Businessman claims Ruto’s bottom-up economic plan

Deputy President William Ruto rides on a wheelbarrow during a meeting with youth and women groups from Nairobi County at his Karen residence in Nairobi on September 28, 2020.. 

Photo credit: DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto’s “bottom-up” economic model has run into legal trouble.

Mr Jacob Muting’a Kioko, a businessman, is claiming the model and has filed a case over what he says is infringement on his intellectual property rights.

The marketer says the bottom-up economic model is his innovation, having patented it in March 2010 and getting a certificate three years later.

In the case filed at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi, yesterday, Mr Kioko says the government failed to support, promote or protect his idea despite asking the Ministry of Trade, Parliament and the Attorney-General to do so.

His efforts to get audience with the Office of the President and Deputy President in 2014 over the economic plan, he says, were unsuccessful.

“For the last seven years, I have been trying to get political goodwill, without which I cannot execute either a national or a global rollout of the innovation,” Mr Kioko says in the court papers.

“The magnitude of impact of the innovation on society and the national economy is such that political support is essential.”

He wants the court to issue an order stopping the use of the term “bottom-up economy” as a political gimmick, slogan or for other purposes by any party besides the intended aim of promoting the goals of his innovation.

Mr Kioko argues that his marketing project dubbed Dichotomous Universal Growth Web Innovation was aimed at improving development and business growth.

The blueprint, he adds, is intended to use public-private partnerships to stimulate economic progress by ensuring low and middle income earners have access to capital.

The businessman’s case is awaiting directions from the court.

Mr Kioko says his innovation is an economic improvement project. based on using public-private partnerships to improve the livelihood of low and middle income earners.

"Both proponents and opponents of this gross misconception of the new economic approach are grossly misleading the public," Kioko states in his court papers.

“Both parties are in complete darkness regarding the structure to improve the economy status of poor Kenyans, they are bitter rivals on the same which, neither of them understands.”

He is also seeking to be compensated for the use of his intellectual property by other parties without his consent.

“My intellectual property rights have been infringed on by politicians and their followers through the causal use of the bottom-up economic theory which was developed exclusively by the DUGWI innovation and is an integral part of the innovation. The causal use amounts to national economic sabotage,” he states. While advocating for the economic model, DP Ruto has been saying that he will use it to move the country forward if elected president in next year's elections. DP Ruto has also been saying that this model will benefit millions of Kenyans who are unemployed as well as the small and medium entrepreneurs. "Bottom-up is anchored on deliberately promoting investment and financial instruments targeting the millions who are unemployed, hustler enterprises, and the farmer groups," Dr Ruto stated earlier after criticism by his opponents.

He further added that the approach will have more benefits than the current ‘trickle down economic model’.

However, although Mr Kioko and DP Ruto concur that the new concept has the potential of economic growth, the former tells court that the theory was developed exclusively by him.

To prove his claim, he has attached the patent registration certificate (containing the patent number) and five letters he wrote to various government officers seeking the promotion and political good will of his innovation.

“Making the bottom-up economic concept a political slogan is a deliberate move by the concerned parties to counter and water down DUGWI’s noble effort to grow the national economy through the development of the capacity to raise investment capital from local resources,” says Mr Kioko.

He adds that the aim of the concept is to empower the masses equally by making capital ownership a basic social right and equipping the domestic economy with purchasing power, thus attracting massive domestic and foreign investment.

The case is awaiting directions from court.