Jimi Wanjigi: President Ruto, Raila have abandoned suffering Kenyans

Jimi Wanjigi

Politician and businessman Jimi Wanjigi addresses journalists at his Kwacha House offices in Nairobi on March 3, 2024.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • He said President Ruto was presiding over a “debt-driven economy,” and that Kenyans were becoming slaves to it.
  • He said Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka who has come out to fill Mr Odinga’s shoes in the opposition “is part of the problems Kenyans were facing and is not fit to take up the role.”

Presidential hopeful Jimi Wanjigi has accused President William Ruto and the opposition - Azimio la Umoja One Kenya of dropping the ‘people’s agenda’ and abandoning Kenyans in their hour of need.

Mr Wanjigi said that whereas President Ruto’s administration had created numerous challenges facing Kenyans, resulting in the high cost of living, Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s bid for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission has made him, and the coalition, abandon the opposition’s role of fighting for the public.

The Azimio coalition, he noted, was dredging the political landscape and pulling out people who have been part of Kenya’s problem and presenting them as solutions, as the ruling Kenya Kwanza coalition is busy scheming on how to take credit on Mr Odinga’s candidacy and how to reap from it.

He said President Ruto offers neither hope nor real change for Kenyans.

“The government has put us in very bad situations by continuously ignoring rulings on unconstitutional projects, failing to deliver on its promises, failing to provide adequate security and subjecting its own to high costs of living, among other challenges facing Kenyans,” Mr Wanjigi said at a presser at his Kwacha House office in Nairobi on Sunday.

In regards to public debt, he noted that on February 27, the national treasury submitted a report to Parliament indicating that Kenya had borrowed Sh223 billion from September to January.

“In February alone Kenya has added Sh545 billion to that borrowing making the total for six months Sh768 billion, which is more than Uhuru Kenyatta’s highest borrowing spree in the year 2022/2023,” he said, adding that parliament has only approved borrowing of Sh341 billion, which he said was illegal.

Where is it allowed to borrow more to pay back an existing loan or where in the budget can we take an infrastructure bond to fund infrastructure? He posed.

He said President Ruto was presiding over a “debt-driven economy,” and that Kenyans were becoming slaves to it.

“Add to that on February 29 usable foreign exchange plunged by Sh259 million which left us at 3.7 months of import cover. This confirms that people are still buying USD and have no confidence in the Shilling.”

“Is it not a sad state of affairs that even as Kenyans continue to suffer, the conversation has completely shifted from the people to power, control and positions?”

Mr Wanjigi also noted that whereas he backs Mr Odinga’s bid for the AUC post, the opposition coalition had abandoned the ‘people’s agenda.’

“A few weeks ago, my very good friend, the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga expressed his desire for the African Union Chairmanship position, and honestly given his many years of impactful leadership in this country and beyond, I can confidently say he is the right man for the job.”

“What I don’t understand however, is why since his declaration, the people’s agenda, which we were made to believe, his coalition was championing has been put on hold, and now the focus is on; if and when he takes the seat, who is going to benefit and how,” Mr Wanjigi said.

He said Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka who has come out to fill Mr Odinga’s shoes in the opposition “is part of the problems Kenyans were facing and is not fit to take up the role".

“Kalonzo Musyoka has hit the road positioning himself to take over leadership, but he should just take the cue from Raila and retire. He has nothing new to offer Kenyans and instead should usher in a new leadership in his own Wiper party,” he said.

“This turn of events is callous, selfish and disappointing. Kenyans are struggling to afford something as basic as a meal and school fees,” Mr Wanjigi said.

He said it was unfortunate that President Ruto’s ‘hyped’ bottom-up economic model had turned to bottom-down.

“The so-called bottom-up economic model has become bottom-down. In this day and time, how do we as a country lose 53 lives to banditry?” he posed.

He also took a swipe at the government’s move to deploy 1,000 police officers to war-torn Haiti.

“The government is at the same time busy deploying 1,000 police officers to Haiti for not peacekeeping but war. Since the prime minister of Haiti has visited Kenya in reciprocation Ruto should visit Haiti and see what the situation is like before sending our officers there. Leadership is the backbone of any institution,” he said.

He suggested that the government ought to deploy the military to Haiti and not the police to face the Haiti gangs.

“In Kenya, cunning leadership is one of our biggest problems, led by the President. He has been using all his cunning talents to dress up the same crooked policies that failed our country. Never! Don't forget, he was the author of the same horrible policies in the past regime. He continually breaks the law, as was evident with the unconstitutional housing levy.

“We have one problem in Kenya, it is William Ruto. He is the continuity of the same problems he helped create that has brought us here,” Mr Wanjigi charged.

He pointed out that it was impossible for the same people who created the problems to solve them.

“He (President Ruto) offers no hope nor real change. Fellow Kenyans, I understand and share in your pain. We have got a lot of challenges in our great country. But equally, we have enormous strengths. We are optimistic people. We beam daily with hope.”

“We are known for unrelenting fights for change. We have always shown a greater togetherness. We are going to win our economic and financial security future,” he said.

“Don't doubt, we won’t throw up our hands and give up. We will not quit. I will not quit until real change is achieved in Kenya.”