By Adongo Ogony
I found it strange and quite telling that when UDA leaders in Mombasa met with Ruto, they raged on and on about Raila Odinga not being willing to solve the land ownership crisis in Mombasa county.
The UDA aspirants want the Ndung’u Land Report released to the public. They want the implementation of the report’s recommendations.
Ms. Jumwa had this to say:
“They have been exploiting the poor and stealing their land. This must stop,” she said.
Ms. Jumwa said ODM Leader Raila Odinga had betrayed the region, especially after the Handshake.
She said Mr. Odinga had frustrated every effort that will transform the lives of the people of the Coastal Region.
“He pretends that he is not in Government. Yet, he prides himself of being the President’s adviser. We will not vote for Mr. Odinga.”
She challenged Mr. Odinga to spearhead justice for the people of the Coastal region “if he wants our support”.
When Ali the Nyali M.P rose to speak he had this to say.
“We have a rich history but the most prominent one is the land problem. If Raila is serious about leading Kenya, let him tell us who stole our land.”
Now the person standing in front of Aisha Jumwa and Ali, Mr. William Ruto is actually the sitting deputy president of Kenya and has been in that position for nine years. What has he done during that time to address land issues in the coast or anywhere else in the country.
Why are these leaders addressing their concerns about land ownership at the coast to Raila and asking him to make public the Ndung’u Land Report instead of asking their leader the Deputy President to make that report public and to solve the land problems at the coast?
It is obvious that even these Ruto supporters in the region know what everybody else knows, that William Ruto is not interested in dealing with land theft anywhere in the country and will never go near that Ndung’u Land Report.
In fact, Ruto’s adviser Dr. David Ndii already told the whole country that Ruto has no interest in addressing corruption issues and historical injustices. Dr. Ndii told Kenyans that those interested in such issues should vote for Raila Odinga. Is that what these UDA aspirants are telling their voters?
Why is it that instead of the aspirants asking their candidate to address their most pressing concerns, they would rather address those concerns to Raila who is running against Ruto?
It would seem that these Ruto supporters and big names at the coast are aware that chances of Raila Odinga winning the 2022 elections are very high so they would rather address their concerns to him than to their own candidate who is right in front of them.
They said Raila has not solved the land problem they are dealing with and therefore he is bad.
How about the guy standing in front of you who is in government? What has he done over the nines years he has been in office to solve the same problem? Zero.
To confirm his own complete disinterest in these issues, when Ruto addressed the meeting after listening to their concerns about land ownership, he did not utter a single word about land ownership in Mombasa and the entire coastal region.
He was telling his coastal crew that yes, you are right. I William Ruto, has absolutely no interest on land theft in this country and such things. I just want to be president.
That was Ruto’s message to them which is what they expected.
How is this going to work for Ruto in the coast and across the country?
Time will tell but the real issues that all Kenyans across the country face like corruption, theft of public property, and land grabbing by the rich in Kenya are not going away and that could very well be Ruto’s harakiri issue.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada