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Ruto promises an MoU with Ukambani residents

Deputy President William Ruto during a past Kenya Kwanza rally. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday took his 'hustler' campaigns to Kitui County and urged residents to support his presidential bid. 

Accompanied by elected leaders and UDA aspirants, the DP hit at his main challenger, ODM leader Raila Odinga, claiming he cannot not be trusted with the country's leadership. 

Ruto dismissed the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila as a con game that had stalled the government's big four agenda. He also claimed Raila was a government project being pushed down the throats of Kenyans from posh Nairobi hotels. 

"Hii mambo ya handshake ilikuwa utapeli mtupu. Ndio maana mimi nilikataa (handshake was a complete fraud, that is why I refused to acknowledge it) Ruto said at Kitui bus park. 

The DP called on the Kamba community to join hands and be part of his administration. He claimed Raila had taken Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka for a ride for far too long, adding that it was now time for the community to try his leadership.

He said he would form a government that understands the "language of the people" and focus on empowering small traders and creating jobs for the youth. 

For Kitui County, the DP said he was ready to sign an agreement with the local leadership and set priorities. "I am ready to sign a charter with the people of Kitui on their priorities," he said. 

ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi also questioned why the government is not using the Fuel Stabilisation Fund to help lower the pump price. “We recently saw the fertiliser money diverted to security. Has the Fuel Stabilisation Fund also been diverted to security?” asked the Kenya Kwanza principal.

He regretted that cabinet secretaries of Agriculture and Finance are all silent as Kenyans suffer. “The shortage will directly affect the farmers and ultimately make our country food insecure. We also demand an answer for the continued rise in food prices and fertiliser despite the fact that money budgeted for subsidy was diverted to other things,” said Mudavadi.

Saying he would pick from where the Big Four agenda stalled, Ruto said he would allocate Sh100 billion for housing this financial year if he clinches the presidency with another Sh50 billion to empower small traders. 

His administration, Ruto said, would also ensure health insurance for all Kenyans, adding that the government would contribute to the NHIF kitty for those who cannot afford. 

In his bid to woo the Kamba community, the DP seemed to take credit for the Jubilee government projects initiated in Kitui County and elsewhere in Ukambani such as the dual carriage way Kibwezi - Mutomo - Kitui road and the Standard Gauge Railway cutting through Makueni County as well as the multi-purpose Thwake Dam.