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Shebesh scoffs at wheelbarrow ’empowerment’

Political leaders allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga have hit out at Deputy President William Ruto and his allies, accusing him of undermining the Head of State and instigating a class war.

The ODM and Jubilee affiliated Senators and MPs reminded the DP they were elected together with the President and he should therefore not try to divorce himself from the pledges made to Kenyans by the Jubilee government.

They also promised to drum up support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) saying the document has several benefits to Kenyans.

The leaders told off Ruto over his ‘premature’ 2022 General Election campaigns which they said were at the expense of development projects in the country.

Youth and Gender Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Rachel Shebesh, in a veiled attack on DP Ruto, tore into leaders who are going around the country saying President Kenyatta has done nothing, saying the President does not need to shout what he has done.

She rubbished the wheelbarrow empowerment initiative by the DP saying real empowerment lies in government projects including the provision of funds to youth and women to start businesses that can in turn grow the economy.

“Uhuru is the president. He does not need to shout but to work. Let us respect the President. Everyone will go to the ground in 2022 when the time comes,” said Shebesh.

Shebesh, however, castigated leaders allied to the President for creating the gap that is now being exploited by peddlers of the “wheelbarrow” narrative, asking Kenyans to start telling off leaders who go to the ground to peddle lies that President Kenyatta has not delivered.

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director General Major General Mohamed Badi warned the leaders not to think that the President has been left alone reminding them that he is in the Handshake deal together with ODM party leader Raila Odinga.

Badi said the Head of State has the support of all Kenyans as well as leaders allied to his course and therefore, no one should think he has been left alone.

“I am not a politician and therefore I will not talk about building bridges initiative but let me make it clear that the President is not alone. If there is a handshake, do you think he is alone? He has his partner in the deal,” said the NMS boss.

“If you say he is alone, where are we then? The President has all Kenyans behind him and we are all his supporters,” he added.

Kibra MP Imran Okoth told off Ruto, who prides himself as the Hutsler Nation leader, for using taxpayers’ money in search of power instead of honouring pledges the Jubilee government made to Kenyans.

In a scathing attack on the DP, he said Ruto had abandoned the President and is busy campaigning asking for votes ahead of 2022.

“We are in a difficult moment as a country with the President having been left alone to work as those he had campaigned with have left him and are now campaigning. It is sad when your deputy cannot help you deliver to Kenyans but is instead crisscrossing the country campaigning for his presidential bid,” said Okoth.

“You are still driving government cars, you are living in a house built by taxpayers’ money yet you are busy asking Kenyans to elect you as president in 2022 while you have failed to deliver your pledges,” he added.

The ODM lawmaker also dismissed the wheelbarrow narrative by Ruto chiding the DP for only realizing that mama mbogas and bodaboda riders existed in the country now after eight years in power.

Nairobi Deputy Governor Anne Kananu drummed up support for BBI saying it portends well for Kenyans as it will ensure increased allocations to counties, benefit to youths and women, allocations to ward development fund calling on Kenyans not to be misled by the naysayers.

“Yes you will be given wheelbarrows but you need to ask yourself how much of your load can you carry with it. The BBI bill is the only sure way of empowering Kenyans as it ensures more funding to counties,” said Ms Kananu.

Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan laid into the regime of former Governor Mike Sonko for derailing development in the capital through constant wrangles thanking the President for his intervention.

“Nairobi had stagnated because of corruption, poor leadership, and wrangles. I thank the President for intervening. Now we have NMS which is delivering on developments as well as a new governor. We are hopeful of better tidings in the remaining months,” he said.