Ruto forced to change route after Bungoma youths turn violent


Police disperse youths who forced Deputy President William Ruto to change his route during his tour of Bungoma county in Western region, January 23, 2017. /JOHN NALIANYA

Deputy President William Ruto was forced to change his route and cancel a rally after youths turned violent and barricaded Bungoma bus stage.

Ruto began with a meeting in Mumias and was to address another at the Bungoma bus park. He was forced to turn away at the main Mumias road, going through Mateka- Siritanyi then Kanduyi.

Accusing the Jubilee administration of neglecting them, the youths said the DP would not address them.

They chanted pro-NASA and ODM slogans, destroyed Jubilee campaign materials that had been given by Governor Kenneth’s Lusaka team and gave police a tough time as they tried to restore calm.

A team, which included security and media personnel, was forced to leave the bus park.

Motorists were also affected. Taxi association chairman Collins Opata told the Star that they decided to block the DP as the government’s promises to them have not been fulfilled.

“We are tired of being taken for a ride by the DP. He has been here so many times yet our region still lags behind in development. We wanted to show him he is no longer needed,” he said.

Ruto later addressed a rally at Kanduyi market where he lashed out at the opposition saying they had no plans for Kenya.

“These people know nothing other than street protests, blowing whistles and throwing stones. They have no agenda for Kenya,” he said.

The DP defended Jubilee’s track record in the region, citing the commissioning of Musikoma –Buyofu and Chwele Lwakhaka roads.

He urged Bungoma residents to vote for Jubilee on August 8, saying they erred when they voted for Cord in the last election.

“Don’t lose track they way you did last time. Let’s work together to form the government this time round,” he said.

Others who accompanied Ruto were Bumula MP Boniface Otsiula and Webuye West’s Dan Wanyama

Ruto’s visit came barely a day after Amani National Congress leader Musalia Muadavdi toured the region.

Cord leader Raila Odinga is also scheduled to address a series of rallies in the region this week.

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