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DP William Ruto hits out at rivals, says they lack agenda

By Antony Gitonga | August 24th 2021


Deputy President William Ruto (C) engages leaders from Western Kenya on August 23, 2021, at the end of a two-day retreat in Sawela Lodge in Naivasha.[Antony Gitonga, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has said those seeking to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta next year lack agenda for the country.

Dr Ruto accused ODM leader Raila Odinga and other opposition leaders of holding the country hostage.

The DP said time was ripe for Kenyans to stop voting for personalities and instead look at their agenda.

Addressing the press after a two-day session with leaders drawn from four counties in Western Kenya at Sawela Lodge in Naivasha, Ruto said the biggest challenge facing the country was the tough economic times coupled with rising debt.

The DP attributed this to mismanagement of the economy, and said the ongoing talks with leaders was part of his strategy to address the same.

“For years the country has been held hostage by personality cult, and it’s now time to liberate Kenyans from this bondage,” he said.

Ruto said that the way forward in addressing the mounting debt was not postponing payment but expanding the tax base.

“If we employ more youths and give traders a conducive working environment, then we shall increase our tax collection and improve the infrastructure as we repay our loans,” he said.

Ruto noted that Kenyans are united, but are now faced with harsh economic times.

“Kenyans regardless of their background are united and the only challenges they are facing is unemployment, rising cost of living and the debt burden,” he said.

He said Western Kenya has high potential that has not been fully tapped, and cited the edible oil sector.

The DP assured Kenyans that his economic team would continue to engage more leaders with a view of coming up with a blueprint before the next polls.

“Many have been criticising our bottom-up economic plan and this is a healthy discussion that even our competitors have recognised,” he said.

Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali, who led the delegation, noted that various challenges facing Busia, Bungoma, Vihiga and Kakamega counties had been identified.

“We have held a productive meeting with the DP where we met his economic technical team and discussed ways of resolving the challenges facing us,” he said.

The Secretary-General of Kenya Union of Nurses Seth Panyako said the civil society was firmly behind the bottom-up model.

“For years the country’s workers have been oppressed by political formations, but we have hope under the 'Hustler' umbrella,” he said.

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