Deputy President William Ruto is known for attracting huge crowds whenever he hosts political rallies and during instant stopovers to address Kenyans.
The multitudes that gather around when the second in command stops by the roadsides shortly shows his huge fan base in the country.
On Sunday, DP Ruto was accompanied by a number of legislators when he attended the installation service of AIC Bishop Joshua Nzau at Ziwani in Nairobi.
He made a stopover at Gikomba where a large crowd turned up to listen to an address by their fellow ‘hustler.’
However, even as many scrambled for a spot to watch and listen to him, a good number of youths caused a commotion as they left the venue.
In a video shared on his twitter account, a mammoth of the crowd caused fracas amid Ruto’s speech as they went after Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga as she alighted from DP Ruto’s Convoy.
A moment of push and pull was encountered in between Ruto’s speech as the youths turned a deaf ear on him and went after the female legislator who was leading the convoy.
Other than this exodus, a youth was also captured in photos pointing at DP Ruto.
In his address, Ruto focused on his hustler nation narrative that has received criticisms from ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Ruto’s main focus still remains on providing an enabling environment for youths and the less fortunate in society.
“We must give everyone a chance to pursue whatever dream they have in life — whether big or small — by creating an enabling environment that will make their aspirations realized.” Said Ruto
After decades of egregious loss-making, mismanagement, and outright hemorrhaging, the government has finally taken over direct control of Kenya Meat Commission (KMC), placing it under the Kenya Defence Forces, which offers new hope for the livestock/meat sector.
The Defence ministry is to fund KMC and invest in, modernize its decrepit plants and storage facilities and expand its domestic and international markets.
Following its collapse under debt in 1991, KMC was only revived in 2006 by the Kibaki administration in a bid to restore it to its late 1960s glory.
A growing body of expertise now counsels that it was wrong for the State to ignore such a strategic sector of the economy.
Sectors like livestock, farming, and fishing should never be left entirely to market forces as mismanagement and malign interests take over, threatening food security and Kenyans’ livelihoods.
The millions of suffering livestock keeping, fishing, and farming communities understand what neglect, under-investment, political interference, and mismanagement of vital sectors can do to food security, personal incomes, and health of a country.
For decades, KMC operated a meat processing plant in Athi River, Machakos County, a storage facility on Landhies Road, Nairobi, and two facilities (meat processing and storage) in Mombasa from where exports were shipped through the port.
In the 1960s and ’70s, KMC was described as the oldest and most sophisticated meat processor in East Africa for not only its modern equipment and abattoirs but also clean trading and processing practices that attracted reliable domestic and export markets, especially in Europe and the Middle East.
But it was always tottering on the brink of ill health as early as 1967, when, despite its monopoly, it made an Sh7 million loss. It would recover under an American manager to make an Sh14.2 million profit in 1968 and Sh2 million in 1969 but return to loss-making in 1970 when the market was opened to players such as Quality Meat Packers, Uplands Bacon Factory, and Halal Meat Products Limited.
The devastating 1973 drought caused a massive drop in livestock supplies to KMC and, by 1991, following years of mismanagement and outright pillage, it closed for 15 years.
That opened a dark void that all kinds of adventurous, usurious, and environment-polluting investors with inadequate capabilities, and whose activities not only decimated the livestock market but also sparked multiplier effects such as raising the cost of Kenyan meat to be the highest in East Africa attempted to fill. After the Sh400 million attempted revival in 2006, The EU banned Kenya’s meat exports over health standards.
But the Achilles’ heel for KMC has been political interference as shown by the investment and employment policies of the 1970s and ’80s. In KDF, the State has a golden opportunity to resurrect KMC.
Speaking in Bomet on Saturday, the ODM leader said the narrative that the poll is about entrenching dynasties does not hold water.
“Former Presidents Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki were sons of peasants who rose to lead the country. We have a democratic system that allows for competition and equality,” said Mr. Odinga.
“My late father Jaramogi Odinga was not a son of the rich, neither was Uhuru’s father. That should be made clear to all.”
He spoke at the home of Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion in Bomet County during a thanksgiving ceremony for his daughter Rosemary Chepkorir, who was recently admitted to the bar.
“Those claiming the contest will be about hustlers and others are mistaken and are misleading the people,” the ODM leader also said.
Deputy President William Ruto has been vocal about the 2022 presidential contest being between the children of the poor and the rich.
The DP has embarked on raiding Mr. Odinga’s Nyanza stronghold as he lays the ground for his bid for the presidency.
Mr. Odinga further said the constitutional review under the Building Bridges Initiative campaigns across the country will kick off soon.
The ODM leader said the initiative had been sidetracked by the COVID-19 outbreak, but with the containment, consultative forums would soon begin across the country.
“I assure all Kenyans that the constitutional changes will be good for the country so they should be embraced by all,” he said.
“BBI campaigns will be conducted around the country as we seek to have all Kenyans onboard in the pursuit of a constitutional review.”
Mr. Atwoli also asked Kenyans to support the BBI.
“I have never made a mistake in my political life and I want to assure the people that BBI is a good process for this country. We are very clear in the direction we are taking,” said Mr. Atwoli.
CS Wamalwa said the BBI will entrench devolution.
“Devolution is a centerpiece of BBI and when that carries the day, we are all winners,” he said.
Mr. Ng’eno said BBI should not be used to divide the country.
“We want the BBI to bring together President Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, Mr. Odinga, and KANU Chairman Gideon Moi. Others should not be sidelined,” said Mr Ng’eno.
Siaya Senator James Orengo said leaders should not engage in name-calling but have a discourse on issues affecting the people.
