• Otieno, who is eyeing the governor's seat, said what Ruto calls empowerment though donating work equipment cannot transform lives..
• Ruto's hustler movement is gaining traction and his rivals are alarmed, telling people to depend on government for jobs and development.
Deputy President William Ruto's hustler narrative is gaining traction in Nyanza and his opponents have told Homa Bay youths not to be 'taken in".
Businessman Jared Otieno said the narrative is misleading and will not transform lives. Speaking on Sunday at a Jared Otieno Foundation forum, Otieno said someone of Ruto's stature should not seek support from youths by giving them wheelbarrows.
Don't fall for the hustler ploy, Otieno said at Thuon-Gweno village in Ndhiwa constituency.
He said what Ruto calls empowerment through equipment - carpenters' tools, motorbikes and hair dryers - cannot transform young people's lives.
“Giving someone a wheelbarrow and hand cart cannot change their lives. DP Ruto should use the government systems and policies to empower them,” Otieno said.
He accused Ruto of taking the young people for granted.
The businessman said targeting youth in such a programme amounts to buying their votes.
“We respect Ruto as Deputy President but let him stop taking youths for granted. Let him respect them," Otieno said.
He told young people not to fall for tricks and fall into Ruto's "trap".
“Ruto's actions show he is someone who is mainly seeking youths' political support without helping them," Otieno said.
His comments followed hustler movement Nyanza coordinator Eliud Owalo and Hma Bay colleague Everest Okambo launching the movement in Homa Bay town on Tuesday last week,
Otieno is eyeing the Homa Bay governor's seat.
“Youths will be perceived as people who like chaos for no reason if they start criticising their serving elected leaders. Give the leaders time to serve the people so that they don’t blame anybody in case of failure,” he said.
Otieno said his foundation will continue to empower youths and women through education, sports, agriculture and income=generating activities.
The function was attended by the Homa Bay assembly Majority leader John Kiasa, Kibiri MCA Michael Odira and his Kendu Bay town counterpart Maurice Ogwang’.
Youths and women representatives from all eight constituencies attended.
“We’re going to start football and netball tournaments as a way of nurturing youth talent," Otieno said.
(Edited by V. Graham)