- He spoke at the end of a two-day retreat with politicians, professionals and grassroots leaders from Ukambani.
- He said he was proud that the 2022 campaigns have been hinged on economic issues rather than tribe and sharing of positions.
Deputy President William Ruto on Monday said he will be unveiling his development agenda for the country.
The DP said the agenda which will carry the aspirations and wishes of Kenyans under the bottom-up economic model. This will then be consolidated into a charter he will formally unveil early next year.
Ruto, who spoke at the end of a two-day retreat with politicians, professionals and grassroots leaders from Ukambani said the “hustlers blueprint" will be a binding agreement between Kenyans and his government if he succeeds President Uhuru Kenyatta in next year's presidential election.
“We will consolidate the views, the priorities, the intentions and the wishes of millions of Kenyans from every part of our country into a document that we will validate a month from now in another meeting of political actors, business people, the academia,” he said during a press briefing in Amboseli.
“That will then go into the charter that will form the agreement between the people of this region and people of Kenya in general and their government, next year,” he said.
The DP, who is largely expected to run on the United Democratic Alliance ticket, assured Kenyans that he will implement to the letter every aspect of his manifesto.
“We want to commit that what we have done in Nyanza, Western [and] Coast, we are also going to accomplish the same with the people of Rift Valley and North Eastern. We have every intention to keep the promise. We started this process with the 11 counties in the former Central province and it has acquired momentum,” Ruto said.
He said he was proud that the 2022 campaigns have been hinged on economic issues rather than tribe and sharing of positions as has been the case in the previous campaigns.
“Today we are having a conversation of our lifetime around the economy. In the past, it has never happened that citizens at all levels are engaged in the process of developing a blueprint for purposes of forming a political movement with intention of forming the government. We are charting a new path,” he said.
The DP said his economic model is a masterstroke for the country’s breakthrough.
“We are happy that every political formation at the moment is equally trying to have the conversation around the economy. We welcome all leaders to this all-important conversation in our country about the economy of our nation,” he said.
On the Ukambani economic discussion, the DP said forums will be organised for residents in the three counties: Machakos, Makueni and Kitui to make their proposals.
“We have developed a broad framework which is going to be the basis upon which people from different walks of life in South Eastern will engage over the next one month. We are going to have meetings in different places culminating in one meeting in Makueni, another in Kitui and another meeting in Machakos,” he said.
During the meeting, the leaders from South-Eastern proposed to the DP that his administration should address issues touching on agriculture, water, infrastructure, economic opportunities for the youth and matters micro and small enterprises.
Delegates attending the two-day South Eastern Region Economic Forum said the scarcity of water had affected the area’s economic potential.
“The region has excellent soils and warm weather suitable for a wide range of agricultural production. It is noted that scarcity of water is the single most critical constraint,” they said.
Without the provision of water, they told the DP the bottom-up economic model would suffer.
The forum heard that there were several ongoing large-scale water investments, such as Thwake Dam, Umaa Dam and others which when completed will irrigate up to 300,000 acres of land.
“However, this is just over 5 per cent of the region’s 5.5 million acres of arable land. Unlocking the potential of this land requires that we map all potential sources for both irrigation and domestic use,” Jonathan Mueke said.
Mueke is a former Nairobi county deputy governor.
He said consultations will be intensified with all stakeholders to ensure available water resources are harnessed with a view to identifying the interventions that will bring the region’s perennial water problem to an end.
“This meeting identified raising agricultural productivity as the region’s top economic priority, and water as the key enabler of socio-economic transformation,” Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka said.
Leaders present in the meeting included Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok, MPs Munyaka, Nimrod Mbai, Katoo Ole Metito, former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and several MCAs.