Uhuru left coffers empty, Ruto says at Christmas lunch in Sugoi

Ruto in Sugoi

President William Ruto in Sugoi, Uasin Gishu County, on Friday, December 22. He distributed Christmas goodies to the locals.

Photo credit: Courtesy | PCS

What you need to know:

  • According to Ruto, former President Uhuru Kenyatta left empty coffers.
  • President Ruto says he has reached out to development partners globally and that he is part of a group of leaders who would make this country either develop or perish.

President William Ruto on Friday attacked his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta, saying he left him with empty coffers, likening it to an empty granary so bad that even rats had abandoned it.

He spoke during a Christmas lunch with residents of Uasin Gishu County at his Sugoi home.

In his 15 months in office, President Ruto said he had won the confidence of investors to revive the country's economy and improve livelihoods.

“You know what the Reggae and BBI team did to our economy. When I took over there was nothing in the granary, even rats had fled. I have since managed to convince our development partners to revamp it despite criticism from my opponents,” said Dr Ruto.

Backed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), which proposed several constitutional amendments, was adopted by 40 out of 47 counties and supported by two-thirds of both Houses of Parliament. It was, however, struck down by all courts, including the Supreme Court, to the delight of Dr Ruto, who used its failure to bolster his 2022 presidential campaign.

President Ruto returns to Sugoi with bag of Christmas goodies

President Ruto told the gathering in Sugoi that he had reached out to development partners globally and that he was part of a group of leaders who would make this country either develop or perish.

He was referring to a popular Kalenjin prophecy of the Kaplelach age set, whose leadership was predicted to be monumental, with one of two extreme outcomes: absolute success or absolute ruin.

“As you all know, our age set Kaplelach was predicted to take over leadership. And for them, it will be a make or break moment. I am a proud Kaplelach and I promise you that I will lead you to success,” said the Head of State as he addressed a mammoth crowd at his rural home in Turbo.

President Ruto, who was accompanied by the First Lady Rachael, distributed food items including maize flour, cooking oil, wheat flour, rice and sugar to residents as a Christmas gift.

He took the opportunity to defend the new insurance scheme, the Social Health Insurance Fund, where policyholders would have to pay Sh300 monthly.

"We have reduced the monthly payment for the Health Insurance Fund to enable the majority of Kenyans to access quality services. The government will pay for those who cannot afford it," Dr Ruto said.

He defended the housing project, saying that more than 200,000 houses will be built annually, providing employment opportunities for more than 120,000 people to boost the country's economy.

President William Ruto and First Lady Mama Rachel Ruto in Sugoi, Uasin Gishu County when they distributed Christmas goodies to locals.

“It is our responsibility as a government to make our country prosper and not to destroy it, by implementing clear development policy," the president added.

On the Hustler Fund, he said many Kenyans, especially at the grassroots level, have benefitted from the scheme.

“As you borrow from the Hustler Fund, make sure you service the loan to enable other Kenyans to benefit from the scheme,” Ruto said.

On the education sector, the Head of State said, the recruitment of 56,000 teachers demonstrates the government's commitment to ensuring that education offers equal opportunities for all Kenyans.

Dr Ruto said his administration is committed to revamping the agriculture sector by reducing the cost of fertiliser from Sh7,000 to Sh2,500 to boost food security.

Maize production has improved this season following the distribution of the government's low-cost fertiliser, he added.

The event was attended by Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja, his Uasin Gishu counterpart Jonathan Bii and Turbo MP Janet Sitienei, among others.

“Our economy was in the ICU when the Kenya Kwanza government took over power, but the president is doing everything possible to improve it. Let us be patient and give him time to fix our economy,” Sakaja said.