Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has assured Kenyans that the revival of the economy is on course and urged them to ignore the noise and criticism by the opposition of the government's ongoing initiatives to rebuild the nation.
He said the economy was stable and out of danger and Kenyans should not worry as the Kenya Kwanza government was working round the clock to develop the country.
"We are working to rebuild our economy. Don't be misled by the noise from the opposition. Even the late President Mwai Kibaki found a battered economy and was opposed and criticised by the opposition at the beginning of his first term, but he delivered," Mr Gachagua said on Sunday.
He told worshippers at Karatina PCEA Church in Nyeri County that President Kibaki, like President William Ruto, faced similar criticism over tax measures.
The Deputy President said the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition was painting the government in a bad light despite the measures being taken to create jobs and rebuild the country's economy.
"In 2004 and 2005, Kibaki was fought over taxes such as VAT. People could not understand, but by the end of his term, Kenyans appreciated him because he was able to rebuild the economy. The same thing is happening today with President Ruto, we found a battered economy. We started afresh and so far we are doing well. The economy was in intensive care but it is recovering because of the hard work of the President. Things are getting better. The President and I do not sleep. We are doing our best and Kenya is rising," said Mr Gachagua.
He listed the achievements of the Kenya Kwanza administration such as the employment of 56,000 teachers, the streamlining of the cash trader programme, the reduction of fertiliser costs from Sh7,000 to Sh2,500 and the fall in the price of maize flour.
He added that road contractors who had walked off the job due to lack of funds have resumed work since the Ruto administration found the money.
At the service, the Deputy President was accompanied by his wife Pastor Dorcas Rigathi and their family, Nyeri Senator Wahome Wamatinga, Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Energy Alex Wachira, Kenya's Ambassador to India Peter Munyiri, Peter Weru (Chairman KARLO and former Mathira MP), MCAs and other leaders.
Commenting on the ongoing crackdown on alcoholism and drug abuse in Central Kenya, the Deputy President said the exercise was 70 per cent successful and the national government administrators were working on the remaining 30 per cent.
He, however, urged the church to join the exercise and support the government.
"On the alcoholism war, so far so good and it is 70 per cent successful. The national government administration officials told me that the exercise is still going on. I am so happy, the youth are now clean and looking for jobs. I urge the officers to continue and finish the remaining 30 per cent. I urge the church to talk to our young people, mentor them and inform them about the dangers of drugs," he said.
He urged Kenyans to maintain peace and unity during the festive season.
Pastor Rigathi said the boy child must be empowered and dignified.
"We need to restore the dignity of the boy child in the country. The youth want jobs as they recover from drugs. We want the young men to work for the government.
We are working with government ministries on youth reforms and the fight against drugs," she said.
Senator Wamatinga said leaders in the region would continue to support the Deputy President and government initiatives such as the eradication of illicit brews.
They urged the government to tackle the resurgence of illegal groups such as Mungiki.
"We won't allow the return of illegal groups. Mungiki should not be allowed to come back. We will remain united as leaders of Mt Kenya and dignify the Deputy President," said Mr Wamatinga.
The Deputy President later celebrated the festive season by distributing food to residents at his home in Mathira.