Deputy President William Ruto was conspicuously absent during the Mombasa Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) consultative forum that was held at Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in Mombasa on Saturday, January 25.
His absence left many people wondering about his whereabouts, especially after his allies, lead by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen graced the event.
In an interview with NTV‘s Ken Mijungu on Thursday, January 23 the DP was asked if he would attend the BBI rally in Mombasa.
Ruto, however, did not confirm his attendance. He stated that he would speak to President Uhuru Kenyatta first before deciding whether he would avail himself for the meeting.
A build-up to the meeting had Kenyans expecting him to grace the forum.
However, DP Ruto was presiding over an interdenominational church fundraiser at Kapsigilai in Cherangany Constituency, Trans Nzoia County.
DP Ruto engaged members of the public in a conversation of national interest, touching on technical and vocational educational training institutions (TVETs), and the BBI report.
He assured residents that the Jubilee government was determined to ensure that youths in the country were facilitated by the government to contribute to national development.
“We will pay Ksh 30,000 as school fees for each student every year, and we will avail a loan of Ksh 40,000 every year. We want our youths educated to realise the Big 4 Agenda,” Ruto affirmed.
“The youth should take advantage of the programmes the government has rolled out on TVETs so that they can attain skills that will enable them to be movers of the Big 4 Agenda,” he advised.
The country’s number two asked Kenyans to carefully engage the BBI report, with the aim of contributing towards national development, rather than employing it to propel divisive politics.
Ruto shrugged off criticism that has in the recent past been thrown his way, arguing that he was the deputy president and it was within his mandate to tour the country, addressing the issues affecting Kenyans.
“People should not use BBI to insult each other. You should not use the report to propagate divisive politics. We should use the report to unite Kenyans, nothing else,” Ruto stated.
“I am asked why I move from place to place in this country. I am the deputy president, I am on a salary, and therefore, it is my job to tend to issues of Kenyans,” he added.
The BBI forum in Mombasa was presided over by ODM leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and graced by several leaders from across the country.