Ruto to Raila: Opposition threats will not move me

President William Ruto talks to an excavator operator during the launch of affordable housing project in Shauri Moyo, Nairobi, on January 27, 2023. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

President William Ruto has responded to Azimio leader Raila Odinga, saying he will not engage him in a political duel as he is busy serving Kenyans who elected him. 

The President said he has his work cut out for him, which requires him to serve each and every Kenyan despite their political affiliation.

Ruto hit out at the opposition leader saying his administration will work with leaders from all political divides to foster development. 

“What else is there for me to do? Or are we here to start asking for votes? Those who want to protest will eventually calm down,” said Ruto. 

“They should sit back and let me show them how to work. They clearly failed. They should calm down. Or do they think the prize of maize flour drops at the supermarket? No. You start by providing fertiliser to farmers, which I have done,” he added.

Ruto said his administration will ensure every Kenyan is part and parcel of his development plans. His remarks were in response to the call for protests by Azimio leader Raila Odinga, who said he does not recognise Ruto’s presidency. 

“We can’t start arguing with them. If you think you can scare us, let me tell you it will not work. This country does not belong to two people,” said the President.

President Ruto was speaking during the groundbreaking of an affordable housing project in Shauri Moyo, Nairobi City County, where he was accompanied by his deputy Rigathi Gachagua.

The project will see the development of 3,000 housing units comprised of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments while creating about 5,000 jobs. 

Speaking at the event, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said those who do not recognise President Ruto are dreaming and there is nothing they can do to change that. 

“Even if you say you do not recognise President Ruto, and you go ahead to protest, what next?” he posed. 

Gachagua said elections were done and decided even after the opposition moved to the Supreme Court.

“Hold your horses and wait for 2027,” he said. “If they were not satisfied, that is their own problem.”

The President said 39 counties and the National Government have agreed to take part in the affordable housing programme.

Ruto said his administration will work to upgrade slums in Nairobi by ensuring the two million Kenyans who live in informal settlements access affordable housing at their current rent prices.

“We will eliminate all slums in our time and change them to estates that are liveable,” said Ruto. “We have contacts with 39 counties already, and we will do it with all counties.”

He said the government seeks to put up 50,000 units in Makongeni area as part of Nairobi regeneration.

Ruto said his administration wants to put up 200,000 units every year as part of his goal on affordable housing.

The Standard
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