Deputy President William Ruto ignored hostile youth as he took his presidential contest to Busia County.
Dr Ruto, who has pitched tent in the Western region to market his 2022 presidential bid, is reported to have diverted at Korinda junction on the Kisumu/Busia highway when he was met by rowdy youth, who barricaded the road, lit a bonfire and threw stones.
It took the intervention of anti-riot police to disperse the crowd, which was armed with crude weapons. At least four cars that were part of Ruto’s motorcade were destroyed in the ensuing melee. A visibly upset Ruto went on with his speech after police secured the main podium.
“My competitors are not development-conscious and that’s why they are giving our youth handouts and alcohol to cause violence. We came in peace and we are not interested in violence,” said Ruto.
Ruto told the gathering that he would change the country’s political trajectory for good and that politics of violence and deceit would be a thing of the past if he is elected president next year.
“Those who said that I cannot come to Busia town and address my people have seen it for themselves. I am here to spread the Hustler Nation gospel and no one can stop me,” he said.
He added: “The youth are the champions of our economic revolution under the bottom-up economic model. We will put in place policies that will tap into their energy and skills. I call upon them to register as voters in order to participate in deciding their destiny.”
Ruto said he would not be swayed by sideshows in his pursuit to unite the country ahead of next year’s elections.
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He said his focus was on revamping agriculture by giving subsidies to farmers, grow the economy by double digits and create jobs for the youth.
He asked residents to vote for him instead of ODM leader Raila Odinga whom he accused of betraying residents who had supported him.
He said the handshake between Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta only benefited people from one region.
Ruto, who has been on a two-day tour of Western, was in Malaba, Nambale, Matayos, and Butula.
“Sustainable economic growth will only be realised through empowerment of small enterprises that support millions of households. This growth requires deliberate interventions that include financing and legislation. This is our commitment as the Hustler Nation,” he said.
He said they had embarked on the second and final day of empowerment and meet-the-people tour of Busia County to engage the women, small-scale traders and the youth.
On Friday, Ruto traversed Kakamega County, making stopovers at Khayega market, Musoli, Sabatia, Mumias town, Mumias East and Navakholo.
Yesterday, Ruto kicked off his tour of Busia at Butula and Bumala trading centres where he addressed supporters.
United Democratic Alliance leaders from Western region accompanying the DP condemned the action of the rowdy youths whom they said allowed Ruto’s entourage to pass but stoned the remaining vehicles.