Deputy President William Ruto has hit out at Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila over claims that the upcoming referendum will cost taxpayers not more than Ksh2 billion as opposed to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s Ksh14 billion projection.
Speaking on Friday, October 30 at General Kago stadium in Kangema, Murang’a county where he had gone for an empowerment programme for the boda boda operators, DP Ruto told off the ODM boss and asked him to leave independent institutions out of his debates.
Ruto termed Raila’s statement as disrespect to IEBC adding that he has never been an expert in election matters.
“Leave IEBC alone because even the previous referendum cost us about Sh10 billion with 12 million voters. How do you then expect to spend Sh2 billion on a referendum with 19 million voters?”
“This cannot happen! Kwa hivyo mtu wa kitendawili awache kutuhadaa. He(Raila) is not a professional in election matters and with his brigade they should not bring disrespect to the constitution.”
The deputy president further said that his critics should not keep talking about IEBC maintaining that even if Raila’s brother, Oburu Odinga, was to be the commission’s chairman, Kenyans will decide who they want as their president.
“Whoever the chairman will be it will not matter and this they should take it to the bank,” DP Ruto said.
IEBC had claimed that the referendum would cost Kenyans Ksh14b, a figure that the former Prime Minister termed as outrageous.
Raila in a statement on Thursday, October 29, dismissed the commission’s report saying that the referendum’s budget should not exceed Ksh2 billion.
According to him, the cost per voter in countries that hold regular elections ranges from Ksh100 to Ksh200 adding that Kenyan should not pay more.
“In a country with government institutions including police stations, schools, national and county government offices and government vehicles in every corner in addition to a fairly well developed transport infrastructure, we should be able to conduct a one ballot referendum at no more than Ksh.2 billion for 20 million voters.”
“The Ksh.14 billion the IEBC is talking about is not only outrageous but also a manifestation of the institution’s insensitivity to the changes Kenyans are crying for in the management of public affairs.” Raila said.
Ruto also lashed at those questioning his hustler movement saying that the movement has sparked a national dialogue.
“It is my joy that through this movement we are going to change the narrative. It has always been the rich against the poor where they want to create positions for themselves but going forward we must bring boda boda, wheelbarrow and mkokoteni in that debate,” he added.