DP Ruto: Uhuru is targeting 'hustlers' with boda boda, scrap metal ban

Deputy President William Ruto wears a helmet presented to him by a supporter during Kenya Kwanza campaign rally in Murang'a town on March 20, 2022.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday said the government crackdown on boda boda operators and  scrap metal traders was part of the government's attempt to frustrate small business owners. 

Dr Ruto, who was holding a series of rallies together with Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya's Moses Wetangula in Machakos county yesterday, promised to revive small businesses should he win the August polls. 

"Our friends on the other side are full of pride and hatred for small business owners in the country.  The government is now cracking down on the boda boda, scrap metal traders and mama Mboga yet they are engaging in legit business. We promise to establish a special business fund for them so that they can do legit business,"  Dr Ruto said. 

President Kenyatta had last month ordered the closure of the scrap metal business and set new government regulations that must be set before the resumption of the business. 

Some of the regulations include payment of annual fees. Agents will part with Sh150,000, while Jua Kali ‘collectors’ will pay Sh50,000 as part of the fee.  This is on top of the existing county licenses they must secure.

The Kenya Kwanza coalition leaders also stepped up their attacks on President Uhuru Kenyatta for supporting ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Mr Wetangula accused President Kenyatta of ignoring the plight of Kenyans and focusing on his succession. 

"It is very sad that the government is using public resources to help Raila Odinga while  forgetting  about the small business owners. The president has forgotten that while he is helping him, the prices of commodities are rising. What will the small business person do when what they depend on for survival is closed down?.

Mr Mudavadi urged Kenyans to ignore Mr Odinga and support the Kenya Kwanza coalition team. 

"We want to tell  Uhuru that you're following a dangerous path and you will fail terribly. We did our best to support Raila Odinga but he failed terribly and he cannot be trusted. Our people are going through so many problems. What will the small business persona do when the government closes down their businesses? We promise economic liberation for the country," said Mr Mudavadi. 

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua accused the government of turning a blind eye on corrupt individuals in government. 

"We request the president to open up the scrap metal business and Boda Boda operators because they are earning a living in an honest manner. Our investigative agencies should go after the COVID-19 millionaires and stop harassing the youth,” said Mr Gachagua.