“Let us have politics that makes sense and one that can take the country forward. Even when we disagree, we should be civil,” said Mr. Orengo.
Mr. Odinga also waded into the contest between the Teachers Service Commission and KNUT saying, the Commission should not kill the Union.
“TSC should protect the Union and the teachers as provided for in the Constitution. The Union should get its rightful dues from the Commission and we will ensure that happens,” said Mr. Odinga.
KNUT’s income has been reduced to Sh37 million from over Sh100 million following a mass exodus of members.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary-General Francis Atwoli, KANU Secretary-General Nick Salat and Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ng’eno attended the function.
Deputy President William Ruto today held a closed-door meeting with more than 20 lawmakers, led by MPs George Theuri (Embakasi West), Benjamin Gathiru (Embakasi South), John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Nixon Korir (Langata), and Kimani lchung’wah (Kikuyu).
The meeting which is believed to be linked to his 2022 bid brought together Nairobi County Members of County Assembly, with reports indicating that the DP is casting his nets wider and reaching out to grassroots leaders across the country.
Taking to Social media after the meeting, the DP wrote:
“We acknowledge the central role Members of the County Assemblies play in powering devolution in the country. We urge them to remain tireless, engage in service before self, and pull together with County executives – without eroding their oversight task – for timely implementation of projects that will transform the lives of the people.
During a meeting with Nairobi County MCAs led by MPs George Theuri (Embakasi West), Benjamin Gathiru (Embakasi South), John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Nixon Korir (Langata) and Kimani lchungwa (Kikuyu),” posted Ruto
Nairobi County has the highest number of registered voters and is often a battleground between the opposition and the incumbent.
The DP has been meeting leaders from across the country in a bid to bolster his 2022 bid despite repeated warning from the Head of State warning politicians to focus on development.
It is increasingly becoming clear that the DP may not be the automatic successor to President Uhuru Kenyatta as was initially thought, prompting him to change strategy.
Several Mount Kenya leaders have openly declared their opposition to the DP’s candidature, led by Jubilee party Vice-chair David Murathe.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has handed the KEMSA scandal duplicate inquiry file to the office of the DPP.
In a written statement, the DPP Noordin Haji confirmed the receipt and announced the formation of a special team of senior experienced prosecutors to undertake a comprehensive review of the file.
The prosecutors will then report their findings to Haji who will, in turn, make a decision and inform the public on the progress of the matter within 14 days.
Reports and subsequent public outcry over the alleged misappropriation of billions of taxpayer and donor funds have led to the recent summons of the KEMSA board and top officials at the Ministry of health.
Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache told the National Assembly a fortnight ago that KEMSA flouted the procedure by going on an overdrive spending spree despite capping their expenditure at Ksh.758 million.
Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on the other hand insisted that any loss of money was due to variations in prices of PPEs and not the supply of air to KEMSA.
The Auditor-General will hence be seeking to analyze the procurement processes at the State agency; for instance, she will be trying to diagnose why items worth Ksh.7.6 billion were procured despite approval of only Ksh.758.6 million before she can finally present her report.
The Senate Ad Hoc Committee, The Senate Health Committee and the Public Investment Committee are also involved in the KEMSA probe alongside the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has been slapped with a Sh1 million fine for trespass in a multi-million-shilling land saga tracing back to when he was an MP.
Waititu is said to have sold 10 acres of land to more than 200 people along Kangundo road in Nairobi, land which a court has found to belong to a real estate company – Sahihi Housing Limited.
The court has ordered those on the property to vacate within 90 days or else Sahihi is at liberty to forcefully evict them. Lands Court judge Samson Okong’o ordered Waititu, together with Joseph Ong’ete, Peter Ochieng, Philemon Oloo, and Naftali Ogolla to hand over documents for the land on top of paying the fine.
“I am satisfied that the plaintiff had proved its claim against the defendants and it is entitled to the prayers sought in the plaint. The defendants shall vacate within 90 days of failure to which the plaintiff is at liberty to apply for eviction orders.
Ong’ete, Ochieng and Oloo never replied or appeared in court while Ogolla and Waititu filed their replies and abandoned the case.
Sahihi’s director Azim Virjee testified that he bought the land from Alpha Fine Foods Limited for Sh30 million in 2011 intending to put up a low-cost estate, but Waititu alongside the other four invaded the land and put up structures.
He tried to persuade Waititu to talk to the other defendants and ask them to vacate the land but his plea fell on deaf ears. “The first defendant (Waititu) has on numerous occasions threatened or dared the plaintiff not to step on the suit property. The threats were made in presence of the plaintiff’s advocate, Kwanga Mboya,” Virjee said.
He continued: “Our agents were ready to commence development when the defendants attempted to repulse them. Despite numerous pleas and demands made to the defendants to stop their act of trespass on the suit property, they have refused, neglected, or failed to comply hence the necessity of the suit.”
In his reply, Waititu claimed he had a deal with Alpha Fine to buy the same property for Sh15 million. He claimed he paid a Sh1.5 million deposit and they verbally agreed with the seller that he could move in.
“After I paid a 10 percent deposit, we verbally agreed that I could move in, survey, flatten and subdivide the land into portions for the sole purpose of selling them in order to raise the balance of the purchase price,” Waititu alleged.
The politician added that he subdivided the land, apportioned it to his co-defendants who are said to be former Councilors. He claimed that Alpha Fine sold the property to Sahihi behind his back, without factoring in that he had also paid for it.
“The said parcel of land was subsequently subdivided by my agents, the second to the fifth respondent herein and the new portions sold to individuals totaling to more than 200 in number,” Waititu claimed.
After the reply, he never participated or asked his lawyers to appear for the case.