Many thought the round table media interview for Ruto would be an excellent opportunity for him to unify the country and give Kenyans a clear vision of where he is taking the nation and what he has done so far and why nobody should freak out that his government is taking Kenyans to the nearest hell on earth in a hurry.
This was a great opportunity for the president to put his mark on Kenya’s politics and project the lively and hopeful future Kenyans are craving for. He blew it really badly.
President Ruto’s media interview turned into a sour crybaby festival where every problem Kenyans face today is because of what former President Uhuru did or did not do, never mind that he has been Uhuru’s DP for all of ten years from 2013 to 2022. Most of the complaints about Uhuru were childish gibberish that Kenyans may be willing to put up with during campaigns but very depressing to the country when a new president has the platform to tell Kenyans where the country is heading.
Let us start with the plain lie Ruto admitted about his daily rantings on how successful his Hustler Fund has been.
“You had spoken earlier that some Sh20 billion had been borrowed. The figures we have from the ministry so far as of today are Sh12.8 billion, I don’t know how you account for that difference?” Citizen TV journalist Sam Gituku asked the president.
“On the figures, you are correct. I have so many figures by virtue of my position. The amount that we have lent is not Sh21 billion but 12.9 billion as of this evening( Wednesday),” he said.
The Head of State said he checked the numbers again and made the correction to his previous statement on wrong figures.
“I went and checked the numbers, and my minister actually sent me a text and said, that the Sh21 billion I mentioned is the number of transactions. All the other numbers are right as I mentioned. So there is no discrepancy between my numbers and the others,” he said.
For once Ruto was honest in his answer, sadly enough, because this was one issue on which he could not drag in Uhuru as the one who gave fake numbers about Hustler Fund. But essentially Ruto told Kenyans that he just cooks things up to make him look good and if he is found lying it is because he is too busy even to know any truth about anything.
Let us see some of the issues Ruto tried to do so much dodging around thinking Kenyans are too stupid to deal with facts as they know them.
On the manufacturing sector which is a key part of any development in the modern world, Ruto has had to defend his choice of the corrupt joker Moses Kuria as the CS in such an important area of work.
“Moses Kuria when he is not a politician, he is a very serious professional,” he said in an interview with the media on Wednesday.
Ruto said he has confidence in Kuria and his team of three Permanent Secretaries to deliver their mandate in boosting the country’s GDP.
“We want to reverse the slide back in our manufacturing, as it has gone down as a percentage of GDP from 9 percent to 7 percent,” he said
The President further added that his administration will ensure that by 2030, manufacturing should be contributing 20 percent to the country’s GDP. “We are going to do a 20 by 30, this means by 2030 manufacturing should contribute 20 percent to our GDP, that’s the plan we have,” he said.
That is called fiction. Just make things up and give fake numbers from nowhere based on zero plus zero. Yes, Kuria is a professional but the only profession we have seen him do very well is stealing money from his own CDF when he gave money to his family members and got that back in his pocket. What is his other profession to help him run the investment issues in the country?
One other issue which is very current is Ruto taking over Galana Kulalu project and making literally obscene promises which he knows he has no intention of keeping whatsoever.
President William Ruto claimed that the Galana Kulalu project was intentionally sabotaged by a few powerful individuals embedded in the previous government.
According to President Ruto, the said individuals – whom he refused to name – had allegedly even already subdivided the land amongst themselves.
“Just to show you that Galana Kulalu was sabotaged, go to the Ministry of Lands, the fellows who sabotaged it had actually sub-divided it into little pieces of land. I have canceled the parceling of that land, I have stopped it and it will not happen because subdividing Galana is actually going to send people there who are going to require food relief to even live there,” he said.
“Galana can feed 3 or 4 million Kenyans, why do you want to go and settle 10,000 people there? How does that compare? Galana did not fail, it was made to fail.”
“I want to promise Kenyans that we’re going to make Galana work, and it’s going to work beginning this February. We’re going to plant maize in the first 10,000 acres and we already have the mechanism to do it,” stated the President.
“In another 8 months, we’re going to do another 10,000 acres and in the next 2/3 months, I will be in Galana to launch the construction of the dam that will make it possible for us to do the next 300,000 acres. It is possible for us to produce 10 million bags from Galana to seal the gap that we’re currently going to import.”
Apart from the meandering attempt to blame Uhuru for alleged sabotage of the project by powerful people, the biggest shock here are the straight lies Ruto is telling Kenyans about what he is going to do at Galana in the next few months.
