Happening now: President Ruto opens 13th Parliament
Police in Tigania West dispersed crowds that had blocked the Meru-Maua road, demanding the Sh600,000 donated by Deputy President William Ruto.
While in the region on Tuesday, the DP gave Sh300,000 to women groups and a similar amount to boda bodas.
Tigania West MP, John Mutunga, apologised on behalf of area lawmaker Gichunge Kabeabea who is said to be abroad. The groups accused Mr Kabeabea of blocking the release of the cash.
“We have been told the money cannot be given to us until the MP comes back. He has nothing to do with it,” Mr Jackson Muriki, a rider, said.
Meanwhile, Dr Ruto wound up his two-day campaigns in Embu County yesterday, saying his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) would emerge victorious in the General Election next year.
The DP said something needs to be done to bring the country’s economy back to its feet and end the suffering of Kenyans.
“The UDA has 156 MPs. We will triumph next year and resuscitate the economy for the benefit of all,” he said.
In Ishiara market, Dr Ruto promised to set aside Sh100 billion for agro-processing.
He said the cost of living is very high, with many Kenyans struggling to survive.
Big Four Agenda
“A majority of Kenyans are finding it difficult to put food on the table. My government will come to their rescue,” he said.
The DP added that the Jubilee government had great plans with the Big Four Agenda “until (Orange Democratic Movement leader) Raila Odinga messed up everything”.
“The Big Four Agenda would have fully addressed agriculture, manufacturing, education, housing and care but everything ground to a halt when he joined the government,” he said.
Dr Ruto said hope is not lost as his government would implement the agenda “through the bottom-up economic model”.
He promised to set aside Sh50 billion more for soft loans targeting SMEs.
The DP pledged to ensure Embu locals get a good market for their Muguka, adding that farmers are suffering at the hands of brokers. The DP said Kenya cannot move forward when food prices are high.
“We must bring the cost of living down,” he said, accusing Mr Odinga of fanning violence.
“That man used youths to throw stones at me in Kondele. He is a trouble-maker. He has mastered the art of destroying railway lines but I will beat him in the election next year.”
Lawmakers who accompanied the DP said voting for Mr Odinga would be a mistake. They said Mr Odinga is too old to lead Kenya and should retire from politics.
Mr Muriuki Njagagua (Mbeere North), Mr John Muchiri (Manyatta), Mr Eric Muchangi (Runyenjes), Mr Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Mr Geoffrey King’ang’i (Mbeere South), Mr Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira) and Ms Cecily Mbarire (Nominated) attended the roadside meetings.
Reporting by George Munene, Gitonga Marete and David Muchui