Inside Politics

Ruto draws line ahead of today’s demos

Monday, March 20th, 2023 05:40 | By
Ruto draws line ahead of today’s demos
President William Ruto welcomed in Nandi county for an interdenominational church service at Kapsabet Showground, yesterday. PSC

President William Ruto yesterday warned Azimio leader Raila Odinga that the government will not allow any acts of lawlessness during today’s demonstrations.

During a tour of Nandi county, he described the demonstrations as “uncalled for” and warned that the government will deal decisively with those found engaging in any form of lawlessness.

“I want to tell my friend Raila that we will not allow the destruction of property of innocent Kenyans. He has made the people of Nyanza the slaves of demonstrations and chaos. We will not tolerate this,” said the President during an inter-denominational church service at Kapsabet Showground.

“Raila has no reason whatsoever to terrorise the country through violence and chaos. Before they ask us questions, they should explain bow Sh54 billion under the subsidy programme was spent under the ‘Handshake’ government.”

He promised that his administration will work with all elected leaders irrespective of their parties for the benefit of the people.

“What we have done in six months has improved the country’s economy. Never again will we allow unnecessary debts and borrowing. We are going to be a country governed by the rule of law,” he said and reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure that all Kenyans, irrespective of their status in society, pay taxes.

“Matters tax waivers will not be part of Kenya under my watch. Every Kenyan including the President will have to pay taxes. We will not continue borrowing to sink our country into bankruptcy,” he said.

Part of the Azimio protests are against taxation, which Raila has described as “punitive”, but according to Ruto, the protests are instigated by senior officials from the past government.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua condemned the chaos recently witnessed in Kisumu when protesters disrupted a meeting and looted food and other valuables even as he urged retired president Uhuru Kenyatta to talk to Raila to restrain his supporters.

‘Handshake’ deal

According to him, Raila was leading demonstrations in a bid to enter into a handshake deal with President Ruto that would see him join government.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei called on the President not to enter into a handshake arrangement with Raila.

“We cannot allow this county to be held hostage by one person for many years. Kenyans made a decision to elect Kenya Kwanza and should be given a break to serve the country and fulfil its agenda,” he said.

National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah and Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot claimed the planned demonstrations were being funded by senior officials from the previous administration.

“President Ruto please exercise your authority without favour or fear. Let no one intimidate you. If you picket and demonstrate, do so as per the Constitution. Inform the police. Nobody is above the law,” said Ichung’wa.

Cheruiyot faulted Azimio for leading demonstrations despite the Supreme Court ruling upholding Kenya Kwanza victory in the August elections.

“The former prime minister should rethink his position and work with the government in reviving the economy. We urge our youth not to allow themselves to be used for selfish political gain,” said Cheruiyot.

Addressing other national issues, the President said Sh23 billion had loaned to Kenyans under the Hustler Funds with another Sh1.2 billion retained as savings. He also said that under the affordable housing programme, 40 counties had set aside land for the projects, which he said will create employment for thousands of Kenyans.

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