A bunch of popular Kikuyu gospel and Secular musicians visited Deputy President William Ruto on Monday at his Karen home where they pledged allegiance to the second in command.
Sources close to Muigai Wa Njoroge aka Kigutha who was the key organizer opined that those who were in attendance had to agree to participate in an upcoming anti-BBI collabo song composed by Muigai. This will be paid handsomely by Ruto who is opposing the Handshake and BBI referendum.
Key among the musicians who met the second in command were Muigai Wa Njoroge, Ngaruiya jr, De’ Mathew Jr, Loise Kim, Gachathi wa Thuo, Sammy Irungu, Sammy K, Shiru wa GP, Kimani wa Turacco among others.
Sharing pictures of their meeting on Monday, January 18, Ruto said he discussed with the artists on how he can support and promote the creative economy. “Music is a business. Artists are entrepreneurs. The creative industry has the power to generate jobs and stimulate economic growth. “We will keep investing in their dreams on account that like many other businesses, they too deserve recognition because of every hustle matters. Kazi ni Kazi (sic)”, he wrote.
According to one of the attendees, Ruto used the occasion to convince the musicians to rally behind him in 2022, promising to take care of their welfare going forward.
In Central Kenya, like many other parts of the republic, vernacular music is one of the most effective channels of communication. This is because both the rural and urban folks can directly relate to what the songs say as well as get their messages.
The meeting comes hot on the heels of Uhuru’s state of the nation address to Mt Kenya region where he rallied them to support the upcoming BBI referendum.
The Head of State, who spoke in Kikuyu vernacular stations yesterday morning, sought to reassure his Mt Kenya political backyard that has been restive about the BBI and its political future after his exit from State House, that the reforms proposed under the unity project would guarantee them accommodation in future administrations.
The Constitutional Amendment Bill 2022 which has captured the BBI final report, among other things, proposes additional allocation to counties and a Ward Development Fund.
These are among the gains the President highlighted to rally his backyard to embrace the project.
Uhuru addressed the region after Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata recently wrote him a letter that has been the subject of debate, advising him that the BBI project was yet to gain traction in Mt Kenya.
Also, the President has been under pressure from Ruto’s allies to honor his 2012 pact with the DP by supporting him in the 2022 presidential election.
He said yesterday: “Kenyans will vote whoever they want and only God knows who will be the choice.”
Ruto and his allies have rejected the BBI project, claiming it was not a priority and is meant to create jobs for select individuals.
They have described the planned referendum to anchor BBI proposals in the Constitution as a waste of public funds.
But yesterday Uhuru rubbished the claims as lies, saying the cost of the plebiscite was yet to be established, maintaining that BBI will ensure equitable distribution of resources in manner that will ensure that populous regions get more allocation from the national kitty.
This is not the first time the DP his coming under fire over his opposition to BBI and its cost as well as graft in government. On Sunday, Raila accused him of presiding over corruption in government.
Kenyans this morning lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta after he candidly addressed the Mt Kenya nation on all vernacular stations to clarify issues that have caused a lot of confusion in the region.
In an all-out war with no holds barred media address, President Uhuru rallied the Kikuyu nation to trash his Deputy William Ruto’s hustler movement, saying it defeats logic.
Uhuru asked whether a son of a doctor should be prevented from being a doctor since his father was a doctor too.
“If someone wants to use the logic that because my father was President and now I am President, our family is a dynasty. Does that mean that if your father was a doctor you should not be one?” Uhuru posed.
This was the second time in less than a month that Uhuru has addressed the issue of dynasties vs Hustlers.
“The dynasty narrative is misplaced. My proposal on a rotational presidency was informed by the need not to put a section of a community against each other,” he said on Monday.
In Monday’s interview, Uhuru reiterated that he is not interested in staying in power after the 2022 elections.
He however said that he will be ready to serve the country in any other capacity.
He also warned his political detractors against insulting him, saying that he will allow that to go on as long as it doesn’t destabilize the country’s peace.
He urged Mt. Kenya region to take care not to sacrifice the enduring benefits of BBI at the altar of short-term issues.
Equality of the vote and just distribution of resources by population as opposed to landmass will be secured for posterity through BBI.
Other things that others may wish to deliver can only be additions upon grabbing what BBI is offering.
Let us be wise and remain united. The few who are out to sell the community for personal gains must be shunned and told the truth.
