Hustler movement is about economic empowerment – DP Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto has said hustler movement is about economic empowerment and has nothing to do with criminal activities.

He faulted legislators pushing for the criminalization of hustler narrative, saying the move was misguided.

Dr Ruto said the wheelbarrow, as used by the Hustler brand, is a symbol of hard work by Kenyans to improve the quality of their lives.

He said those pushing the bill ‘are out of touch with reality on the ground’.

“There are those who are not used to working hard to earn a living,” said Dr Ruto.

At the same time, the Deputy President told politicians to stop banking on endorsements on matters of presidency and instead sell their agenda to Kenyans.

Dr Ruto said those seeking leadership positions should get in touch with Kenyans rather than waiting for endorsements.

He urged Kenyans to thoroughly evaluate the track record of individuals seeking leadership positions ahead of the next general election.

“Leaders should not wait to be handed power on a silver platter. It is the people who decide on matters of leadership,” he said.

“Leadership is not a situation where some few individuals can sit in a certain corner and decide for millions of Kenyans who will be their next president. That’s the work of voters,” he added.

The Deputy President made the remarks during Sunday service at Friends Church, Malava and Chevaywa in Lugari, Kakamega County, on Sunday.

Dr Ruto said he would seek endorsement from Kenyans.

Dr Ruto urged his competitors to shun tribal politics and engage on issue-based politics aimed at uniting the country.

“We want to compete on the basis of one’s agenda, programmes and policies that will change Kenya, not on the basis of one’s tribe”, he said.

The Deputy President was accompanied by MPs Malulu Injendi (Malava), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Gladys Shollei (Women Rep, Uasin Gishu), Mithika Linturi (Meru), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) and Charles Gimose (Hamisi).

The MPs told civil servants not to allow politicians to use them to influence politics in the country, saying they should always be impartial while discharging their duties.

“I want to ask civil servants in the country, do not be used to oppress other people because of their political stand. Kenya belongs to all of us,” said Ms Jumwa.

The legislators said proponents of BBI should stop using falsehood to hoodwink Kenyans to support the document.

Mr Washiali questioned the rush and use of force in securing votes for BBI in County Assemblies.

He said even though he has no objection to BBI, he does not approve the manner in which the proponents of the BBI were carrying out the exercise.

“I have seen Members of Parliament who sit in the National Assembly and Senate going to County Assemblies to supervise voting on BBI. What is in this bill?” asked Mr Washiali.

Ms Shollei asked the church not to be silent whenever things go the wrong in the country.

Dr Khalwale said the bill to criminalize hustler brand was misguided, as most Kenyans are low-income earners who subscribe to the hustler narrative.”I am a son of a traditional brewer. I am a natural hustler and cannot run away from that,” said Dr Khalwale.

His sentiments were echoed by Senator Linturi who said no one should criminalize the hustler movement.

The MPs urged Kenyans to ignore leaders who were dividing them on tribal lines.

Meanwhile, the Deputy President said the best way of reducing the country’s national debt was to create opportunities for Kenyans to increase tax base.

“If we create more opportunities for Kenyans, more people will be able to pay taxes and therefore the government will have enough money to run its affairs and eliminate the need to get foreign loans,” said Dr Ruto.