NATIONAL OUTLOOK

Shun tribal, ethnic-based politics, says Ruto

He said when he supported Raila and Uhuru he was a 'good man', but supporting hustlers makes him bad

In Summary

• DP says only the UDA party has a national outlook and clear agenda to help all Kenyans.

• He said the hustler movement has panicked some leaders into forming tribal groupings to fight him.

Regional political parties
Regional political parties
Image: STAR ILLUSTRATED

Deputy President William Ruto has urged Kenyans to stop ethnic-based groupings and adopt political parties with national outlooks.

Speaking on Thursday in Taita Taveta, he said  Kenyans should elect leaders with an admirable track record and those who have the country's best interest at heart.

The Deputy President said only the United Democratic Alliance among the current crop of political parties has a national outlook and clear agenda for the country.

"Do not allow yourselves to be misled to support political parties with tribal groupings and which have no development agenda," the Deputy President said.

He commented during an empowerment programme for residents of Wundanyi, Mwatate and Voi in Taita Taveta county.

He later supported small-scale traders in Matuga, Kwale county.

Present were MPs Lydia Haika (Taita Taveta), Benjamin Tayari (Kinango), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga), Kwale county Deputy Governor Fatuma Achani and former Governor John Mruttu.

Ruto also said it's time leaders discouraged politics of conmanship. The Deputy President said when he supported former Prime minister Raila Odinga in 2007 and President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2002, 2013 and 2017, he (Ruto) "was a good man". 

Ruto said he was now surprised that the same people who used to praise him when he supported them have ganged up against him.

"When I supported Raila Odinga to become Prime Minister and later my friend Uhuru Kenyatta to become President, I was a good man. But now that I want to help hustlers, I have suddenly turned out to be a bad man," the DP said.

He said the hustler movement has created panic, forcing some leaders to form tribal groupings to fight him ahead of 2022.

Ruto said the hustler movement aims to change the country's economic model from grassroots as opposed to the current top-down that benefits few individuals.

He said that the country's priority was not changing the Constitution but addressing unemployment among the youth, as well as the economic empowerment of small-scale traders.

"The 2022 competition will be about those pushing for the change of Constitution to create positions for a few individuals and us who want to change the economic model to economically empower millions of Kenyans," he said.

Mruttu said the economic model that is being proposed by UDA would transform the lives of ordinary citizens.

"I am associating myself with this party because it's committed to addressing challenges facing ordinary Kenyans," he said.

Haika said only UDA has won the hearts of the majority of Kenyans because of its agenda and track record of its leaders.

She urged the Ministry of Education to compel teachers not to send home students for lack of school fees, saying the country was witnessing hard economic times.

(Edited by V. Graham)