Deputy President William Ruto has accused Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga of being a copycat.

Dr Ruto said Mr Odinga’s socio-economic empowerment model “borrows heavily from our hustler narrative”.

Addressing roadside rallies in Wundanyi, Mwatate and Voi in Taita-Taveta county yesterday, Dr Ruto said Mr Odinga has adopted the bottom-up economic model, “which seeks to lift ordinary citizens out of poverty”. 

The DP defended his economic idea, saying it is meant to benefit the majority, including.

At a Mt Kenya youth forum on Tuesday, Mr Odinga said his government would give a Sh6,000 monthly stipend to every unemployed young person.

“They used to criticise my bottom-up approach, but they’ve now shifted the narrative. We have made them realise the need to economically empower citizens instead of seeking positions for their gains,” Dr Ruto said.

He dismissed “those vetting presidential aspirants in boardrooms”, saying ordinary Kenyans would have a final say on who to lead them next year. 

He was referring tycoons from Mt Kenya who recently met Mr Odinga, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper Party’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Moses Wetang’ula of Ford Kenya and Kanu’s Gideon Moi in Nairobi.

Economic growth

He criticised President Uhuru Kenyatta and his allies for attacking him.

“They are calling me a thief, yet I was good when helping them. They are attacking me because I opted to help ordinary citizens,” he said. 

The DP said he is committed to accelerating the economic growth of the country and asked Kenyans to ignore selfifsh leaders.

“My development record is clear. Let my opponents say what they have done for the people. Kenyans are too clever to be deceived,” he said. 

According to Dr Ruto, key Jubilee projects stalled the moment the President and Mr Odinga diverted the country’s attention to constitutional changes through the Building Bridges Initiative. 

He said his government would set aside Sh120 million interest-free loans to every constituency for small businesses.

“My priority is not to create opportunities for ourselves, but to economically empower suffering ordinary Kenyans. Many have been listed by credit reference bureaus,” he said.

The DP said the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) would replace Jubilee as the ruling party.

Tribal coalitions

“We have the support of more than 150 MPs and hundreds of people who are queueing up for UDA tickets,” he said. 

“They killed Jubilee so that Kenyans could retreat to tribal coalitions. That is why we formed UDA to accommodate everyone. Their arrogance and pride are about to end.”

He was accompanied by Taita-Taveta Woman Representative Lydia Haika, Lungalunga MP Khatib Mwashetani, former Governor John Mruttu and other leaders. 

Ms Haika urged the government to revise the school calendar, which she said is hurting parents.

due to the school fees burden. “The crash program is hurting us. With the current economic situation, where will parents get schools fees in a week?” she quipped. 

She also urged residents to turn up in large numbers to register as voters. “If you fail to register, then you will allow other people to vote in unfit leaders. Those who haven’t registered should do so,” Ms Haika said.

She donated Sh2 million to the Taita-Taveta Basket Weavers Association in Voi to boost their business. She also gave carpentry tools, salon kits, laptops and sewing machines to various youth groups in the county.

By Nation Africa