- The two say the threat of arrest will not deter them from supporting Ruto.
- Ali says using the Covid-19 pandemic to settle political scores is archaic and immoral.
Intimidating Deputy President William Ruto’s allies in Mombasa will not stop him from reaching out to the poor and vulnerable, the DP’s allies have said.
Nyali MP Mohammed Ali and Mombasa Jubilee politician Mohamed ‘Tenge’ Salim on Thursday said the threat of arrest will not deter them from supporting Ruto.
The two said the food distribution will expand to other parts of the Coast. “We thank DP Ruto for his food. We will continue distributing it to Kenyans who need it,” Ali said.
They spoke a day after Tenge was fined Sh3,000 for contravening social distancing rules.
He pleaded guilty to failing to maintain a physical distance of not less than one metre from another person in public, for which he was slapped with the fine.
On Thursday, Tenge told the Star he is dedicated to helping the less fortunate get through the coronavirus pandemic.
“I thank the courts for the justice they dispensed. I do not even know how I found myself in the courts in the first place,” he said.
Tenge, however, said he will change how he distributes food to ensure no one contravenes the social distance directive.
“I will not relent in distributing Ruto’s food. There are vulnerable people who need the food and stopping now will be wrong to them and to Allah,” he said.
Ali said using the Covid-19 pandemic to settle political scores is archaic and immoral.
“For those with political hatred, Ruto’s food will continue being distributed at the grassroots observing all the country’s laws, rules and regulations,” he said.
The vocal MP said many Kenyans are facing hunger and trying to stop well-wishers from giving them food is morally wrong.
“If you have problems with DP Ruto, deal with him as Ruto. Do not interfere with the food that he is donating, which helps millions of Kenyans,” Ali said.
Tenge had been charged with engaging in a prohibited gathering during a restricted period but senior principal magistrate Florence Macharia dismissed it.
She said Tenge had been given a permit by Mombasa county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo to distribute the food.
Tenge and Ali said it was unfortunate for a public figure to be treated like a gangster.
Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya