I don't understand what the fighting is for - Uhuru emotional in Labour Day address

A tough talking and frustrated President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday broke away from his written speech in what appeared to be a direct message to his deputy, Dr William Ruto.

President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Nyayo National Stadium for the Labour Day celebrations on May 1, 2022

A tough talking and frustrated President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday broke away from his written speech in what appeared to be a direct message to his deputy, Dr William Ruto.

Speaking at the Nyayo National Stadium as the invited guest at the 2022 Labour Day celebrations, President Kenyatta lamented that he has been accused of various ills by his DP along with other politicians in government.

"Na Wakenya nafurahi kwa sababu mambo yalikuwa magumu... Covid sio Wakenya walileta... ilisababisha vifo vya wengi na wengi pia walipoteza kazi zao. Hiyo haikuwa kwa sababu ya Uhuru au mtu mwingine.

"(Fellow Kenyans I'm glad we made it through, because things were difficult. Covid was not caused by Kenyans... and it led to the death of many and many others lost their jobs, that was not caused by Uhuru or any other person)," the President began.

Accusing the DP of abandoning him when he had needed him most, President Kenyatta asserted - terming it as matter of fact - Tanga Tanga politicking caused the increase in cost of living in Kenya and neighbouring nations.

"Na wakati tumejaribu kuona ambavyo tutajiokoa, tukaanza kupata njia ndipo wengine nao wanaanza vita vingine sielewi vimetoka wapi mimi! Na ndio vinasababisha bei ya mafuta kupanda, bei katika nchi zingine kupanda na kutuletea shida zingine.

"(And when we were busy trying to find solutions and save ourselves, at a time we were beginning to see a clear path, others then began to start fights and I don't even understand what the fighting is for. These fights are the reason why fuel prices went high and food prices in our neighbouring countries are going up and that is creating more problems.)

President Kenyatta went on to state that he had found solace in working with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, despite their political differences.

"Wakati umefika lazima watu waambiane ukweli. Wewe unajua hii shida si ya mtu, ulikuwa wapi wakati nakuhitaji? Na ndio nashukuru huyu Mzee at least hata kama alikuwa na mambo yake lakini alikuja kunisaidia. Na hiyo ndio ukweli," Uhuru stated.

He added that Tanga Tanga politicians who were maligning the government at public rallies amounted to inciting Kenyans terming his deputy as a bad leader, with no real solutions to offer.

"Wengine wanaenda huko ku-incite wananchi... badala ya kuja kuniambia nikona njia hii, na hii, badala ya kunipa mawaidha, vile tunavyoweza kujiokoa, wewe uko katika soko, ni matusi na wewe unajiita kiongozi...ati umejiweka kiongozi namba ngapi katika serikali. Uko wapi? Badala ya kunisaidia kuondoa hiyo shida, wewe uko katika soko unasema ulizeni yule. Basi si ungewacha, nijitafutie mtu wa kunisaidia?" he stated.

The president concluded by saying: "Matusi ndio anawaambia na (he is only telling you lies and) empty promises, take them you-know-where. [What matters] is the fruit of your hard work and hayo ndio Mwenyezi Mungu alituambia (and that's how God sees it)."

Prior to Uhuru's emotional rant, the president had been addressing a question asked by COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli regarding the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

While the President gave immediate orders regarding two other requests made by Mr Atwoli, he stated that issues regarding SRC were to be solved through the flopped BBI project.

"Raila and I tried our best, we went round the country seeking to change sections of the Constitution here and there that are problematic. We sweated trying to get it [BBI] passed and some were busy opposing it. Atwoli, the matter you asked about will be answered in the upcoming elections," the President stated in Swahili, adding: "Mimi najua mahali fikra zangu zilipo, lakini uwezo ni wa Mwenyezi Mungu si wangu pekee, uwezo ni wenu Wakenya...mnataka tutengeneze ndio haki ipatikane?"

Defending his administration as pertains to the cost of living in Kenya, President Kenyatta acknowledged the plights of Kenyans, pointing out that his government had made efforts to cushion its citizens from the rising cost of commodities.

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