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DP Ruto Cornered? Second-in-command’s ‘Empty’ Speech In Kisii Gets Kenyans Talking

William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto. [Courtesy]

Deputy President Dr William Ruto played a ceremonial role in Kisii during the 11th Mashujaa Day Celebrations, even as he delivered an ’empty’ speech before welcoming the President.

Ruto who spoke after former Prime Minister Raila Odinga seemingly had not prepared a speech for the celebrations, or maybe abandoned his speech for  reasons only known to him, after Mr Odinga’s speech.

Mr Odinga’s speech was full of history, recognising Kenya’s heroes from the Abagusii community, and it was expected that Ruto would follow suit or even do more.

Ruto talked about heroes from the community such as Otenyo Nyamanteri who resisted colonial domination, the late senior chief Musa Nyandusi, Samuel Nyamwea, George Mosti and Hellen Obiri among others.

“For 56 years we have followed one direction. We need to look at what else is missing so that project Kenya can move forward as envisioned by the founding fathers of our nation,” said Raila.

Before concluding his speech, Mr Odinga announced that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) drive to change the constitution would be back “after the break”.

“BBI reggae was launched here, from here, the BBI train moved to Kakamega, all the way to Meru. When we were going to Nakuru, shetani ikaanguka kutoka juu, reggae ikaenda half time. Half time imeisha sasa, nobody can stop reggae,” said Raila.

In response, Ruto said that he hoped the the ‘reggae’ would bring on a national conversation, without saying anything substantial.

“There are millions of ordinary Kenyans who wake up early and sleep late, working hard for our nation to make meaning of our independence… we celebrate them as our Shujaas. My friend the former Prime Minister has said reggae is back. But I hope we shall have a robust conversation to bring everybody on board,” said Ruto.

When the President took to the podium, his speech was full of anecdotes of Kenyan heroes in different times of history.

The President talked about Kenya’s heroes since October 1952 when a state of emergency was declared in Kenya and saw several freedom fighters imprisoned including the founding President the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, who was among the Kapenguria six.

The President also recognised Mekatilili wa Menza for leading the Giriama community against the British Rule.

The President also recognised heroes such as Jomo Kenyatta, Harry Thuku, Achieng’ Oneko, Daniel Arap Moi, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga among others.

Here are reactions by Kenyan’s to DP Ruto’s speech:-

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email

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