First, Ruto is planting maize on 10,000 acres of land in February 2023 which is next month. That is never going to happen. It is an obvious lie. Second, Ruto is going to build a dam in a few months to irrigate 350,000 acres of the Galana Kulalu massive land. Another plain and obvious lie.
The question is why is the president lying so badly and openly to Kenyans? Is it because he thinks Kenyans are too stupid to figure anything out? He is going to find out how wrong he is about that. Kenyans are very smart people and they know liars when they see them. They are seeing a big one in front of them right now. They are going to deal with it as they see fit.
Some of the answers Ruto gave to serious questions just made you laugh not with him but at him.
When asked why he has not been able to reduce the price of Unga to Shs. 100 as he promised Ruto had a very weird answer claiming that if he was not elected the president the price of Unga would be Shs. 300 now. In other words, Ruto being elected has reduced the price of Unga from Shs. 300 to Shs. 190 now from some imaginary government. I am not making this up.
President William Ruto has said the price of maize flour would have hiked to Sh300 if he had not won the August election.
He was explaining why the price of unga is yet to reduce to less than Sh100 as he had promised during the campaigns.
He said the average price of unga price was Sh230 but now is at Sh190, which he said is still high but they are working on it step by step.
On the cost of living, Ruto told Kenyans not to expect miracles to reduce the cost of living. I don’t know if any Kenyan expected Ruto to be a miracle. He was being asked about the promises he made to Kenyans every day in over one year of election campaigns. Did he know anything about Kenya when he was making those promises in order to get elected?
It seems the only thing Ruto knew about Kenyans was that he can fool the citizens anytime he wants and get away with it. At least he is trying very hard to do that now. Here is what Ruto told Kenyans on the cost of living and it all ends with “I have a plan”. Maybe another six months project?
“If we want to sort out the problem of the rising cost of living, there are no miracles, we must do it systematically.”
He added even though they want to import maize, they are still considerate of farmers and they will find a balance in both.
“Apart from the production plans we have, we have plans to import food but within that plan to import, farmers are still afraid of where their crops will go after production.
“You have to develop a balance and that’s why we will manage ourselves out of the problem, it will take time but it won’t happen immediately, I have a plan that will bring Kenya back to its place,” he said.
How about the rising cost of electricity in which Kenya Power owned by the government is a big party and gets a lot of money from Kenya taxpayers?
On the high cost of electricity again it was the same blame game, in a case where his government removed all price protections for Kenyans on electricity, and yes Ruto has a plan to sort that out starting March 2023. Ruto has said his government removed the subsidy on power put by president Uhuru three years ago because it was unsustainable and politically motivated.
The subsidy on electricity was put in place in 2019 dude and there was no election going on at that time.
Ruto could have done himself a lot of good if he had learnt anything from former President Mwai Kibaki who came to office after dictator Moi with his friends, and political cronies like William Ruto had brought the country to its knees and the economy had collapsed. Not to mention the horrific abuse of human rights in Kenya including the murder of Kenyan politicians opposed to Moi’s dictatorship.
Kibaki only talked to Moi and about him once when he was sitting in his wheelchair during the handover of office to him.
President Mwai Kibaki told Moi that the era of roadside declarations was over and will never happen during his time as the president of Kenya. President Kibaki never talked about Moi ever again even though he had to take the country through a very difficult period to overcome the mess Moi left in Kenya.
The economy was in tatters and the Western country donors and investors in Kenya who were a key part of our economy before had run away because of the massive theft of public money by Moi and his political gangsters plus abuse of human rights had reached a level no descent country could put up with. Of course, our new president William Ruto knows that very well. He was a big part of the Moi gangster economy and politics including abuse of human rights.
Kibaki had to face the monstrous Goldenberg Scandal which was Moi’s pet project sucking every penny out of government coffers and he set up a commission to do the job and decided he had no time to waste whining about Moi. President Kibaki had a country to salvage and run it to prosperity which was his focus. Zero time for the blame game that William Ruto is obsessed with. Strangely enough, Ruto was in the same government he whines about for all of the ten years of its existence.
President Mwai Kibaki’s record during his ten years in office today stands out there for better or for worse but one thing Kenyans will respect about him is that he was a true patriot who did what he could and refused to blame any failures he had on some ex-president.
That is how it works in real life. If you are Joe Biden as the President of the USA, Donald Trump, as the President of the USA before you is completely irrelevant to your vision for the country. That is how it works for real leaders. With H.E. the Whiner-In-Chief like we have today in Kenya it looks like it is a completely different ball game. The nation is ready for you Mr. Whiner. Bring it on.
Adongo Ogony is a Kenyan Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada