Why Kenyans are angry at DP Ruto’s remarks made on Saturday

Talking tough

File image of DP William Ruto

Kenyans have taken issues with Deputy President William Ruto’s remarks confirming that the government is finalizing on Sh 1.9 Billion payment owed to sugarcane farmers.

Ruto who was speaking in Shitoto, Kakamega County, on Saturday during the burial of Peletina Akhanyinya Washiali acknowledged that “We have a problem in the sugar sector. Sh2.7 billion is yet to be paid to farmers who delivered their cane to factories”.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta had recently directed that farmers be paid their money, that is why Sh1.9 billion has now been secured,” he added.

Kenyans took to the social media, alleging that this is the same song the government has been singing for years as farmers wallow in poverty.

In deed research by Pulselive.co.ke reveals that similar promises were made to farmers across different parts of Western Kenya but to date little has been done.

A section of Kenyans alleged that such pledges are familiar songs to soothe farmers living in deplorable conditions as industries collapse with brokers and cartels minting billions.

Four months ago, a similar promise and directive was issued by President Kenyatta while addressing the public during Mashujaa day celebrations in Kakamega.

“I direct the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Treasury, to immediately put in place a framework to audit and pay sugar cane farmers the 2.6 billion Kenya shillings, the outstanding payment owed to them by public sugar factories.” The president said in his speech.

Reviving collapsed millers

The most recent promise was made by none other than President Uhuru Kenyatta himself while addressing mourners at the burial of Bruce Odhiambo in Koru-Kisumu.

The President assured farmers that the government will pay them their Sh2.7 billion arrears as soon as the supplementary budget is passed.

"Farmers will be paid directly and not through the millers to avoid diversion of money," he said.

The plight of Sugar cane farmers has for a long time been used to lure voters from the region with several promises.

In the run up to the 2017 elections, President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto toured various areas of Western province.

The two pledged to pay farmers their dues and to revive collapsed millers.

Several months down the line, their promise remain just that: words with little action or results.

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