Ruto, Raila in blame game over Jubilee’s score card

Thursday, September 9th, 2021 00:00 |
ODM leader Raila Odinga receives defectors from UDA yesterday at the party headquarters in Nairobi. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto yesterday traded accusations over the Jubilee government’s development record.

While Raila argued that his cooperation with President Uhuru Kenyatta had boosted the Jubilee government’s development agenda, the DP accused the opposition of sabotaging the same.

Speaking while receiving defectors from the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) from Kibra and Mathare constituencies at Chungwa House, Raila said his ‘Handshake’ with Uhuru was aimed at uniting the country after the divisive 2017 General Election.

He added that at the time, the President was a captive of his deputy.

“I came to rescue President Uhuru when he was under the captivity of his deputy. He was held by the neck and I had to help him,” said Raila.

This, Raila said, enabled Uhuru to concentrate on delivering on election promises to Kenyans.

“Uhuru can now breathe and implement development projects. You will see mega road construction projects, houses are being constructed and on the other side, you will see stadiums being built. This was not possible during the first term,” he said.

Clear agenda

Raila claimed the Deputy President was at the time busy looking for opportunities to make money, saying the routine had now changed.

“Most importantly is that Kenyans should live together in peace and harmony.

We came together with Uhuru so that we could bring Kenyans together as one indivisible nation.”

But addressing grassroots leaders from the Gusii community at his Karen residence, Ruto accused Raila and his opposition colleagues of derailing the Jubilee development plans, including the Big Four agenda.

He said the opposition leaders did not have the moral authority to criticise the government since they sabotaged its development agenda.

“The Jubilee administration had a clear agenda under the Big Four development agenda that was replaced with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) by the opposition.

The opposition owes Kenyans an apology for derailing the government agenda,” said Ruto.

But Raila accused Ruto of engaging in empty rhetoric, citing Jubilee’s unfulfilled laptop and stadia projects.

“They said that we were analogue and they were digital. They promised laptops. Have you ever seen laptops?

They said they will construct stadiums in every county, have you seen them? It is now that Uhuru is constructing them because Uhuru has been relieved,” he said.

The President has previously said that he had delivered more after the Handshake than during his first term.

Addressing leaders from Ukambani at State House Nairobi in June, Uhuru said he had focused more on development in his second term than in the first term due to incessant politicking.

“I have done better in my second term in terms of development than in the first term of presidency. Divisive politics had derailed the country’s development agenda for far too long.

Working in conjunction with my colleagues, I have been able to focus on the development agenda, not the political agenda,” he said.

Raila said there was need to improve the living conditions of a majority of Kenyans, many of whom live in informal settlements.

“We must look for a way of uplifting the living standards of the less fortunate. That is why I started the slum upgrading programme so that our people may live in better environment,” he said.

The former Prime Minister said he had come up with the slum upgrading project  after visiting Malaysia and Singapore. The houses were constructed with the support of the United Nations Habitat.

If elected president in next year’s election, he said, he would continue with the slum upgrading projects so that those living in informal settlements can get modern housing. 

“We still have this plan of slum upgrading. The project has not been implemented the way we had anticipated but if we get the opportunity, we will construct more houses.

If Malaysia and Singapore have done it, even Kenya can do it,” said Raila.

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