Police repulse rowdy youth at President Ruto Kisii meeting

President William Ruto at the Kegogi in Kisii County for the commissioning of Gamba-Kegogi road.

Photo credit: Ondari Ogega | Nation Media Group

Police officers were forced to swing into action Friday afternoon to contain a surging crowd that stormed the venue where President William Ruto was presiding over a function in Kisii.

The rowdy youth temporarily stopped the event at Getacho Primary School grounds, where the thanksgiving ceremony of Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu was taking place as they chanted "bado mapambano" (the struggle continues).

The chants were taken to mean that supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is leading protests against the government, had infiltrated the venue.

Calm was restored and the event continued.

Speaking at the same function later, President Ruto ordered the immediate termination of contracts for road projects that had shoddily been done in the Gusii region.

A few kilometres from Getacho, Mr Odinga was attending the burial of Truphena Moraa Ontegi at Nyanturubo village in Nyaribari Chache Constituency. 

Moraa is the mother of former councilor and Nyaribari Chache ODM Chairman Jackson Ontegi. 

Into the burial

As Mr Odinga made his way into the burial, youths chanted "Ruto must go" and "We want unga".

Speaking at Kegogi, President Ruto and his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua reiterated that they will not be blackmailed by the opposition through their demonstrations. 

"We finished politics and we are now focusing on development. I am pleading with the opposition to give me time to work. He should stop bothering me with demonstration issues," said President Ruto. 

He told Mr Odinga to face him instead of causing chaos and dividing citizens. 

"If you have problems, face me. You are competing with me the chief hustler. Stop the arrogance and the contempt for ordinary people. I am the one you ran against, ask me if you have an issue, stop going for ordinary people," the President said. 

Dr Ruto said due to the diminishing land sizes in Kisii, it is important that residents live in townships through the government's housing programme and leave the arable land for farming.

He gave several development goodies to Kisii residents, ranging from an industrial park, equipping hospitals, tarmacking of roads and expansion of water and electricity programmes. 

Mr Gachagua thanked Gusii residents for not participating in the demonstrations called by Mr Odinga. 

Stop misleading your community

"I am telling you Mr Odinga, stop misleading your community into throwing stones and destroying property. Lead it into development," said Mr Gachagua. 

He pleaded with Gusii residents to sever ties with Mr Odinga, saying the community stands to benefit more in government. 

On Thursday night, the President and his deputy met Gusii leaders at the Kisii State Lodge. 

Led by Governors Simba Arati (Kisii) and Amos Nyaribo (Nyamira) the group presented their memorandum to the Head of State. 

The memorandum contained requests for the completion of several development projects, mostly started during President Uhuru Kenyatta's regime. 

"We asked the President to have the projects completed so that our people can benefit from the Kenya Kwanza government," said North Mugirango MP and chairman of the Gusii Parliamentary caucus Joash Nyamoko.