Ruto declares he will defy court orders on Kenya Kwanza projects

President William Ruto. [PCS]

President William Ruto has publicly hinted that his government will not abide by court orders that have stopped his key development programmes.

Speaking during the funeral of the father of Nyandarua senator John Methu, Michael Maigo Waweru, in Njabini, the President said it was the will of the people that programmes like Universal Health Coverage, affordable housing and other key Kenya Kwanza pre-election pledges be implemented.

Emphasizing that Kenyans voted for him because of his manifesto, Ruto said most of the programmes stopped by the courts were in line with the Constitution, and the judiciary, like other arms of government, must submit itself to the supreme law.

“The Constitution provides that the government should ensure Kenyans have decent houses to live in, get high standards of healthcare and have good infrastructure,” he said.

“We are supposed to initiate affordable housing projects in Engineer and Ol Kalou, and are we supposed to wait for the judiciary to tell us what to do?” Posed the president.

He insisted that the Judiciary move may see over 5,000 youths lose jobs.

“It is a sabotage plan by a few individuals who want to personally continue benefiting from programmes like the defunct NHIF, which was losing almost half of the funds to cartels in hospitals and fake doctors,” said Ruto.

The Head of State said it was time for the nation to have a candid discussion about the courts and those who rush to stop key government programmes because of selfish interests.

“What we are doing is in the Constitution. A Bill and budget were passed in Parliament and over 7 million Kenyans voted for our manifesto, it is time to listen to Kenyans,” said Ruto.

He declared that his government will fight head-on with cartels in and outside the Judiciary, who have been receiving bribes to sabotage the Kenya Kwanza government’s agenda for the nation.

Ruto said the Kenya Kwanza government will respect and protect the independence of the Judiciary but will not allow judicial impunity and tyranny.

“Those who go to court over NHIF want to stop new and improved technology that will see NHIF money protected. They are among beneficiaries who stole over half of NHIF money,” he said.

He directed the Roads Principal Secretary to release money for the construction of a road in Nyandarua that had been stopped by the court.

The president insisted that in order for development projects to succeed the government needs money and taxes must be paid.

Ruto insisted that the country is in a secure position with regard to debt obligations, and aims to attain its full socio-economic potential.

Even as he acknowledged that the country’s economy was in the red, the President said the country’s problem has never been high taxation but debts.

“There is a section of people who want us to believe the problem we have as a country is taxes. No, I want to tell you today that our problem is debt. Other countries have failed to honour their debt obligations but I will not allow Kenya to go that way,” Ruto said.

The Head of State further said that unless the government controls its appetite for borrowing and learns how to manage debts, Kenyans will become slaves to those who lend the country.

“Many nations have been destroyed by debt, there is no single nation that has been destroyed by taxing its people. Many progressive countries have been built by taxes," he said.

Judiciary Building, Nairobi. [File, Standard]

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua blamed former President Uhuru Kenyatta for court cases filed against government programmes.

He claimed that Uhuru is keen to ensure that Ruto does not deliver his promises to Kenyans by sponsoring court cases and funding anti-government protests.

Gachagua insisted that the Kenya Kwanza government has been fair to the Judiciary and ensured they are well funded and humanly equipped to dispense justice.

“The judiciary had lost its independence but the Kenya Kwanza government restored it. Now they should be fair to us and avoid issuing orders that are reasonable,” he said.

The DP said judges should conduct open court sessions to see how the affordable housing project is creating employment for youths.

“They should not sit in Nairobi and issue orders affecting other counties without due diligence that exposes their ignorance to what is in the ground,” said Gachagua.

He said Ruto is following in the steps of President Mwai Kibaki, praised for stabilizing the economy of Kenya.

Kikuyu Town MP and National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah accused Uhuru of allegedly sabotaging the government's development agenda.

Ichung'wah claimed that the former president's Northlands City with 2000 affordable housing units was the reason why he did not want the program to progress in Kiambu as it was a threat to the Sh500 billion private city linked to the Kenyatta family.

"Some Chinese contractors, courtesy of state capture, developed 2000 affordable housing units in a private city within Kiambu. Was the sabotage informed by the desire to make the private city the only affordable housing site in Kiambu?" He posed.

Senate Speaker Amason Kingi said taxes must be paid and those against it were not patriotic.

Nyandarua Senator Methu said he will support Nyoro and Ichung’wah in dealing with planned Azimio protests.

The senator eulogised his father as a hardworking, God-fearing and humble man who took care of his family.

“I feel pain because we did not celebrate with him during Christmas. His death was sudden and unfair, but we will accept it. His loss will never be replaced and our hearts will continue mourning,” said Methu.

Other senators present joined in condemning Uhuru for allegedly interfering with the Kenya Kwanza government.

Recently Ruto claimed that saboteurs of his affordable housing agenda were the forces behind a conservatory order issued by the High Court that stopped collection of the housing levy.