No Mkate Nusu! President Ruto takes hardline stance as he dares Raila to face him

for Tv47 Digital March 24, 2023, 11:24 AM
President Ruto (L) and his political nemesis Raila Odinga of the Azimio coalition.
President Ruto (L) and his political nemesis Raila Odinga of the Azimio coalition. PHOTOS/REUTERS

In Summary

  • President Ruto was speaking in Kitutu Chache North, Kisii County, on Friday morning. 
  • Raila Odinga has called for maandamano two days a week- Mondays and Thursdays- starting March 27. 

President William Ruto has taken a hardline stance on the call for talks with his political nemesis Raila Odinga, daring him to face him head-on.

Speaking at Kegogi, in Kitutu Chache North, Kisii County, on Friday morning, the President said Raila’s call for anti-government protests have disrupted businesses for the common man and are counterproductive.

Wacha kusumbua raia,” he said, derisorily referring to Raila as ‘Kitendawili’. “Kama uko na shida menyana na mimi. Mimi ndiye nilikushinda. Mama mboga and watu wa boda boda hawakufanya biashara Monday… Stop the arrogance and contempt for ordinary mwananchi.

President Ruto and Kisii Governor Simba Arati. PHOTO | PCS

The Monday, March 20 demos disrupted businesses in Nairobi Central Business District and other parts of Kenya including Migori and Kisumu counties.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who is accompanying President Ruto on a three-day working visit of Kisii, Migori and Nyamira counties, earlier this week said the Kenyan economy lost KSh2 billion in the Monday protests.

Though there has been calls from religious leaders for the two leaders to get to the negotiating table, both have taken a hardline stance. Ruto won the presidency after garnering 7,176,141 votes ( 50.49% of the vote). Raila got 6,942,930 votes ( 48.85%). He contested the results at the Supreme Court but the court validated Ruto’s victory.

Police fire teargas canisters to disperse a crowd of protestors in Nairobi CBD on Monday, March 20. PHOTO | REUTERS

More than six months after the polls, Raila continues to allege that the election was rigged in connivance with officials from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

Though he had threatened to storm State House last Monday, he instead conducted a lap around Kamukunji constituency onboard his air-conditioned sports utility vehicle. He has since asked his supporters to be ready for protests on Mondays and Thursdays.

“If you have a problem, come and face me. I am the one who defeated you. Tuheshimiane my friend!” said President Ruto in Kisii.

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