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Deputy President William Ruto addressing a rally in Malava on February 21, 2021 after attending a church service in the area.

Kenya

DP Ruto laughs off plan to criminalize hustler slogan

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 21- Deputy President William Ruto has castigated plans to legislate against the ‘hustler nation’ slogan, saying such a move will amount to criminalizing poverty in the country.

The DP on Sunday DP said the hustler nation is about empowering Kenyans by creating more equitable opportunities for them and told off National Assembly Security Committee Chairperson Paul Koinange on his plan to criminalize the slogan.

“The hustler nation is about working. Some of us will go hungry if we do not hustle,” the DP said in a message directed to the legislator.

He was speaking after a church service in Kakamega County, where he defended his 2022 presidential bid, saying he was the most qualified to take over from President Uhuru Kenyatta.

On Saturday, the DP hit out at his opponents, alleging a plot to push him out of the Jubilee administration.

Although he did not elaborate further on the alleged plot, Ruto castigated the move, telling his supporters in Baringo that he will not be forced out of a government he formed with the President.

The Deputy President said he will not allow outsiders, in an apparent reference to President Kenyatta’s handshake partner Raila Odinga, who enjoys all the trappings of power, to push him into the edge of the Jubilee administration yet they did not play any role in forming it.

“At this time, there are people plotting of pushing me out of the Jubilee Government. When we formed this government, President Kenyatta was with me or with the political conmen that are with him?” he asked a charged crowd of Kabarnet residents in Baringo County on Saturday where he addressed a rally after presiding over the opening of St Joseph the Worker Parish, Kituro Church.

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Signs that all is not well in the Jubilee administration became clear on Thursday when he was conspicuously missing from a meeting convened by President Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi with Cabinet Secretaries, Cabinet Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries from all government ministries.

President Kenyatta recently asked him to resign instead of criticizing the government from within, in which he responded saying he is in government to the end as the elected Deputy President.

The Deputy President also defended his hustler nation narrative, explaining that it is aimed at changing Kenya’s economic model to a bottom-up approach to benefit the majority at the base of the pyramid.

“The forthcoming election will be historic since it will end the politics of tribalism,” the Deputy President said, “I am seeking leadership because I want to empower the hustlers of this country. The economy must start from down going up and not up going down.”

He also criticized government security agencies for what he described as intimidation of his staunch supporters following the arrest of Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi and other leaders loyal to him during the burial of former Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae.

“When did it become a crime to be a friend of the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, who is also a friend to the President of the Republic of Kenya?” he posed.

“Every politician should lay their own plan without involving police. Let them stop using the criminal justice system to advance the politics of this country,” he said.

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