Citizen TV's Linus Kaikai Cautions Ruto After Ksh300 Gas Promise Backfires

A photo collage of RMS Group Editorial Director Linus Kaikai at Citizen TV studios on November 20, 2023 (left) and President William Ruto speaking in South Africa on May 17, 2023 (right).
A photo collage of RMS Group Editorial Director Linus Kaikai at Citizen TV studios on November 20, 2023 (left) and President William Ruto speaking in South Africa on May 17, 2023 (right).
Linus Kaikai

Royal Media Services (RMS) Group Editorial Director Linus Kaikai, on Thursday, May 19, advised President William Ruto to refrain from commenting on his pledge to reduce the price of gas cylinders to Ksh300.

Speaking during the News Gang Show, Kaikai opined that the delayed actualisation of Ruto's promise made on March 2 had painted him in a bad light.

The veteran journalist added that Ruto only needed to make such promises after his team completed plans to roll out the project or pledge. 

Kaikai acknowledged that the Head of State also struggled when addressing the delays over the programme's roll-out during a roundtable interview with journalists on Sunday, May 14.

Ruto and LPG Gas
A photo collage of President William Ruto speaking on March 20, 2023 (left) and a collection of LPG gas on sale(right).

"It’s probably time the President steps back and says nothing about cooking gas for a while until his government, especially the Treasury, figures out how this benefit will be rolled out.

"Otherwise, it is coming out as a non-believable story. It does not paint the President well especially when timelines are starting to lapse," he cautioned.

Nonetheless, he criticised the advisors of the President for failing to guide their boss accordingly.

President Ruto, according to Kaikai, was boxing himself into a corner given that the promise - which he described as noble - was warmly welcomed by Kenyans.

"Do you remember how women cheered when Ruto made the promises were made at KICC? How will those women feel on June 2 while purchasing the cylinders yet they were promised low prices by June 1?" he wondered. 

The journalist referred to Ruto's pledge to lower the cost of gas cylinders from Ksh2,800 to Ksh300.

While making the pronouncement during the International Womens Day celebrations at KICC, Ruto indicated that the new prices would take effect from June 1.

However, during a joint media interview on May 14, the Head of State noted that the plan could not be actualised as it was not added to the supplementary budget. Plans to include them in the upcoming 2023/2024 budget, he argued, were, nonetheless, underway. 

“If we had passed it through the supplementary budget, June would be possible. But we tried to, and it was impossible because it would force us to change a certain law," he explained.

Incoming Director General of NIS Noordin Haji addresses the gathering during a multi-agency meeting held at the Kenya School of Law on April 27, 2023.
ODPP Kenya

On the other hand, Kaikai advised Ruto to pick a competent and experienced Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) following the exit of outgoing boss Noordin Haji.

Haji was nominated as the new director general for National Intelligence Service (NIS) to succeed Major General (Rtd) Philip Wachira Kameru. 

"The new Director of Public Prosecutions should be blind to election outcomes, unbothered of winners or losers and ultimately, loyal only to the cause of a functioning criminal justice system.
"In the eyes of the new DPP, all criminal suspects should be treated equally and ‘high profile’ should cease to be a defence in criminal matters," he stated.
Nonetheless, he argued that Haji was leaving the ODPP with declining public confidence.
"Withdrawal, rather than successful prosecution of cases, has in recent months been the hallmark of the office of the DPP. And though withdrawing cases is within the powers of the DPP as per Article 157 of the Constitution, the withdrawal pattern has left an unmistakable imprint of a spectacular political heatmap on the landscape," Kaikai opined. 
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