Give us time to clean up Uhuru mess, William Ruto pleads


President William Ruto arrives for an interdenominational church service at the Green Stadium in Kericho County. [PCS]

President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua have told critics to give them time to fix the mess created by the Jubilee administration.

Ruto who spoke during an interdenominational church service at Green Stadium in Kericho County, yesterday, said a lot needs to be done to revive the economy.

“The economy was dying. We have huge debts. Agriculture was at its worst. Insecurity was on the rise. Those we competed with should wait. They should give us the chance to fix the country where they destroyed,” he said.

The president was responding to claims by the opposition that his administration had failed to deliver its campaign promises, especially bringing down the cost of living.

“Those complaining can’t stop us from changing the country. We want to focus on the future. I ask Kenyans not to be confused by what happened in the past,” he said.

Ruto called on stakeholders to join hands with government to ensure the country achieves its aspirations.

“We are on a clean page. I commit that we will be faithful to transforming all sectors of our economy. Everyone will however have to play their role to build a nation that fits all of us,” he said.

The president announced that affordable housing, value addition, agro-processing, irrigation and easy access to credit will form part of his economic recovery strategy.

“Counties will give us land to construct 500,000 houses every two years. We already have willing investors. This will create jobs and proper settlement for our people with access to facilities. We shall provide credit to off take these houses,” he said.

Ruto pledged to launch the Hustler Fund before the end of the year to boost the ailing economy.

“We shall launch the Hustler Fund on December 1. As I plan how to disburse the money, plan how you shall use the money. This is not free money. There is no free government money. It shall be a loan at a lower interest,” he said.

In addition to reviving stalled dams, Ruto said that his government will construct 50 mega dams and 200 smaller ones to enhance irrigation and livestock keeping.

“We shall conduct law amendments to aid in water purchase agreements to help us in building the dams. This shall increase food production to lower the cost of living,” said Ruto.

He promised that his administration will lower the cost of farm inputs to ensure farmers expand agriculture production.

“We have a plan to support our farmers with fertiliser and quality seeds. We have a plan for agro-processing and value addition,” he said.

Gachagua said the opposition’s dalliance with the former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime messed up the country and the focus of Kenya Kwanza government is to provide solutions to challenges.

“We are telling our detractors that the mess and economic mismanagement of their five years cannot be cleared in a month. Once we clean your mess, provide oversight. You can’t provide oversight as we clean the mess you created,” he said.

Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok lauded the government for removing subsidies on food and oil products.

“If we subsidise consumption, we are eating the future of children. We shall support you to ensure production is subsidized to get real progress in our economy,” said Dr Barchok.

Kuresoi North MP Alfred Mutai urged the government to lift land caveats in various parts of the country to bolster economic development.

“We have some parts of this country where people have been denied the right to develop their own land due to long-standing caveats. It is our appeal that this is lifted to enhance economic development in such areas,” said Mutai.

Kericho Governor Eric Mutai appealed to Ruto to revive stalled development projects, saying that politics surrounding the same had condemned the citizens to suffering.

“Nearly all major and helpful projects in the Rift Valley region were politicised and stalled. We have Itare and Soin dams which we are looking forward to your intervention,” said Mutai.

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot called for the construction of Kerenga Airport.