William Ruto pitches his plan to Mt Kenya MPs amid row

William Ruto pitches his plan to Mt Kenya MPs amid row

Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday made his economic pitch to Mt Kenya MPs as they sought to reach a deal on the economic programmes he will roll out for the region if he is elected. They are expected to brief the media today. 

The DP has been holding a meeting with 18 MPs from the region in which the leaders presented their demands to him.

At the meeting, held at the world famous Masai Game Reserve from Friday, the DP took the 18 MPs through his bottom up economic blueprint which he hopes to sell to Kenya as his manifesto for the 2022 election.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua told the Nation on Saturday that the DP had shared with the group his plans for the region’s economic development.

"We listened to the DP pitch his bottom-up approach economic model and the programmes he has lined up in the Mt Kenya region in his future government," he said.

"He made his presentation on Friday night. On Saturday, we were interrogating the model. We are going back to give our feedback and hopefully develop a consensus."

The 18 MPs are drawn from Mt Kenya and Rift Valley. The first is the 11-member committee whose mandate is to negotiate with the DP on his programmes for the region.

There is the four-member Mt Kenya economic revival committee and the Agricultural and Livestock and Value Addition committee which has three MPs, all which will make the region’s case in the negotiations.

Asked if the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, was discussed, the MP dismissively said: "It is not a priority." Mr Gachagua said they will only discuss political positions after an economic deal. 

A section of Mr Ruto supporters were not happy with the meeting especially after former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri was not invited. Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria also did not attend.  Mr Gachagua said the weekend meeting was just for members of the three committees.

"We want everybody to engage the Deputy President but this meeting was limited to the three committees mandated by 62 MPs from the region to engage the DP," he said.

He added: "Mr Kiunjuri can engage the DP directly without going through us."

The MPs have asked for protection of contractors from mostly Chinese assault, a three-year notice before evictions, minimum guarantee prices for farmers and an interest free fund for small businesses.