We recognize that Mt. Kenya has no leadership vacancy at the moment.
The President clarified that he has never said that he supports ODM leader Raila Odinga or any other person related to the handshake.
The President also took a blow on Deputy President William Ruto saying that even when he goes out there, he makes claim to the things that the government has done.
“People ask what the government is doing. But even those who are going around the country, what do they do when on those cars? They talk about the roads, electricity, and water as part of the achievements of the government,” Uhuru said.
Uhuru is known to retreat to his backyard either in person or on vernacular radio whenever he wants to directly address that region.
The President also dismissed claims that the BBI referendum would cost billions of shillings that can go elsewhere.
“We are not even there yet. The verification of the signatures has not even been completed and the Bill is yet to get the county assemblies. And even when they talk about Sh2 billion, that is the same amount of money they are stealing daily,” Uhuru said.
The President also took the time to revisit the events leading to the handshake after the 2017 elections.
He said that he made the sacrifice because Kenya is more important than any individual.
“I, therefore, decided to look for our competitors and I told those who we had been elected with my intentions with the sole aim of ensuring we do not have chaos after future elections,” Uhuru said.
Uhuru said that following their discussions with ODM leader Raila Odinga, they identified inclusivity as the main issue that needed to be dealt with.
He added that the other issue they identified was underrepresentation which was undermining the equitable distribution of resources.
The President said that the third issue was devolving of development to the counties and thus the proposal to increase allocation to the counties.
Uhuru added that the issue of unemployment was also key to the handshake and thus the proposal for the tax holiday for youth firms.
“If we empower the youth through businesses and tax breaks, we will have nibbed a problem in the bud. Let us focus on what will protect you, your children and your children’s children. I am not forcing you to be with me but don’t trust anyone blindly,” Uhuru said.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday, January 17 gave Deputy President William Ruto a new nickname in front of a fired-up congregation.
The ODM Party Leader was speaking during a Sunday service at Sts. Joachim and Anne Catholic Church, Kayole, Nairobi, when he baptized the DP as “Mr. Sixth Months Time”.
“I want to warn Kenyans about those who like peddling propaganda against the BBI, they also promised Kenyans a lot of things before.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga speaking at a service in St. Joachim and Anne Catholic Church, Kayole on Sunday 17 January 2021.
“There are people like ‘Mr. Six Months Time’, In six months time we shall give all children in schools laptops, in six months time we shall give one million jobs to our youth, in six months we shall build 47 modern stadia, in six months we shall build tarmacked roads,” noted Raila.
Raila stated that Ruto had pretended to shift his focus to the common mwananchi such as vegetable vendors by issuing wheelbarrows and handcarts.
The former Prime Minister questioned why some of the projects promised by the Jubilee government were yet to be completed with less than two years left to the 2022 General Elections.
Speaking after the service where he addressed Kayole residents, Raila put to bed rumors that ODM is set to quit the handshake agreement with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Uhuru will not change and I will also not change, we nominated a team of seven people each to tour the country and ask about the challenges facing Kenyans,” he explained.
Raila continued on his onslaught against Ruto for his hustler narrative as he argued that the poverty crisis could only be solved by favorable policies and not by dishing out wheelbarrows.
In a separate church service at Africa Inland Church (A.I.C) Londiani Town Sanctuary in Kipkelion East, Kericho County, Ruto fired back at Raila explaining why the government has not fulfilled the job promise.
“He asked me where the one million jobs we promised the youth have gone to. Let him know that we had a solid plan.
“The only thing that has prevented us from creating those jobs is his entrance to the government which has changed our priorities of the big four to this process of creating one seat for him. He should leave fast so that we can return to our priorities,” Ruto stated.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria on Sunday, January 17 faulted Deputy President William Ruto over controversial remarks that former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has made in the recent past.
Kuria condemned the sensational remarks that Sonko has been making at rallies where he has accompanied the DP particularly those made against President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In an apparent swipe at the deputy president, the Gatundu South MP indicated that those who were tagging along Sonko were to blame.
“Those people moving about with Sonko when he says such words, he is not a person to be handed a microphone, he should first be taken to a mental hospital.
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (left) shares a light moment with DP William Ruto at the latter’s office in Nairobi on Saturday, January 9, 2021
“Those giving him the microphone are wrong because he should be taken to hospital when I get hold of him I’ll first take him to Mathare Hospital to have him checked,” noted Moses Kuria.
