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Engage President on failures, DP tells Raila

By Josphat Thiongó | January 25th 2021
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (second left) confers with Bishop Margaret Wanjiru at Ruthimitu Mixed Secondary School grounds, Dagoretti South constituency, Nairobi, yesterday. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard].

Deputy President William Ruto has challenged ODM leader Raila Odinga to speak directly to President Uhuru Kenyatta on Jubilee government failures instead of criticising his administration by the roadside.

Speaking in Dagoretti yesterday, the DP told Raila to stop using him as a scapegoat for Jubilee failures.

“I heard Raila say that there is no work that the President and I have done. If he has a problem with the performance of Jubilee, let him look for Uhuru Kenyatta via phone or visit him in his office and tell him, but he stop humiliating the President by addressing him in rallies,” said Ruto.

He added: “The performance of the Jubilee Government cannot be compared with that of all the years that Raila has been in government. He has nothing to show for all those years at the helm of the country’s leadership.”

Ruto said since assuming office, the Jubilee government had built 750km of rail from Mombasa to Naivasha, 7,500km of road, connected five million Kenyans to power and constructed more technical colleges, among others

He defended the ‘hustler’ narrative, saying it was all about ensuring creation of opportunities for all and not politics of the rich versus the poor as claimed by his detractors. 

“They should not threaten us by telling us that the ‘hustler’ narrative is about inciting chaos. For the longest time, they have fed us with tribal based politics and politics of creating positions for a select few but today we have forced them to talk about the needs of mwananchi such as wheelbarrows and businesses so that they can sustain their families,” said Ruto.

Deputy President William Ruto at Ruthimitu mixed secondary school on January 24, 2021, in Dagoretti South, Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard].

Misplaced priorities

“There are those trying to threaten us by saying we are dividing the country through this ‘hustler’ narrative, but I want to tell them that they are the ones that are diving the country by telling us about tribal based politics and creation of more positions for a few. Kenyans want peace,” he added.

Ruto also criticised the Building Bridges Initiative, claiming that the priorities of a section of the political class was misplaced and faulted the what he said was the push for a referendum to “create more positions in the Executive instead of addressing the plight of Kenyans”.

“Do you guys want to amend the Constitution so that some leaders can get seats or change the economy so that the youth can get jobs?” posed Ruto.   

“You are not going to take us to a position where we will discuss tribes and positions. We are going to discuss about ordinary people and their businesses. That is where the conversation is going and it will not go where they are taking us,” he added.  

His sentiments were echoed by Mathira MP Rigathi  Gachagua who said that Raila ought to take up the development issue with the Head of State.

“If this vehicle of Jubilee has broken down, ask the President who is in control. Face him head-on... Stop hiding behind Uhuru and then blame Ruto,” he said.

Hungry for power

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen attributed the Jubilee administration woes to Raila.

Mr Murkomen claimed that the ‘handshake’ between the President and the ODM leader derailed the Big Four agenda, and Raila was using it to advance his selfish interests.

“We warned the President a long time ago about Raila, and now look at the fruits. He should tell Kenyans that after the ‘handshake’ he came into government and threw out the Deputy President and those allied to him,” he claimed.  

“For the three years he was in Jubilee, what did he do? We will account for five years of Jubilee and Raila three years of Jubilee since the ‘handshake’. If there’s a Kenyan who has been hungry for power since time immemorial, it’s Raila Odinga,” he added.

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