FRENETIC ELECTIONEERING

Ruto: I won't fail Kenyans on my 2022 promises

The DP says he will implement everything that will form part of his development plan.

In Summary

• Ruto vows to prove wrong his critics who have dismissed his promise to empower ordinary Kenyans through his bottom-up economic model as “big talk”.

• He says no part of the country will be left out as far as his development plan is concerned.

Deputy President William Ruto
Deputy President William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto has pledged to implement to the letter the 'hustlers' economic blueprint to be unveiled in December.

But even as DP Ruto assembles his future political plan, the bad blood between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta played out yet again on Tuesday.

The DP was for the first time in the life of the Jubilee administration not at State House for the reception for a visiting head of state. Tanzania's President Suluhu Hassan is in the country for a two-day state visit. 

Suluhu was received at State House, Nairobi, by her host, President Uhuru Kenyatta, who  introduced her to Cabinet secretaries before they held talks.

The DP's office said he was not invited.

"I can confirm there was no invite received. But you can check with State House," Ruto's director of communications Emmanuel Talam said.

But in an interview with the Star on Monday, Ruto cut an image of a man determined to succeed Uhuru. He said he will not compromise on the implementation of his manifesto should he form government next year.

The DP expressed confidence that his promise to change Kenya will come to pass, vowing to prove wrong his critics who have dismissed his promise to empower ordinary Kenyans through his bottom-up economic model as “big talk”.

“I will work hard to implement every aspect of what I am pledging. The bottom-up economy will work and must work , this I can assure Kenyans and I will be accountable to them,” he told the Star at his Nairobi office.

His critics have questioned why he cannot propose and implement the same development agenda now, yet he is the second in command in the Jubilee administration.

However, Ruto, in an earlier interview with Citizen TV, blamed his frustrations on Uhuru's change of leadership style soon after they were sworn in for a second term.

DP William Ruto hosts MPs at his official residence in Karen, Nairobi, on February 8, 2021
DP William Ruto hosts MPs at his official residence in Karen, Nairobi, on February 8, 2021
Image: DPPS

During the Citizen interview on April 15, the DP said the President brought on board new political players, who have seen him edged out of government.

Ruto acknowledged that many Kenyans have put their hopes on him, saying he will not let them down in creation of jobs and refocusing the country from the Jubilee development plan, which he said has worked but not to the optimum.

“The conversation has changed, out there Kenyans are discussing issues, they yearn for real change. Were it not for politics that came with the handshake, as Jubilee government, we would have done better,” he said.

"We have laid the foundation in the Big Four agenda and we will build on that to ensure the 10 million Kenyans excluded from our national workforce also board. When we say we want to transform this country, we mean it."

He said no part of the country will be left out as far as his development plan is concerned, noting that leaders and professionals from all the 47 counties have been invited to make proposals.

“We are having comprehensive discussions that are people-centered. It is not about tribe, religion or your status in society, but about all of us as a country."

"We are keen to tap into the huge reservoir of knowledge, talent and expertise available to inform our policy process with knowledge that is grounded in our economic reality,” he said. 

This week , political and community leaders and professionals from Coast who subscribe to the hustler movement are meeting to deliberate on the economic blueprint for the region.

Once the multi-sectoral team completes its deliberations, it will have a retreat with the Deputy President where it will present its report.

The leaders will be from the six coastal counties of Tana River, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale, Lamu and Taita Taveta.

And from Monday next week, their counterparts from the Rift Valley will also meet to discuss their agenda. The representatives will be drawn from Baringo, Bomet, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kajiado, Kericho, Laikipia, Nakuru, Nandi, Narok, Samburu, Trans Nzoia, Turkana, Uasin Gishu and West Pokot.

Former Jubilee deputy secretary general Caleb Kositany (Soi MP) told the Star on Tuesday that they will be discussing issues affecting the people of the vast region and proposing how to deal with them.

Kositany said once they firm up their proposals, they will present them to Ruto for consideration and adoption for implementation by the government they expect to form.

Kositany said despite the people of the region voting almost to man to Uhuru, the Jubilee administration has become a graveyard of Rift Valley professionals, whom he said have been victimised through false graft accusations.

He also noted that some key flagship projects in the region such as dams have suffered because of bad politics choreographed to tame the DP.

“Political leaders and professionals from all the counties of Rift Valley will make proposals on how to revive pastoralist activities and all sectors of agriculture such as maize, tea, coffee and pyrethrum, among others. The counties we have are unique and each will come up with their issues then we come up with one document,” Kositany said.

Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire (Jubilee) said they are working on key pillars that are geared towards reforming institutions of governance; ensuring economic growth and stability; reforming agriculture, livestock and fisheries; committing to devolution; investing in infrastructure; promoting equality and social justice; and guaranteeing universal access to healthcare.

Mbarire told the Star on the phone that they are determined to implement a model that will create an enabling business environment and lower the cost of living.

“I am convinced that what the DP is working on is a game changer for this country for good. In the new model we are adopting, we are proposing that there will be a fund for empowerment of ordinary Kenyans who can borrow right at the constituency to finance their businesses. We will invest in business skills development among women and the youth,” she said.