Sonko alleged that there was a plan to kill him and Ruto as he went ahead to warn the Deputy President not to partake in anything that is offered to him at State House.
The former Nairobi Governors also uttered unprintable insults against the head of state and members of the first family.
Kuria blamed Ruto as he was with Sonko while addressing residents in Kiserian and Matasia towns in the company of more than 40 MPs.
During the Saturday rally, the former Nairobi Governor went ahead and called for the impeachment of President Uhuru Kenyatta claiming that he had violated the constitution and divided Kenyans.
He was referring to a remark the president made on Saturday, January 9, that communities outside Kikuyu and Kalenjin should take over the presidency when he retires.
Moses Kuria condemned Sonko for his words and urged him to exercise caution despite being impeached as the Nairobi Governor.
“Some of us have really suffered because of our association with Ruto, but we do not let our anger overcome our sanity. I want to tell Sonko, anger should not drive you to say what you told the President, even if we are angered you leave somethings to God.
“I have kids so does the President, if children hear what Sonko said, they will not be happy, I don’t see justice in that,” he added.
Kuria noted that he was ousted from a number of Parliamentary committees with Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika also suffering the same fate but have not retaliated.
Over the last two weeks, the former Prime Minister has left no doubt that he is gathering his arsenal for the top job, this time determined to inherit President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mt. Kenya backyard
The ODM leader and Deputy President William Ruto are locked in a do-or-die battle for the vote-rich Mt. Kenya in their bids to occupy State House in 2022.
Both are keen to inherit President Uhuru Kenyatta’s political backyard, which, electoral commission data reveals, has 35 out of every 100 voters in Kenya.
Aware of these huge numbers, the fierce rivals are dangling the running mate carrot, with the announcement by Mr. Kenyatta of his intention to back a person from a community other than Kikuyu or Kalenjin for President giving Mr. Odinga, a Luo, an edge.
But ODM also faces competition from Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, who has also been attempting to climb the mountain. Yesterday, Mr. Odinga met the Kikuyu Council of Elders for the second time in less than three months, bullish about his chances in Central.
“Where do people get this notion that Kikuyus hate Raila? I am not new in this region and soon I will climb the mountain and they will be surprised,” Mr. Odinga said in the meeting also attended by the Githurai business community and a host of pro-Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) MPs.
“The late Kenneth Matiba taught me how to climb the mountain and very soon I will climb it,” he said
Mr. Odinga said the region should support BBI as they are determined with President Kenyatta to make Kenya a first world country through the document.
Education Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia told the region to ignore the “dynasty” and “hustler” narrative being pushed by Dr. Ruto, terming it “nonsense”.
Nyeri Town MP Wambugu Ngunjiri told Nation that serious presidential contenders were keen on the Mt. Kenya vote because of its numerical strength that would automatically tilt the 2022 vote.
“We have over 8 million votes and we will be king-makers in 2022. Any serious presidential candidate will need to talk to us, and offer us something in his government that makes sense. Ruto assumes we will vote for him for free and has operated on that basis,” he said.
Mr. Kamau Mweha, a key figure in Mr. Odinga’s grassroots meetings in Central, told the Nation that plans were underway to take the ODM leader to the ground in a meet-the-people tour.
“When we hit the ground running, that’s when the naysayers will know what we are made of,” said Mr. Mweha who hosted Mr. Odinga for a BBI signatures collection exercise at Kangari in Kigumo Constituency last month.
Dr. Ruto, however, seems to have a head-start in the region and has rallied several elected leaders to his camp. His key lieutenants include Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Alice Wahome (Kandara), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, Isaac Mwaura, and several other first-term MPs and MCAs.
On the other hand, Mr. Odinga is banking on Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe. Others are Jubilee-nominated MP Maina Kamanda and former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga who was on Monday hosted by Mr. Odinga at his Karen home among other youthful leaders under the banner of Team One Nation.
Besides these groups, Mr. Odinga has also endeared himself to the Wachira Kiago-led Kikuyu Council of Elders as well as the self-styled Council of Eminent Persons in Murang’a County led by its chairman Joe Kibe, Secretary Nyamu Njoka, former ACK Bishop Rev Gideon Githiga, and Royal Media Services Chairman S. K. Macharia – cogs in what appears to be a well-oiled campaign for the former Prime Minister.
