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President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing Mt Kenya leaders on January 30, 2021 at the Sagana State Lodge.

BBI

Uhuru takes on Ruto and hustler narrative in meeting with Mt Kenya leaders

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30- President Uhuru Kenyatta has hit out at the hustlers’ movement, an amorphous political group allied to his Deputy President William Ruto, saying it is aimed at dividing Kenyans.

Speaking in his native Kikuyu to more than 5,000 leaders who converged at the Sagana State Lodge, Ruto’s movement is anchored on selfishness and deceit and not the need to empower the people.

“I plead with you not to believe in those lies peddled by people calling themselves hustlers,” the President said.

He cited the incident where Senators allied to the Deputy President opposed the one man, one vote, one shilling revenue sharing formula- which would have largely favoured the Mt. Kenya region.

The opposition was at the time led by among others Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.

“If these people really care about you and this region, why would they the other day oppose the revenue sharing formula, yet it was keen on solving the problem of skewed resource allocation?” he posed.

“You see them here telling you that you have been neglected and throwing some few coins your way to hoodwink you, yet it’s the same money they have looted, your resources. Take that money when it comes, but don’t be blinded or misled,” the president said in reference to Ruto’s advances in Central Kenya where he has the support of at least 41 MPs who stayed away from the Sagana meeting.

He poured cold water on the attempt to profile people from influential families as dynasties, saying he is a President today not because his father was one, but due to hard work.

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“The way you hear them call me dynasty just because I was born by (First President of Kenya) Kenyatta. Who chooses where he wants to be born? Tell them to stop insulting me, they will know where votes come from next year,” the President asserted.

As the country gears towards next year’s elections, he has warned those opposed to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that they risk not being re-elected, saying they, after all, rode on his popularity to win.

He rooted for the BBI initiative among the delegates who included grassroots leaders, a day after 10 County Assemblies from the region committed to passing the Amendment bill that was sent to counties last week by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The President, who avoided mentioning his Deputy by name and resulted to pluralism in reference to those supporting him, said no one was sidelined in the BBI talks.

“You remember how they claimed to have been left out of the handshake. Remember how in Bomas I said how they were involved and even nominated members to the BBI team? The truth must be told,” the President said, in an apparent reference to Ruto.

While he has admitted to having committed to supporting Ruto under the ‘Kumi Kumi” (Ten years Ten years) slogan, the President said the only pact he has is with Kenyans and not an individual.

And if Mount Kenya region will not have a presidential candidate in 2022, the President said he will lead the negotiations with other communities across the country.

“Anyone who is interested and genuinely interested in our region and family must use the front door. We must be wary of the one who wants to use the kitchen door or the bedroom window,” the President said.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is also set to hold similar talks with leaders drawn from Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu and Siaya Counties.

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A letter from ODM party Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna indicated that the “consultative forum” will be held on February 8.

The meeting will bring together, elected leaders, Luo Council of Elders, Professionals and business leaders.

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