Ruto vows to protect free enterprise from opposition protests
President William Ruto has warned opposition leader Raila Odinga against disrupting business and sabotaging economic activity for personal gain by calling for demonstrations every Monday and Thursday.
Speaking at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday, where he officiated the listing of Laptrust REIT, a real estate investment trust, President Ruto said his government would uphold the rule of law and combat impunity anyone who stands in the way of free enterprise.
“There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to stand in the way of free enterprise, disrupt business or sabotage economic activity for personal interest. Such impunity must be dealt with firmly and full accountability enforced to vindicate Kenya’s commitments as a free market economy,” he said.
President Ruto said he was looking forward to days when the NSE would report high trading volumes on those days instead of disruptions.
“I am looking forward to days in the very near future when we will be reporting every Monday and Thursday to be the days that were traded highest in the Nairobi Stock Exchange,” he said.
He also assured investors and business owners that his government would uphold the rule of law and protect their rights and interests from any form of impunity, lawlessness and disorder.
“I also want to give my commitment that the business and investment environment in Kenya is secure and conducive on a sustainable basis. Through the rule of law, the government will take robust measures to honour and respect the rights of all and demonstrate that no one is above the law by decisively combating impunity, lawlessness and disorder,” he said.
President Ruto’s remarks came amid rising tensions in the country as a result of Raila’s demands that Ruto addresses the country’s high cost of living, open the IEBC servers, and return subsidies to protect citizens from rising food prices.
Raila, who leads the Azimio coalition, is now mobilizing his supporters to stage peaceful demonstrations across the country every Monday and Thursday to demand electoral reforms and economic justice.
The protests became violent on Monday, resulting in clashes between police and protesters, as well as disruption of businesses and transportation.
Raila has also accused Ruto of failing to fulfill his campaign promises to create jobs, fight corruption, and revitalize the economy.
He has vowed to continue his campaign of civil disobedience until Ruto agrees to his demands.
President Ruto, who was elected in September last year after narrowly defeating Raila, has dismissed Odinga’s claims as baseless and divisive.