DP Ruto accuses opposition of promoting tribal politics

Thursday March 16 2017

Deputy President William Ruto addresses

Deputy President William Ruto addresses residents at Chaka market in Nyeri on March 16, 2017. He accused the opposition of promoting tribal politics and urged aspirants to contest on a Jubilee Party ticket. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA 

By GRACE GITAU
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Deputy President William Ruto has taken a swipe at opposition leaders accusing them of promoting tribal politics and urged aspirants to contest on a Jubilee Party ticket.

He said that while the National Super Alliance (Nasa) is keen on dividing the country along tribal lines, Jubilee, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, has shown commitment to unite Kenyans.

“We brought together 12 parties but they are struggling to unite only four parties because they are hanging on to their tribes. They cannot even decide on their presidential flag bearer,” Mr Ruto said.

The deputy president also drummed up support for Jubilee while persuading candidates eyeing elective posts to join the party.

His call comes in the backdrop of aspirants who had initially joined Jubilee decamping to other small parties that are supporting President Kenyatta’s re-election, among them Maendeleo Chap Chap and the Party of National Unity (PNU).

JOIN JUBILEE

The defections, affecting regions perceived as the party’s strongholds, have been fuelled by fears that nominations will not be free and fair.

“All those seeking seats should join Jubilee. But we will not force leaders on you,” he said.

Speaking at Chaka market where he issued cheques worth Sh57.5 million to dairy farmers, the deputy president said Jubilee will support candidates who win in the primaries, noting that the party does not have a preferred candidate for any position.

Appearing to hit at the opposition for staging a series of demonstrations in the country, Mr Ruto asked the electorate to vote in responsible leaders who will be willing to work with the government.

“Vote in leaders who will be ready to work with the government and responsible ones who will not be involved in calling for demonstrations,” he said.

SQUANDER PUBLIC FUNDS

Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe claimed that Nasa principals are fighting to take over the leadership of the country with a plan to squander public funds.

“Bad governance will only result in miserable lives for all of us. We must support the government that has shown commitment to improve our lives,” Mr Kagwe said.

Kieni MP Kanini Kega said that Nasa will only cause more strain on an already bloated wage bill.

“Those people are planning to introduce more seats to accommodate their large numbers. But this will only lead to [a rise] in the wage bill,” he said.

The lawmaker also supported the pay cut for elected leaders recommended by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

This followed the President’s State of the Nation address in Parliament on Wednesday, where he said that this will tame the ballooning wage bill.

The number of elected and nominated leaders must also be reduced through merging of small wards and constituencies, Mr Kega said.

“Kieni Constituency is [larger] than Nyeri County with only one representative. Why should the other half be represented by five other people? We must first reduce the number of elected leaders to tackle the wage bill,” he said.