My problem with President Ruto's government - Ugenya MP David Ochieng

Ugenya MP David Ochieng

Ugenya MP David Ochieng' during a past event.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

From the forced dissolution of his party, corruption and incompetence within the ruling Kenya Kwanza government, the controversial Finance Bill 2024 and inequitable distribution of resources, Ugenya MP David Ochieng seems to have a big bone to pick with President William Ruto.
Mr Ochieng, who is also the leader of the Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) party, has accused the Kenya Kwanza government (of which he is a member) of being insensitive to the plight of the people.
Speaking in Kisumu on Friday, June 21, Mr Ochieng commended the Kenyan youth for courageously expressing their displeasure with the way the country's affairs are being handled.
He noted that there were many things wrong with President Ruto's administration.

There have been claims that Mr Ochieng has broken ranks with Dr Ruto, but he insists that he is firmly in Kenya Kwanza.

President William Ruto welcomes the Movement for Democracy and Growth led by the Party leader David Ochieng.

President William Ruto welcomes the Movement for Democracy and Growth led by the Party leader David Ochieng (MP Ugenya) into the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

Photo credit: DPPS

Still, he says, he has the right to stand up for what benefits his people and also to criticise the government when it goes wrong.
He claims that successive governments have failed to ensure a fair distribution of resources.
"I am not fighting the government, but I am fighting for resources to be distributed equally to all regions. For a very long time, some areas have been sidelined, so as a party we have to champion equity. If we build roads in Central Kenya and Rift Valley, we should also build roads in Nyanza and Western Kenya," said Mr Ochieng.

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He said Kenya was not growing like its onetime peers such as Singapore because of the incompetence of those entrusted with running departments and ministries.
The lawmaker stressed the need for meritocracy in the recruitment of technocrats.
"There is a bad tendency to hire people who have no qualifications simply because of the communities they come from. As President, you should not tell us how Singapore grew before Kenya. It grew because it had experts who helped develop it, whereas in Kenya we have very incompetent people running serious ministries," he said.
The lawmaker therefore wants President Ruto to sack all non-performing government officials.
He pointed out that government appointments are still dominated by two communities.
Outlining his and MDG party's agenda, MP Ochieng vowed to fight tribalism.
"As MDG, we believe that tribalism is a cancer that eats away at the moral fabric of our society. All communities must have equal opportunities to grow. People must have equal opportunities without looking at their tribal affiliation," he said.
Mr Ochieng also mentioned the need to fight corruption, which is slowly killing the country.
"There is serious corruption in our country. Politicians are the richest because they are corrupt, instead of promoting industries, we are killing them and subjecting our people to serious poverty," he remarked.
He said his party, MDG, was on a mission to fight the vice and eradicate it completely. Why should we make criminals leaders?" he asked.
His idea of eliminating the menace is through visionary leadership.
Recently, Mr Ochieng has been on an aggressive membership drive in Western Kenya, covering Siaya, Kakamega and Kisumu.
The Kisumu convention attracted over 2,500 delegates, while the Kakamega convention held on Monday attracted nearly 3,000 delegates from all 12 constituencies.
Mr Ochieng has used such fora to lambast leaders from Nyanza region who have been touted as possible heirs to the throne should Mr Odinga be elected chairman of the African Union Commission.
He said other regions like Mount Kenya were already grooming young leaders to take over national leadership, while in Nyanza there was an attempt to frustrate those who were coming up.  
He has already voted 'no' to upset supporters of the 2024 Finance Bill, which he says is overburdening Kenyans.
His moves come amid years of attempts by Mr Odinga to get him to rejoin the ODM party, and at a time when President Ruto is pushing for the dissolution of parties within the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, of which MDG is a member, in preparation for a mammoth United Democratic Alliance party.
Already, Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has announced that his Amani National Congress (ANC) party will dissolve and merge with President Ruto's UDA.
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For his part, Mr Ochieng says he will resist calls for a merger.
"I will not merge MDG Party but rather strengthen its support base, elect new officials and build a strong party in readiness for the 2027 General Elections.
The MDG Party's plans to strengthen its support base are expected to cover at least nine counties in the first phase of its mobilisation programme in the Western Region, before extending to the rest of the country.
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