Kenya: Leaders Accuse Deputy President Ruto of Misleading Youths With Wheelbarrow Narrative

24 January 2021

Leaders allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta have accused Deputy President William Ruto of misleading desperate youths by giving them false hope through the wheelbarrow narrative.

Led by Kanu party leader and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, the leaders from Isiolo, Baringo and Nairobi rubbished the hustlers versus dynasty politics and accused Tangatanga leaders allied to the DP of using the narrative to push for their selfish agenda instead of uniting Kenyans.

Mr Moi asked Kenyans to read the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) document carefully and share the message with those who might not have read it.

He called on residents of northern Kenya to support the proposed constitutional changes so that they can be part of the next government.

Be in government

"You should not allow anyone to play games with your lives. You cannot afford to be outside the government. We want Isiolo to be part of the incoming government," Mr Moi told Isiolo residents who gathered at the event.

Baringo Woman Rep Gladwell Cheruiyot said the sole purpose of the BBI report is to enrich the current Constitution, to unite Kenyans, ensure inclusivity and end the election violence witnessed in the past for realisation of more development across the country.

The legislator emphasised on the need for the country's leadership to remain united and asked Kenyans not to be drawn into the hustlers narrative saying "no one likes to be poor".

Starehe MP Charles Kanyi (Jaguar) said the DP is taking advantage of unemployed youths to popularise the hustler narrative and called for immediate interventions to address the situation.

"The DP is taking advantage of the gap and we must sit down with youths and know where the problem is so that it is solved and for them not to be misled," the MP said.

Give youths capital

He said the government, besides formal employment, should provide youths with capital and entrepreneurial opportunities to start their own businesses and empower themselves.

Mr Jaguar asked Kenyans to read the BBI document and understand it well so that they are not deceived and asked leaders across the country to unite so that the process runs smoothly.

Speaking during a BBI popularisation meeting in Isiolo organised by Kanu leaders, Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti and Nominated Senator Abshiro Halake said they are solidly behind the document and voiced support for the Jubilee government.

However, Dr Kuti and Isiolo Speaker Hussein Roba took issues with population-based revenue sharing formula that will reduce allocation to counties in northern Kenya and asked Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga to allow for modifications so that more development is realised in the region.

"We are in the BBI train and we will support the process while we call for a few changes. The increased constituencies should be shared among the 47 counties," said Dr Kuti.

National Council of Elders Chairperson Phares Rutere said Kenyans should be adequately educated on the BBI report, saying the majority have not read the document.

He appealed to the BBI secretariat to appoint elders to spearhead civic education and educate Kenyans on the importance of the report.

"BBI is good and will empower devolution and ensure more development. Majority of Kenyans have not read the report and that does not mean it is unpopular," said Mr Rutere while appealing to Governor Kuti to task a county team to assist in civic education at the grassroots.

Development in wards

Politician Maina Njenga drummed support for the constitutional amendments, saying increased allocation to the counties will ensure development in the wards and improve livelihoods.

He said the Deputy President's wheelbarrow narrative must end and leaders focus on uniting Kenyans for realisation of growth.

"Giving people wheelbarrows is good. It will only take them back to tiresome ballast crushing work," Mr Njenga said.

Ms Abshiro said they are focused on uniting the country and not dividing Kenyans.

A section of Isiolo MCAs -- among them Yarrow Hassan (Burat), Ali Dima (Charri), Nura Diba (Sericho), Abdi Duba (Wabera) and Mumina Konso (nominated) --attended the meeting and voiced their support for BBI.

"We are fully supporting the report. Those opposing it are the same people who opposed the 2010 Constitution. BBI will assist youths and ensure increased development in the wards," said Mr Dima.

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