Ruto pushes on with his ‘hustler nation’ crusade
Deputy President (DP) William Ruto appears to have decided to go the whole hog in his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns, with a series of meetings planned going into the weekend.
Despite spirited efforts by police to limit the meetings, Ruto and his allies have vowed not to relent in their alleged empowerment missions across the country.
And as the DP and his group were announcing their determination to intensify their meet-the-people tours, the government appeared to be slowly relaxing some of the measures it had put in place to check early political campaigns.
On Tuesday, the government announced it had granted the DP permission to hold two public events in Nyamira County.
Today, the DP heads to Nyamira for two fundraising meetings before travelling to Murang’a on Friday and Saturday for a series of public engagements.
Though police have okayed the Nyamira funds drives, they are yet to sanction the Murang’a functions which two local MPs allied to the DP have vowed to proceed, “with or without government approval”.
Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro and his Kandara counterpart Alice Wahome, who are the organisers, yesterday said they won’t be cowed into cancelling the gatherings.
“The two meetings are on, unless called off by the DP himself. We are not bothered by the illegal order put in place meant to gag our team from campaigning, while our opponents have been given a free hand to go and do anything in any part of the country,” Wahome said.
Nyoro, on his part, insisted the police had acknowledged receipt of their notification for the meetings. He said the conveners had adhered to all the prerequisites.
In the notification seen by the People Daily, the Mathioya Women’s Sacco wrote to the OCS Kiriaini on the intention to organise a women’s empowerment fundraiser on October 16.
“We Mathioya Women Sacco hereby inform you that, we have organsied a women’s empowerment fundraiser on October 16, from 9am at Rurii Stadium and the chief guest will be the Dr Ruto,” reads the letter signed by Elizabeth Irungu, the chairperson of the Sacco.
The letter is copied to the Murang’a County Commissioner, County Police Commander and the Deputy County Commissioner, Mathioya.
The DP’s director of communications Emmanuel Tallam yesterday confirmed that Ruto, will this morning head to Sironga Sports ground in West Mugirango constituency, for a funds drive in aid of boda boda operators and later to Miriri in Kitutu Masaba for another fundraiser in aid of 10 Seventh Day Adventist churches.
Coincide with burial
He disclosed that though the two Murang’a meetings were on the DP’s schedule, one could be cancelled tomorrow if plans by President Uhuru Kenyatta to hold a Cabinet meeting on the same day remain.
“We have two meetings lined up in Murang’a this weekend. But should the Cabinet meeting still be on tomorrow, one of the events would be rescheduled to a later date,” Tallam said via telephone.
Likewise, Tallam confirmed the DP’s events in Kisii County that had been scheduled for tomorrow have been pushed to laters dates.
On Tuesday, Nyamira County Police Commander Catherine Mugwe confirmed they had allowed the DP and his rallies, to hold the two meetings that were dispersed last week for failing to comply with National Security Advisory Council guidelines.
On Friday, the DP is scheduled to raise funds for Mathioya Women Sacco at Rurii stadium near Kiriaini where he will be hosted by Nyoro, before moving to Kandara later in the day, where he will be hosted by Wahome for the Kangema boda boda Sacco fundsdrive at General Kogo Stadium.
Ironically, the two events could coincide with the burial of Peter Mbothu Kihungi and Christopher Kariuki, who were killed on October 4, when chaos rocked a church function in Murang’a.
The two youth died when two rival groups clashed ahead of a service at African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa at Kenol. Ruto been scheduled to attend.
Kihugi is scheduled to be laid to rest at his family home in Ithanga, while Kariuki will be buried at Munyu in Murang’a.
Yesterday, Wahome, Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), former Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale, former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama and Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa maintained the two functions would proceed despite police denial that they had given it a green light.
Murang’a County Police Commander Josphat Kinyua said they are yet to authorise the events as they were still verifying the applications.
Kinyua said there appears to be some conflict between the management of the Saccos and its members over the events, raising some grey areas that needed to be addressed.
He said they are liaising with the cooperative department to know who the actual conveners of the meetings are and if due process had been followed.
“We could be having cartels belonging to other interested parties hiding under the cover of the Saccos to get his money,” the police boss said.