Deputy President William Ruto has defended his aborted trips to Nyamira County where he was scheduled to hold fundraisers for various groups before the police stopped the events.
The DP said that his fundraisers and other empowerment exercises have been misconstrued for campaigns, adding that what he has been doing is similar to government’s Kazi Mtaani project.
Ruto said that he had consulted with Nyamira leaders and reached a consensus to postpone one of the events from tomorrow to Friday next week.
“We've agreed with DG Maangi, MPs Miruka and Osoro to postpone the Ogembo youth & Kenyenya women empowerment programs from tomorrow to Friday next week. Church building, bodaboda sacco, women Sacco and youth empowerment drives, just like Kazi Mtaani, is a development, not politics,” Ruto said in a tweet, on Thursday evening.
His statement comes at the close of the day which was dotted with chaotic scenes when the police disrupted his other event at Kebirigo Primary School in West Mugirango Constituency.
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It was misty, dramatic and full of running battles as the anti-riot police engaged the supporters of the DP who had arrived for the scheduled event.
The police had to use teargas to disperse the crowd and clear the venue which the DP and his team had earmarked for the event. Tents earlier erected for the function were also brought down.
What ensued was a scathing criticism from a man who has been leading a charge, traversing the country and meeting young men to hand them goodies.
Ruto called the disruption of the even unnecessary saying the theme of the event is purely to empower the people.
He said: “After consultations with MPs Kemosi, Mose, Nyamoko, the boda boda sacco and church leadership who had invited us, we have postponed the two functions in Nyamira County to Thursday next week. The disruptive dispersal by police of Kenyans engaged in economic empowerment is unnecessary.”
The setback on his schedule emerges at a time that he has been criticised making endless trips and raising political heat in the country. Over the weekend, his trip to Murang’a County was marred with violence which led to the death of two people as three others sustained injuries.
Two rival groups clashed at Kenol just before the DP made headway to AIPCA Church where he was to attend a fundraiser.
In the aftermath of the fracas, which left Kenol residents terrified; his allies Alice Wahome (Kandara MP) and Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) traded blames with area Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege over who was responsible for the chaos.
While Sabina distanced herself from the accusations, Wahome and Nyoro are yet to be questioned by the police over the incident as had been communicated by the officers.
On Thursday, ODM leader Raila Odinga also accused the DP of gifting youth wheelbarrows and handcarts without a clearcut plan on where they will use them.
“You give out wheelbarrows to the youth yet you have not shown them where to go and build… What will he do with the wheelbarrows? And you call yourself a hustler, we know hustlers, we know the country’s liberators,” he posed.
But on his defence, Ruto has maintained that his aim is to influence the lives of low-income earners. Therefore, even the smallest of gifts he dishes out will suffice.
“Yes. It is time for a change, time to talk and walk the hustler narrative. Not about sharing power but empowerment. Not about positions but jobs for our people, not about leaders but ordinary citizens. This wheelbarrow conversation will continue,” Ruto said.
Yesterday, the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC), chaired by the Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua fired a warning that leaders who will flout the Public Order Act will be firmly dealt with.