Nairobi — Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has faulted opposition leader Raila Odinga over what he termed as dishonest criticism of the government over high food prices.
While noting Odinga’s renewed enthusiasm in opposition is welcomed, Gachagua said his silence during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second term was to blame for the deterioration of living conditions in the country.
Had Odinga played his role as opposition leader, Gachagua said, the country’s fortunes would have been better.
“It is your (Raila) duty to criticize us. However, if you had done your job of criticizing President Uhuru’s government, we wouldn’t be where we are,” he said.
“You abandoned your duty of criticizing the government. How can you complain about high prices yet you abandoned your role and let the outgoing government raise prices?” Gachagua posed.
The Deputy President was speaking during the launch of Thiba Dam in Kirinyaga County presided over by President William Ruto.
He accused Odinga colluded with President Kenyatta on a misadventure that had the country spend Sh50 billion on constitutional amendments through the Building Bridges Initiative that bore no fruit after process was halted by the Supreme Court.
Gachagua was responding to a tirade of attacks from Odinga after the government announced the phased removal of subsidy on fuel.
He blamed Raila for allegedly misleading Kenyatta to channel public funds to Azimio campaigns.
“We want Raila to speak the truth. You confused our government. You confused Uhuru to channel Sh50 billion to BBI and Sh200 billion to Azimio Campaigns. We want you to criticize us based on what we are doing. Don’t talk about what you and Jubilee did,” Gachagua stated.
Speaking at the event, National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwa urged President Ruto to ignore Odinga’s criticism.
The Kikuyu Member of Parliament termed Odinga’s complaints as incitement meant to turn the masses against the government.
“I want to tell you, Mr. President, ignore those who are inciting Nairobi residents on the matter of food prices. We in parliament will support you and your agenda to progressively address the issue of food prices through fertilizer subsidies,” said Icghungwah.
The response from government followed intensified public engagements by Odinga who met Bunge la Wananchi, a citizen-led pressure group, at Nairobi Jevanjee gardens where he criticized President Ruto move to scale down fuel subsidies.
Odinga termed the move as a sign Ruto had lost touch with the needs of the citizenry.