Why I’m the new opposition – Deputy President William Ruto

11 mins read

Ruto probably does not know that he has been in government since he left college and has never had any other job like the rest of Kenyans. When he loses the August 9, Elections it will be the first time he will actually look for work out of being in government.

It looks from the faces behind Ruto as he made his statement yesterday that they know what is coming down the pipe. That is their predicament. The DP will soon be the least of their concerns. Work is work. And an M.Ps job pays them fortunes apart from what they just steal from CDF and County Budgets.

Interestingly Ruto made his opposition leadership statement from his government-provided residence in Karen. Even the carpet he was standing on is paid for by the government of Kenya. That podium he was grabbing is paid for by the taxpayers just as they pay for his food, fuel, cars and everything he and his political crowd at Karen house need.

That is a lovely way to be in the opposition. There was a time being in opposition meant you were in jail with no food and nothing at all. At that time in the 1990s, Ruto was actively trying to kill those opposing his then-boss President Moi. Maybe Ruto should have tried that opposition and he would have an idea what being in opposition really is.

Read: Signs of a Dictator? Ruto’s obsession with single center of Power a red-flag

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But as expected Ruto brought his whining skills to try to make things up. For one the BBI manenos are over with. The Supreme Court rejected the idea of Basic Legal Structure in our constitution which means Kenyans are free to amend it and they will when Ruto will be in actual opposition. There is no need wasting any time on BBI. If you are Ruto you won nothing in that battle. Move on.

Now Deputy President William Ruto says he’s been forced to take up an opposition role due to circumstances.

Ruto says that after the Kenyatta-led government and the opposition, led by ODM leader Raila Odinga, struck a truce in March 2018, the opposition has failed to effectively play its oversight role, leaving him (Ruto) with no choice but to plug in.

Speaking at his Karen residence in Nairobi, the DP, who read out Kenya Kwanza’s statement in regard to Kenya’s current economic situation, said he has the interest of Kenyans at heart, hence his active role in opposition.

Ruto has been undergoing some pretty traumatic experiences in his political life. It took him a lot of time to finally accept that Uhuru is not going to support him and will be actively working with Azimio team.

All through last year Ruto and his team were buried in the myth that Uhuru was playing Raila and will dump him and move on with Ruto. That is now sorted out.

The next phase for William Ruto is going to be the realization that he is losing the August elections and is going home. He will put up the charade but very much sooner he is going to see the writing on the walls. The man is going nowhere so he should feel very comfortable in opposition.

The good news about all these is that it tells Kenyans exactly the kind of confused government they should never elect again. Next time Kenyans will make sure they elect a president and a deputy who care for the country more than they care for their political careers.

And here is the same William Ruto promoting the fuel tax when it was announced. There are liars in politics and hypocrites but this guy has a record of his own.

“What was government is now like the opposition, and what was the opposition is now behaving like government. There are no clear lines between the people in the opposition, and the people in government,” said Ruto.

“Greedy people, who were supposed to be discharging their duties as the opposition, decided to come and serve as cartels and barons in government. We believe in the citizenship of our republic. This (opposition role) is supposed to somebody else’s responsibility, but we are forced to do it because we have the interests of the nation at heart, and we want the right thing to happen in Kenya. We could have chosen to keep quiet, but the crisis in Kenya cannot allow us to keep quiet,” he added.

In his address, the deputy president said the economic hardship that Kenyans are currently facing, particularly the fuel crisis, has been created by “cartels and barons” in government, who are out to benefit only themselves.

“The Nation of Kenya is groaning. We are in collective anguish and economic crisis,” he said.

“The devastating effects of this current economic crisis is now manifest in the artificial fuel shortage and skyrocketing prices of basic food items. Millions of Kenyans are witnessing in bewildered agony as fuel pumps run dry and queues grow longer due to this artificial shortage, which has already disrupted the entire transport sector.

“Kenyans are now forced to dig deeper into their pockets for bus-fare, and boda boda operators are being driven out of business.

“Cooking gas that was retailing at Sh2,300 in February, just two months ago, is now being sold at Sh3,350. The price of Sh10 litres of cooking oil that was retailing at Sh1,450, is now selling at Sh3,100. Fuel shot up; from Sh135 per litre of petrol to between Sh150 and Sh205 in some parts of the country.”

The DP said the fuel shortage hit Kenya’s critical services such as hospitals, resulting in a threat to people’s lives.

“The government of Kenya knows that millions of households cannot cope with these prices,” said Ruto.

“In the midst of the people’s loud cries of agony, the silence of the concerned government ministries is deafening and their inaction is snowballing into a national catastrophe.”

The DP asked the ministries of Agriculture, Treasury and Petroleum to give “convincing” explanations on why there’s fuel shortage, yet the government has been allocating funds to the stabilisation kitty.

“Where is the Sh39 billion petroleum development levy fund meant for the fuel subsidy programme as this crisis deepens?” posed Ruto.

“Funds have been diverted to debt-servicing and infrastructure development without the approval of the National Assembly,” he alleged.

 “The current state of affairs is a clear manifestation of conflict of interest and State capture that is now pervasive in all sectors of the economy. Cartels have taken over critical economic sectors, and are now moving in top gear to capture the State. That is why the benefits, powers, advantages, privileges and other interests of these barons and cartels take priority over the plight of 50 million Kenyans.

“The people telling us about Ukraine and Russia [war] are also telling us that there is no shortage of fuel. They are trying to blame oil marketers. They are even conflicted in the reasons why we have an artificial crisis in the country. From their own statements, they are not sure on what to say. Is it because of the war in Ukraine, or is it because of our oil marketers? That would tell you that this crisis is orchestrated by cartels and barons who have taken over using conflict of interest and State capture.”

The deputy president was asked to give a response after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Supplementary Appropriation Bill.

This move would ease the week-long fuel crisis in the country.

In his response, the DP said: “We are locking the stable when the horse has already bolted. This should have been addressed before we got ourselves into the crisis that we are in. As a result of the fuel crisis, we have serious price fluctuations in all basic food items, because, to a great extent, they (food prices) are dependent on the prices of fuel.

“Just so you know, the supplementary estimates budget [that the president signed on Monday, April 4], was brought [to Parliament] just last week. The fuel crisis has been long and coming. There was money in the petroleum development fund. Where did that money go?” he posed.

Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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