- Deputy President said Raila has been giving the President the wrong advice, which has resulted in the cost of living going up.
- Ruto said the top priority of his Kenya Kwanza government would be to lower the cost of living.
Deputy President William Ruto has said Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga should be blamed for the soaring costs of basic commodities.
Ruto said Raila, as an adviser to President Uhuru Kenyatta, must be faulted for the sharp rise in the prices of commodities like maize flour and cooking oil.
He neglected to mention the war in Ukraine that has cut off grain supplies to much of the world, as well as the failed rains in Kenya and other factors. The war and reduced subsidies have also increased the price of oil, which increases the price of transportation.
Kenya far from alone is a victim of the global economic downturn.
Addressing a rally in Gotani, Kaloleni, Kilifi county on Sunday, Ruto said poor Kenyans are paying now paying Sh250 for a two kilogramme packet of maize flour.
“In 2018, the 2kg packet of maize flour cost Sh75. It is now selling at Sh250 and we are told that after I was elbowed out, [it] is the Azimio guy,” he said.
The Deputy President said Raila has been giving the President the wrong advice, which has resulted in the cost of living going up.
“It is his advice that has made the price of flour to rise. Is this a person you can hire even to herd your goats? What if he gets the top job, will the price of flour get to Sh500?” he asked.
Raila has been accusing Ruto and his allies of plundering the country's resources through corruption leading to the high cost of living.
On Sunday, Ruto said the top priority of his Kenya Kwanza government would be to lower the cost of living.
“Some people are asking how I will do it. When I was made minister for Agriculture, the cost of fertiliser was Sh5,000 but I lowered it to Sh2,500. I was just a minister then, what if I become the President?” he asked.
Present at the rally were ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi, his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula, Maendeleo Chap Chap leader Alfred Mutua and MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) and Owen Baya (Kilifi North).
Mudavadi reiterated that Kenya Kwanza’s goal is to restore the economy and uplift the lives of the ordinary people.
“I have seen lactating mothers here. When their children grow up, they will need porridge but sadly, unga is Sh250. They have made it impossible even for children,” he said.
Wetang’ula said people across the country are suffering because of a hike in the prices of basic commodities.
“You have heard Raila saying that if he wins, he will continue with Kenyatta’s legacy. That means he will continue to borrow excessively, Sh2 billion will continue to be stolen daily, unga and fuel prices will continue to rise,” he said.
The Bungoma senator urged residents of the Coast region to vote for Ruto, saying his government will pay attention to the needs of ordinary people.
“In Western Kenya, it is Kenya Kwanza. It is the same in Mt Kenya. Here at the Coast, we have been going round and things are changing,” he added.
Mutua also said life had become unbearable for majority of Kenyans.
“Azimio leaders are working hand in hand with the current government. It means we have already tasted the Azimio government. We know what the current government has done to us and should therefore not expect anything different with an Azimio administration,” he said.
Nyoro said Uhuru let the Mt Kenya region down just as it has let down other regions.
“If there are people counting his last days in office, it is us. We cannot wait for him to go home with his handshake brother,” he said.
(Edited by V. Graham)