Ruto hits back at Opposition leaders over Jubilee failures
Deputy President William Ruto yesterday clashed with opposition leaders over the shortcomings of the Jubilee government, saying they should shoulder some of the blame.
Ruto who spoke at the requiem mass of the late Hannah Mudavadi, mother to Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi at the Friends Church Ngong road, Nairobi, accused the opposition leaders for abandoning the Jubilee government whenever it faced challenges such as the harsh economic times and the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The DP said it was unfair that despite the ‘handshake’ that saw them become partners in the government, National Super Alliance (Nasa) leaders who include former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula and Mudavadi are currently passing criticising the Jubilee government over the economic turbulence facing the country instead of participating in addressing it.
Ruto said just like the opposition leaders have been associating themselves with the government during good times, they should maintain the partnership even during the period when the tide turns ferocious.
Instead of pointing figures at the Jubilee leadership, Ruto said the four leaders have direct access to the President, just like him and therefore they should help in addressing the challenges.
“It is true that we are in a difficult position as a country. We have the challenges that are associated with the corona pandemic that has caused very serious economic meltdowns, we also have with it very serious health challenges that have put pressure on our health infrastructure including our human health capital.
(But) as leaders, this is not the time to point figures, it is time for us to stand together as a nation so that we can confront this situation together especially now that we are in this space of handshake where all of us are talking,” Ruto said.
Ruto added: “Let us be friends and partners when times are good but also let us be friends and partners when times are not so good.
Musalia speaks to the president as much as I do, Kalonzo speaks to the president as much as I do, Weta (Wetangula) the same, Agwambo (Raila) the same.
So because we are now all talking together, I think it’s only fair that we manage this situation together without saying it is you guys. We are all together, when times come and we find ourselves in difficulties, don’t abandon us.”
Ruto was rebutting calls by Wetangula who had challenged him and the president to address the issues affecting farmers and other sectors, adding that as opposition leaders, they will continue putting the government on check.
“This county is hurting, as the captains of this leadership, we want to encourage you to address the crisis in the health sector, address the chaos in the transport sector, address the chaos and the pain the farmers are going through.
As we speak here, the National Cereals Board is not buying maize. Address the pain of cane farmers. Address the pain bedeviling all Kenyans.”
“We as the alternative government will continue pointing out when you go wrong but you must come back on track. Musalia is famed for crying out loud about public debt everyday,” said the Ford Kenya leader.
Mudavadi has been constituent in criticizing Uhuru’s government over heavy borrowing that has seen the national debt rise from slightly over Sh1 trillion to over Sh9 trillion, warning that if not addressed, it will sink the country into a serious economic turmoil.
Kalonzo, while speaking during the funeral service, said the Nasa outfit was still intact even though the former Prime Minister had developed “difficulties with it”.
“My brother Mudavadi, Raila and Weta (Wetangula) formed Nasa but some of our friends have difficulties with that organisation but the three of us have decided to hold on together, come rain or sunshine because the unity of the nation is important. Indeed, this nation is greater than any one us,” Kalonzo said.