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Ruto: Uhuru, Raila uneasy with my connection with the poor

By James Omoro and Harold Odhiambo | Nov 12th 2021 | 3 min read

Deputy President William Ruto addresses residents of Homa Bay town during his third-day visit to Nyanza region on November 11, 2021. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has accused President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga of not being interested in the welfare of the poor. He said the two must be sent home peacefully after the 2022 General Election.

The DP, speaking in Homa Bay, said Uhuru and Raila had been working hard to hinder him from identifying with the majority of poor people and rise to the presidency.

Yesterday was the DP’s third day of his Nyanza region tour. Ruto said Uhuru and Raila were rich, and should hence retire together. “Hawa wadosi wako sawa. Acha waende nyumbani (These leaders are well off. Let them go home),” Ruto said.

He described Uhuru and Raila as thankless leaders, who should reciprocate the support he gave them in previous presidential contests. Ruto said he helped Uhuru to win elections in 2013 and 2017 and stood firmly with Raila, enabling the latter to become Prime Minister after the contentious 2007 presidential election.

“When I supported President Uhuru Kenyatta to win his two terms, I was a good man. When I supported Raila to become a Prime Minister, I was a good man. Now, when I want to become the next president, they start calling me names because I resonate with hustlers,” Ruto said.

He vowed to surprise Uhuru and Raila in August next year. “These men have planned to bring me down in the quest for the presidency, but I am more prepared than them. I am ready,” Ruto said.

He said during the second term of the Jubilee administration, the Big Four agenda, which was aimed at improving the economy, was “abducted” by the desires of the President and the ODM leader to change the Constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

The DP said Kenyans' main problem was poor economic growth, and no need to change the Constitution.

“When the BBI issue came, I said constitutional change is not a priority. But they did not listen to me,” Ruto said.

Kenyans’ biggest challenge is the deteriorating economy, Ruto said. “The priority for Kenyans is not to change the Constitution so that leaders can share political positions. The priority is economic revival so that small-scale traders can have money in their pockets,” he said.

He said if elected, his government would allocate every constituency Sh150 million annually for empowering of small-scale traders and medium enterprises.

He also promised to create jobs for the youth. “My government will create jobs to ensure the youth have reliable sources of livelihood,” Ruto said.

He challenged his competitors to go to the ground and seek votes instead of holding boardroom meetings in Nairobi.

“Voters are the key decision-makers in an election, and they are in villages, not Nairobi,” he said.

The DP concluded his tour in Migori County, where he toured a number of towns, including Sori, Mihuru, Masara and Migori town. He was accompanied by Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, Marwa Kitayama of Kuria East and Mathias Robi of Kuria West.

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