Ruto on Uhuru’s unga price drop: It’s too little, too late

Deputy President William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto addressing a campaign rally at Hola trading centre in Tana River County. He said the reduced maize flour price was a ploy to entice Kenyans to vote for the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition flag bearer Raila Odinga.

Photo credit: DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto Thursday said the reduced maize flour price was a ploy to entice Kenyans to vote for the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition flag bearer Raila Odinga.

Addressing supporters in Lamu and Tana River counties, he accused the government of failing to address inflation in good time.

He said the government has a responsibility to cushion Kenyans from irregular price hikes and should stop playing politics with food.

“Unga was Sh230, then one day Mr Raila Odinga goes to a rally and says he will talk to President Kenyatta to reduce the price. In a few hours, the price drops; that was scripted,” he told a rally in Hola.

War in Ukraine

Dr Ruto said the move confirms the stand of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance that the high cost of living has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine, but rather state capture to benefit a few billionaires.

He said the government should stop mocking Kenyans, who deserve better from their leaders.

“They increased the price of maize flour so that they could fund Mr Odinga’s campaign and benefit a few rich friends; now they are reducing the price so that you can vote them to power,” he noted.

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi urged residents not to buy into the lie. He said the prices will go back to Sh230 after 20 days.

“There is nothing they have done, the stock in shops still retails at Sh230; by the time the shopkeeper clears his stock, it shall be back to Sh230,” he said.

Provide affordable fuel

Dr Ruto called on the government to use the same process they have used to lower maize flour prices to provide affordable fuel.

The DP also vowed to deal with the contractor handling the construction of the Tana gravity canal project. He said the contractor had failed and would be dismissed should he win the presidency. “That contractor has failed and that is why you are paying a lot for water for irrigation, I will deal with him once we resume office after August 9; we will get someone else to finish the project,” he said.

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya said their competitors in the Azimio coalition have no tangible solutions to local problems.

In Faza island in Lamu, the DP assured fishermen affected by construction of the new port that his administration would prioritise their compensation.

The fishermen have yet to receive Sh1.7 billion awarded to them by a Malindi court in 2018.

Dr Ruto faulted the government for taking too long to compensate the local people for the land they surrendered.

“I am not happy with the way the government has been treating fishermen affected by the Lapsset project. These people have waited for their money for too long. My promise today is that, if elected president in August, I will ensure you are compensated immediately so that this money can change your lives for the better,” said Dr Ruto.