Ruto says he remembers all the pledges he made, mainly coming up with plans to lower the cost of living, after the prices of key commodities increased, such as maize flour, used to prepare ugali – a staple food in the country.
Just over three months in power, Ruto is pleading with the opposition and ordinary Kenyans to give him more time to work on the promises he made.
READ MORE Kenya: Who's who in Ruto's inner circle?
“Those trying to harass me, I tell them to come slowly, “ Ruto says.
The President, who says he welcomes criticism from the opposition of his leadership, does blame his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga for destroying the country’s economy in the last five years. An issue he says is affecting the timely implementation of his promises to the people.
This is a below average regime. On a scale of 1-10, we would grade the regime at four points.
“I’m prioritising rebuilding the foundation of our economy that was destroyed by the former regime,” said Ruto.
Opposition score card
Meanwhile, Raila has described Ruto’s first 100 days in office as a road to nowhere, accusing him of misleading Kenyans on his promises.
The first 100 days of the Kenya Kwanza regime have been marked by the pronouncements, actions, and policy failures that evidence a troubling trend line across the spectrum.
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) December 22, 2022
Raila describes Ruto’s leadership as pushing Kenyans from the frying pan to the real flames, saying life is becoming unbearable, and accusing the current regime of not solving these challenges.
The veteran politician also accuses Ruto of giving Kenyans false hope, saying the people have nothing to smile about over unattained promises.
“This is a below average regime. On a scale of 1-10, we would grade the regime at four points.” he says.
Ahead of his political meeting with supporters in January, the Azimio la Umoja coalition leader also said: “Ruto’s administration is off to a terrible start”, adding that nothing to date has inspired confidence that the future will be brighter.
Ordinary Kenyans not optimistic
Ruto campaigned with a promise to improve the livelihood of the poor, create jobs and tackle the cost of living that has left many ordinary citizens struggling to put food on the table.
With his hustler fund launched in November, borrowers complained of difficulty to access reasonable loans that would otherwise enable them to start businesses to improve their livelihoods.
Hillary Kabei, a taxi driver in the Eastlands side of Nairobi, had hoped that the launch of the Fund would provide him an opportunity to borrow and start a new business, but that has failed.
Kabei says he can only borrow KSh600 ($4.88), which he says is not enough to help him start a side hustle.
“The loan is too little, it can not help me, I have no hope,” he tells The Africa Report.
Mary Mwende, who owns a small grocery stall selling vegetables and fruits in Kasarani estate in the capital Nairobi, voted for Ruto. She says nothing has changed since he came to power, adding that life has become increasingly unbearable because she is not getting enough customers to buy her produce.
“I haven’t seen any changes so far, Ruto promised a lot, he is not delivering to my expectations,” she says.
Herman Manyora, political analyst from the University of Nairobi, says it looks like Ruto was not prepared to become President and therefore needs more time to implement his promises to the people.
“Kenyans should be patient with President Ruto, he didn’t expect what he found in [the previous] government,” he tells The Africa Report.
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