August 9

You cannot run away from Jubilee failures, Raila tells Ruto

Thursday, June 30th, 2022 00:29 | By
Azimio-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga with his running mate Martha Karua during a live interview with several TV and radio stations in Nairobi on Tuesday evening. PHOTO/Courtesy

Azimio-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running-mate Martha Karua have asked Deputy President William Ruto to take credit for both the successes and failures of the Jubilee government.

They said that Ruto, who is Raila’s main opponent in the August 9 election, cannot conveniently take credit for the successes of the Jubilee administration but at the same time disown its shortcomings.

Ruto, who is running for president for the first time, has distanced himself from challenges facing the Jubilee administration, which he attributes to the unity pact between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, reached after the disputed 2017 election.

In his recent campaign events, the Deputy President has been blaming the Handshake for the high cost of living.

Founders’ example

But during a live interview with several TV and radio stations on Tuesday evening,  Raila accused the second-in-command of absconding his duties, openly criticising the government, yet refusing to step down.

“This is somebody who is earning a salary, has got more than 250 security officers paid by the State to protect him and is using government vehicles and equipment to do his campaigns,” he said.

“If indeed he was evicted from government as he claims, you do the decent thing that most responsible people do and that is to resign,” he said, adding that was what freedom fighter Bildad Kagia and first Vice President Oginga Odinga did after they differed with President Jomo Kenyatta in the 1960s.

“The DP should have resigned a long time ago. Are you blaming the government but earning a salary from the same government? If that is not hypocrisy, I don’t know what hypocrisy is,” he said.

On the cost of living is concerned, Raila said he was in no way to blame, but said he has had a discussion with the President about the matter.

His role in the current government, he said, is strictly advisory and dismissed claims by Ruto’s camp that he enjoys State privileges and can make decisions.

Karua argued that Ruto cannot choose which part of the government he can claim credit for and which part to disown.

According to Karua, the DP is dishonest by saying he influenced policy in government while castigating the same administration.

“If somebody is standing at the podium and telling people that they have influenced this to happen in government, they must also take the blame for any shortcomings of the government,” she said.

Raila said external factors and climate conditions had contributed to the current high cost of basic goods, citing the Russia-Ukraine war and failed long rains.

He accused the Kenya Kwanza team of diverting public attention and playing populist politics.

Ruto’s alliance, he said, cannot be trusted to lower the cost of living, saying its leaders were responsible for the problems bedevilling the country.

Karua said despite the Azimio coalition enjoying a cordial relationship with the President, its leaders were not government.

She pledged that an Azimio administration would lower the cost of living within the first 100 days of assuming office.

“It will not be the first time that the government will be trying to lower the cost of living as it has been done in the past. When President Mwai Kibaki assumed office, the government lowered the cost of production of flour by giving companies incentives and tax exemptions,” said Karua.

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