Former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, a fierce critic of Deputy President William Ruto, yesterday appeared in a function attended by the country’s second-in-command and pledged to support his 2022 presidential bid.
Isaac, the Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party leader, has been drumming up support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and was among the initiative’s pointman in the wider Rift Valley region.
In November, he was among party leaders who attended the official launch of the BBI Bill signature collection drive at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi.
The Deputy President, who has been lukewarm about the initiative birthed by the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga in March 2018, was absent at the function.
Also joining Isaac yesterday were two MPs from Chama Cha Mashinani; Gideon Koskei (Chepalungu) and Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West).
Isaac said he had a ‘handshake’ with the Deputy President and asked Bomet residents to support him (Ruto) for the presidency and his own quest to become the governor of Bomet.
“I will support you (Ruto) for the top seat, as I also go for the governor position,” said Isaac of the new relationship.
While endorsing the DP’s bid, Isaac said his change of heart was informed by unfair political wars targeted at the DP. “We have decided to work together so that you succeed in your quest in 2022 and also unite the region”.
He, however, was non-committal about joining the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), a party affiliated with the DP, instead of saying that they would deliberate over time.
On his part, Ruto criticized the proposal for a rotational presidency which is being championed by Raila, saying Kenyans are not interested in tribal politics.
The DP said he supported President Kenyatta and that they had collapsed 13 parties into one because they wanted to unite Kenyans under Jubilee so that they would serve every citizen.
“Those people have now become desperate; now they want us to elect people using a lottery-like system of this tribe and that, instead of looking at the qualities of a leader and their manifesto. They want a leader from this or that ethnic group,” said Ruto.
The DP explained the dangers of a rotational presidency, saying it would turn the country into tribal enclaves and stifle development.
He accused his opponents of attempting to scare his supporters in a bid to bully them into submission but vowed not to be cowed.
“You are not going to sell us fear, and blackmail and intimidation; you cannot force us to do what you want and when that fails, you bring the Directorate of Criminal investigations (DCI), the anti-corruption body, or raise tax issues. Let’s respect each and not set the DCI, EACC or KRA to bully us; Kenya belongs to all of us,” said Ruto.
The DP went ahead to bemoan the happenings in Jubilee, saying the same forces were intentionally weakening the party.
“The ruling party has become a pale shadow of itself because of an intentional plan to destroy it. It is very sad that all the efforts we put into the process are now going to waste. Jubilee cannot even participate in by-elections because it has been weakened,” said Ruto.
He questioned the future of Jubilee, saying the party’s recent moves to pull out of all impending by-elections was a sign it was falling apart.
The strength of a party, he said, is tested when it is expanding its territory and winning more seats, but Jubilee has no such plans.
“Meetings now being held at the party headquarters are not to plan for the party’s progress, but to punish and or kick out party officials and members,” he claimed yesterday.
The DP has been associated with the newly re-branded UDA, and yesterday taunted those, “who thought we would run out of options” after killing Jubilee that they have something better.
He also took a swipe at Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, challenging his development record after being in Government for nearly 40 years.
The DP was responding to Kalonzo, who on Thursday accused him of dishing out his entire 2013 Cabinet slots to one community.
Ruto said he will not be derailed and would push the wheelbarrow and hustler narrative until it becomes a big debate in the country.
“Kenyans know that the priority is to get jobs to the youth and empower the poor; not looking at which tribe has been in power and who will not lead it,” said Ruto, who was accompanied by several MPs allied to him as well as governors Hillary Barchok (Bomet) and Kericho’s Paul Chepkwony.
In Ndanai Constituency where the DP led a harambee in aid of boda boda riders, East African Court Judge Charles Nyachae said that he was opposed to the BBI.
“We will ask the DP not to be bothered with the anti-BBI campaigns; I will lead it myself,” said Mr Nyachae.
Isaac said his decision to support the DP had been inspired by the need to bring the Kalenjin community together for posterity.
He said he was open for talks with the Deputy President to draw up a workplan. “This is the first engagement and we are open for talks on how we will work together,” the CCM leader said.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said Isaac should dissolve his party.
“It is good Isaac has made up his mind and come back, and it will only be wise to fold CCM and come fully to the hustler movement,” said Mr Murkomen.