Deputy President William Ruto yesterday used his new party’s nomination to run for the presidency in the August polls to castigate President Uhuru Kenyatta over his economic policies and democratic credentials.
Ruto attacked Kenyatta’s record in front of five thousand United Democratic Alliance (UDA) delegates at the Kasarani gymnasium moments after his endorsement.
He termed Kenyatta’s second term as wasted disparaging Jubilee Party for allegedly forgetting the original covenant, opting to oppress Kenyans through punitive economic policies.
According to Ruto, Kenyatta’s administration has increased public debt by Sh7trillion shillings ($61.32 billion) from nearly 2 trillion shillings since assuming office in 2013.
“Debt must be the last resort. We must not be slaves of debt from any place or any country,” he said.
The loans which include billions of dollars from China – are pushing against the nation’s debt ceiling.
The president has in the past defended his policies, saying he wanted to entrench the rule of law and boost economic growth by constructing roads, railways and other infrastructure, partly finance by the borrowing.
He has also publicly disparaged his deputy for openly contradicting the government policy he’s serving accusing him of dishonesty and a saboteur.
Ruto said it was unfortunate that he had been pushed to the periphery in the same government he formulated.
He claimed that in the past four years, he has got the opportunity to engage with ordinary people.
“It is a shameful deception that unity is among the elite who are associated with state power whose main agenda is to capture the state and disfranchise the ordinary,” Ruto said.
He said he commits to living up to the original commitment to prosper the country through the bottoms-up model.
“I reject the idea that we can be united without political competition and opposition. Democracy is a competition and must have robust checks and balances,” he said.
“I promise that in the first day of my administration, I will confront and dismantle politics of self-interests because I believe public policy should not be customized to benefit private entities at the expense of the ordinary citizen,” Ruto said.
In a bold move and through a terse statement directed to his boss, Ruto said he will also ensure institutions like DCI, EACC and KRA are not weaponised or are not under state capture.
“They have weaponised these institutions to run political errands but we want to tell them that we shall appoint an accounting officer for them including Inspector General of Police and DCI so that they stop depending on the office of the President to function,’ Ruto said.
Ruto has also promised a handsome reward to Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi.
While thanking Mudavadi for joining the hustler movement, Ruto said the gesture is a clear indication he had broken protocol and decided to stand with the people of Kenya.
He said many had advised Mudavadi to shelf his presidential ambition and support a state project but against the odds, Mudavadi decided otherwise.
“I stand here today to thank you for that decision to support us. You stood against all odds and for that, I want to promise you that we will pay you in equal measure,” said Ruto.
Ruto’s remarks come as a section of ANC leaders threaten to leave the Kenya Kwanza Alliance coalition if their party leader Musalia Mudavadi is denied the running mate position.
The leaders including Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala say it will be wrong for UDA leader William Ruto to pick a running mate from Mt. Kenya thereby denying other Kenya Kwanza principals a say in the coalition.
“We are not ready to commit the same mistakes we did in Nasa, we are giving a demand, this is a coalition of parties and not regions, they should not think that because we come from down here we shall let them decide for us,” said Malala.
Malala argued that they did not join the Azimio la Umoja camp because there was nothing that they would get.
“We have a shared agenda on how to revive the economy that is why we are saying if UDA gets the presidency, ANC must get the running mate position which automatically goes to Mudavadi,” he said.