Ruto Disagrees with Raila Over Hustler Narrative

  • a
    Deputy President William Ruto address a gathering at a Sunday service at Hope Church, Nairobi on January 10, 2021
  • Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday, February 17, responded to the statement released by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party Leader Raila Odinga over the hustler narrative.

    Ruto disagreed with Raila's remarks arguing that the former Prime Minister misunderstood what the hustler narrative stood for.

    "While agreeing fully with your defence of freedom of speech and thought as guaranteed by the constitution, we respectfully disagree with your very wrong understanding of hustlers but will equally defend your thoughts.

    "We will work tirelessly to get the narrative positively understood," Ruto stated.

    ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) with DP ruto during a football match on November 9, 2020.
    ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) with Deputy President William Ruto at a football match on November 9, 2020.

    Initially, Raila had defended Ruto after Members of Parliament proposed tough measures to contain the Hustler Narrative.

    A bill had been drafted by the National Assembly Security Committee which aimed at punishing people who appear to propagate class division in the country. The penalty for those found guilty would be a five-year sentence or a fine of Ksh 5 million. 

    Raila however, in his statement, discouraged the MPs from proceeding with their plan arguing that all Kenyans should be allowed to exercise the freedom of speech.

    "I would strongly appeal to members of parliament to drop any attempts to legislate against this otherwise deadly slogan.

    "As a country, we fought for and should respect free speech and association. We should be able to allow the Deputy President and his team to continue with their chosen slogan without any inhibitions. Those of us who see its dangers should continue educating our people against falling for it," noted Raila.

    He, however, admonished the hustler slogan drawing comparisons with the Hitler era in Germany during the 1930s. He added that Hitler's regime profiled the country based on lines of race, social classes and tribe.

    "Nazism profiled German society on the lines of race, social classes and tribe. It had the Aryan race, which it considered the master race, and whose survival Hitler pegged on the elimination of Jews, Romanis or Gypsies, the Indo-Aryan, the Slavs and the “inferior sub-humans” who were seen to be the problem in Germany.

    "These ideologies caused a great deal of trauma to Germany and the world. They ended in the Holocaust," Raila warned.

    An image of Raila
    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga speaking at a service in St. Joachim and Anne Catholic Church, Kayole on Sunday 17 January 2021.