Ruto: I have shown hustlers they can also be rich

Deputy President William Ruto when he met the Trustees of the East African Ramgarhia Board and the Ramgarhia Youth Association at his Karen home in Nairobi.[Courtesy]

Deputy President William Ruto is moving to stem a fallout among his burgeoning 'hustlers' base after the revelation of his financial muscle, which has left his campaign team reeling.

While defending his wealth, the DP on Friday said the government had ganged up against him because he had shown that hustlers could also become rich.

He said he had been accused of inciting the poor yet all he had done was show the economically disenfranchised population that they could also climb the economic ladder.

"A lot of leaders have ganged up and declared that they have to fight me because I have told the hustlers that they can also climb the ladder. They are accusing me of inciting the youth," said Dr Ruto.

The DP picked off his campaign from where he had left it before Interior CS Fred Matiang'i revealed his assets during the National Assembly National Security and Administration committee sitting on Wednesday, who sought to establish the reason behind replacement of the General Service Unit (GSU) with the Administration Police (AP) Security for Government Buildings (SGB).

Instead, the CS took the opportunity to inform Kenyans of the three layers of security offered to the DP, consisting of 257 officers drawn from the President Escort Unit (PEU), SGB, prisons among others to lay bare his lifestyle audit.

The DP was speaking in Karen when he met businessmen from Nairobi's Eastlands area.

"The elite are worried that the poor have been awakened and know that their interests are also important and must be included in the national dialogue," said Ruto.

He said the government had invested in roads, railways and electricity, but had neglected small businesses.

"Many of them are accusing me of inciting the poor, but my question to them is, didn’t we build a 700km railway for Sh400 billion? And connected 8 million people to electricity and built 10,000km of roads. Would it be a problem if we now assisted mama mboga?," Ruto posed.

The DP said he was the best person to transform fortunes of Kenya's poor and the unemployed.

Ruto is attempting to build a winning campaign message in the empowerment economically disenfranchised.

“Politics is not about love; it is about your issues," he said.

He said those issues include lowering the cost of living, providing jobs and empowering small businesses.

"You need to vote for the person who has your interests – where your children will get employment, where there is a plan to grow your business, to reduce the price of food. You are not voting for tribe or love,” said Ruto.

He said small business people would be essential in his government.

"The government that will come next year will be for hustlers and recognises the small business people and acknowledges that the jobless are a bigger priority than the people looking for power."