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'Idealess' Ruto playing the victim to get sympathy, says Kalonzo

Wiper leader says the DP has no idea of how to spur economic growth and has resorted to handouts to entice voters.

In Summary

• Kalonzo on Monday said the responsibility of any leader worth the title is to create an environment in which citizens can grow economically.

• He dismissed claims that the measures are targeted at Ruto and his team. 

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka at Sparki in Mombasa on Monday.
STRAIGHT TALK: Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka at Sparki in Mombasa on Monday.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and chair Chirau Ali Mwakwere walk to the Kiziwi cemetery in Mombasa on Monday.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and chair Chirau Ali Mwakwere walk to the Kiziwi cemetery in Mombasa on Monday.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka consoles Ali Salim Bajaber, son of the late Salim Bajaber, at the Kiziwi cemetery in Mombasa on Monday.
CONDOLENCES: Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka consoles Ali Salim Bajaber, son of the late Salim Bajaber, at the Kiziwi cemetery in Mombasa on Monday.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

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Deputy President William Ruto lacks the necessary ideas to spur economic development and create job opportunities and has resorted to issuing handouts to entice the electorate, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has said.

Kalonzo on Monday said the responsibility of any leader worth the title is to create an environment in which citizens can grow economically.

 

He said in the Grand Coalition Government in which Mwai Kibaki was President, ODM leader Raila Odinga Prime Minister and himself Vice President, they put money in the pockets of Kenyans.

“You can’t put money in the pockets of Kenyans by giving them wheelbarrows. How many wheelbarrows can you supply? That is tokenism and it is a very bad economic principle.

“It shows you these people have no ideas on principles of leadership,” Kalonzo said.

He spoke at the Alishaan Restaurant in Tudor Nora, Mombasa, moments after the burial of Wiper deputy organising secretary Salim Bajaber.

Ruto's critics have lashed out at him for giving handouts to the youth eight years later after failing to empower them since he became Deputy President.

However, the DP and his allies say the wheelbarrows and other equipment they have been issuing are a source of livelihood for millions of Kenyans.

On Monday, Ruto accused the security organs of playing politics against him, following the directives issued by the National Security Advisory Committee in an attempt to contain early election campaigns ahead of 2022.

 

He cried foul saying the directives are targeted at his political camp.

“Let us not make Kenya the animal farm where some are more equal than others,” said Ruto when he hosted religious leaders from Nyanza at his Sugoi home.

In Mombasa, however, Kalonzo said Ruto and his cronies are playing the victims to gain sympathy. He said compliance is easy and the measures enable the police to make arrangements to guarantee the safety of those attending public meetings.

The council resolved that leaders intending to hold rallies must notify police station bosses three to 14 days earlier. They will also be required to help the police maintain order during such meetings.

Those in attendance are required to exercise a high degree of safety, meaning that they will be nonviolent and keep to designated places. They will be required to report to authorities instances of hate speech and ethnic contempt.

Kalonzo dismissed claims that the measures are targeted at Ruto. “But I don’t want a situation where people take the view they are victimised. Nobody is victimised,” he said.

“The simple thing to do is comply. I don’t think there is a problem. But, of course, people wanting to gain political mileage and pretend they are victimised will even go as far as plotting their own chaos and be teargassed.”

The Wiper leader reminded Ruto that "what goes around comes around," adding in jest that he has experience in "being teargassed".

“Some people are just looking for cheap publicity by being teargassed. Tell them we are the experts [in being teargassed],” Kalonzo said.

He reminded Ruto of his remarks in Makueni county when the DP taunted him about being a whole VP but sitting on the tarmac during protests.

During demos against former IEBC chairman Isaak Hassan, Kalonzo, among other then Cord leaders and supporters, sat on the road. At some point, Kalonzo’s Wiper cap fell off as he fled for dear life.

“One time I was teargassed and I left my Wiper cap on the road. You know what happened. How times change,” Kalonzo said.

“Ruto went to Makueni and said he saw a whole Vice President sitting on the tarmac. Can William Ruto complain? It is his time to sit on the tarmac.

“That’s why they said people in glass houses don’t throw stones,” Kalonzo said.

He, however, said all should be allowed to seek votes so long as they guard themselves against Covid-19.

“My view is to let everybody free. No one should be blocked from organising meetings. There is no point in going to court.”

The Law Society of Kenya has moved to court seeking to have the NSAC directives lifted. Kalonzo said under the Constitution, one cannot be blocked from exercising the right to assemble.

On Ruto’s Hustler vs Dynasties narrative, Kalonzo questioned why the DP hates him yet "my father was a nobody."

"If the idea is to hate Raila because he is the son to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and President Uhuru because he is the son of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, why would you hate Kalonzo? Who is his father?”

Wiper chairman Chirau Ali Mwakwere said Ruto was sacked by the Kibaki administration for a reason and that speaks volumes. Kibaki is credited by economic pundits with having the best administration in Kenya’s history.

“Why was he the only minister sacked by President Kibaki alongside three assistant ministers? What sins did you commit? We know,” Mwakwere said.

The former Matuga MP said he was the founder of URP and made Ruto the party leader so he could bring in the two million Rift Valley votes to add to the 900,000 Coast votes, but the DP ended up "grabbing the party" from him.