Ruto rubbishes Raila, Mt Kenya tycoons meeting
Deputy President William Ruto yesterday appeared to hit back at the endorsement of ODM leader Raila Odinga by business tycoons from the Mt Kenya region.
Ruto who was in Kieni constituency, Nyeri County for a burial, criticised the tycoons who on Tuesday hosted Raila under the auspices of the Mt Kenya Foundation and all but endorsed his 2022 presidential bid.
He said that whereas the rich have a right to meet and discuss how to protect their wealth, the poor also have the right to hold meetings to discuss ways of empowering themselves.
“It will be wrong for anyone to think that doing the same with those who do not have in order to help them create wealth is tantamount to inciting a class war,” he told mourners during the burial of Richard Kaguchia, the father of Nyeri County Assembly Speaker John Kaguchia.
The DP said he will continue pushing for the bottom-up economic model.
“We are keen on creating jobs and making enterprises grow so that we can further our growth,” said Ruto.
He was accompanied by Kirinyaga Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri, MPs Rigathi Gachagua, Ndindi Nyoro, Benjamin Washiali, Rahab Mukami, Irungu Kang’ata, Benjamin Gathiru, former Nominated senator Isaac Mwaura and several MCAs.
The Tuesday meeting at Safari Park hotel in Nairobi, which was attended by billionaires and other powerful figures under the Foundation chaired by Equity Bank founder Peter Munga, gave Raila the opportunity to sell his agenda.
The foundation’s vice-chairman Titus Ibui said they will also meet Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Amani National Congress’ Musalia Mudavadi, Bungoma senator Moses Wetang’ula and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.
But most of the billionaires and political leaders at the Safari Park meeting said they had settled on Raila.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s hand in the event, which was also attended by four governors and 13 MPs from the region, was demonstrated by the presence of his uncle George Muhoho, who is a member of the foundation and close allies such as former Kenya Electricity Generating (KenGen) chief executive Eddy Njoroge, Thika Coffee Mills boss Pius Ngugi, media mogul SK Macharia, former Britam managing director Benson Wairegi and Gender commissioner Priscilla Nyokabi.
The governors in attendance were Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia) and James Nyoro (Kiambu).
Yesterday, leaders who accompanied Ruto accused the tycoons of failing to raise a finger when members of their community were being evicted from their homes in Nairobi.
Mwaura said the privileged care less about the interests of the poor.
“When you are privileged, you always tend to think that the demand for equity is a form of oppression because you are comfortable. But we are not going to relent in our bottom-up economic model campaign,” he said.
Kang’ata dismissed the foundation members as a bunch of elderly persons whose interest is to patronise the region.
“Our people have already decided that they want Deputy President Ruto to take over as President. Any other political arrangement is therefore null and void in my view,” Kangata said.
Gachagua urged the businessmen to ask Raila to tell the country that he will accept defeat if he loses to Ruto in next year’s polls.