NAROK, Kenya, Nov 20 – Deputy President William Ruto has dismissed those linking his countrywide tours to the 2022 campaigns.
Ruto said as the Deputy President, he has work to do by pushing for further development in the country.
“We have a long way to the 2022 elections. This is not the time to talk about it; this is the time to talk about issues that will transform Kenya,” said Ruto.
But when 2022 comes, he added, we will battle it out together and those who lose out should concede defeat.
He urged leaders to focus on uniting and empowering Kenyans rather than engaging in divisive politics.
Ruto was speaking on Tuesday in Narok during the launch of the county’s Universal Health Coverage, where he also warned provincial administrators against inciting the members of the public against each other.
He was accompanied by Governors Samuel Tunai (Narok), Joseph ole Lenku (Kajiado) and Joyce Laboso (Bomet). Other leaders present were Phillip Mpaayei (Kajiado Senator), MPs Korei Lemei (Narok North), George Sunkuyia (Kajiado West), Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West) and Lemanken Aramat (Narok East MP).
Tunai said the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) coverage would lessen the financial burden that families have been bearing.
As Narok County, we have also committed Sh40 million to facilitate the vulnerable enrol in the NHIF plan,” he noted, adding that he will carry out intense awareness in the region to make Narok a leading county in the country in terms of NHIF enrolment.
Bomet Governor Laboso lauded the launch of the Universal Health Care coverage, saying it was part of the Jubilee Government’s legacy.
“Access to medical services has been a big challenge to most Kenyans and this has impeded the development of our country. There is little double this programme would elevate Kenya to another level in the coming years,” said Laboso.
On his part, Lenku notes that counties should ensure that they turnaround health facilities into modern-day medical centres “because we need to work towards promoting medical tourism, the same way India has done it”.
The leaders said they would support Ruto’s presidential bid in 2022, saying his past and current development records are testimonies that he would lead the country to prosperity.
“We had a political commitment in 2013 that you will succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta. That will remain as it was. As Narok County, we will rally behind you as you run for the big seat,” said Aramat.
A total of Sh70 million was raised to help the vulnerable enrol for the NHIF medical coverage.
Earlier, the Deputy President opened the Narok County Referral Hospital CT Scan Centre, which he said will cut travels by patients to Nairobi or Nakuru to access the critical service.
Ruto said the national government will intensify its partnership with county governments to offer advanced and accessible medical services to the public.
“We will also assist in the expansion of the Kenya Medical Training Colleges in various parts of the country so as to have enough human resources to run our healthcare facilities,” he noted.