  Raila  Odinga and  Mombasa  Governor  Hassan Joho stepped up criticism of  Deputy  President  William  Ruto,  depicting him as one determined to buy his way to power. Raila claimed Ruto treats the poor the same way a  hunter treats prey.

 He said the  DP expects payback for the donations and gifts he has been giving out lately.  He argued that  Ruto’s public displays of charity were designed to hypnotise the poor.

“It is like a trick you play on a chicken; you throw crumbs, it becomes dazed and you capture it.  You do not fatten an animal because you love it. The chicken realises when it’s too late that all you intended was to turn it into the stew,” said Raila, in a poetic escalation of his tit-for-tat with the DP.

The two also claimed that the DP opposes the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) because he prefers simplistic solutions that hypnotise the poor.

At the end of Raila’s four-day tour on  Saturday evening, the former prime minister lashed out of those he claimed: “have poured money in churches to prove they are generous and  God-fearing after plundering public resources”.

Joho added that Ruto’s claim that he speaks for the poor was false since he lives an opulent lifestyle. Joho also said one should be elected  “on account of the vision they have”  and not the mere claim that they were born poor.

“You will not be elected because you are telling people you were born poor or they are poor. You will be elected because of the vision you have,” Joho said in reference to the DP.

Speakers throughout Raila’s public events in Coast since Wednesday concentrated on deconstructing  Ruto’s hustler narrative. When he toured Coast last week,  Ruto and his new allies depicted him as a  poor man’s advocate hamstrung by the so-called dynasties  — a narrative that Raila and Joho spent considerable time attacking in their tours of  Taita  Taveta,  Kwale and Mombasa counties.

Yesterday, Raila spent a quiet morning in private discussions at his Nyali residence and was expected to fly to  Nairobi later. Joho led the charge on  Saturday evening by declaring that Ruto ought to explain what he has done as deputy president to combat poverty since 2013.

Raila said the BBI was borne of the 2017 electoral crisis and realisation by President Uhuru Kenyatta and himself that Ken-yans desired reforms to make a clean break from its troubled post-independence history.

He claimed that while he and the president chose the path he said envisaged a total overhaul of  governance,  the  DP  had  elected to use the money to entice Kenyans  with  simplistic  solutions

“We are after a lasting solution  to  Kenya’s  problems,  not  this politics of gifts and tokens,” said Raila, who further added  that 

“Kenyans  do  not  seek for ready-made solutions because  they  want  to  partici-pate in finding the solution.”He  said  the  BBI  provides  Kenyans with the opportunity to  discuss  Kenya’s  problems  and solutions.“It is not enough to dish out wheelbarrows,  bicycles and water tanks and then believe this solves Kenya’s problems. 

Kenyans want a  comprehensive solution and this is the path we launched with  President Kenyatta,” said Raila. He  then  declared  that  Ruto  and  his  allies  were  trying  to  buy poor Kenyans with money, equating  Ruto’s  donation  tac-tics to the behaviour of a hunt-er after prey.“When a hyena wants to capture prey it even changes its voice to sound harmless.  All  I  can advise you is to beware of a hyena in sheep’s skin. You are better advised to keep your herds tightly secured,” he said.

Joho argued that Ruto’s lifestyle can’t be related to that of a  hustler,  who he claims to speak for. He claimed that  Ruto flies private planes and travels in helicopters and also lives a  multi-billion rural home.

“I  want to warn  Kenyans against the so-called hustler. When he came to  Mombasa last week he flew in a  private aeroplane and was picked from Moi  International  Airport by helicopter.  They travelled in a  huge convoy and all of you marvelled,” said Joho.

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