Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Saturday, 8 July 2017

"Only a fool would take 1.2 billion shillings to a village"

Only a fool would take 1.2 billion shillings to a village. These are words quoted from an interview with Kenya's Deputy President, William Ruto.

For some of us who have chosen to move back to the village, they are words that are, at the very least, disappointing, and at worst, offensive.
File:William Ruto at WTO Public Forum 2014.jpg
Deputy President of Kenya, William Ruto (Photo: World Trade Organization)
I normally avoid commenting on what politicians of other countries say, but given the road map laid out towards an East African political federation, it is fair for a citizen of East Africa to comment on East Africa's leaders. William Ruto could very well become a future president of the East African federation but, apparently, his opinion of villages is rather low.

How would a leader who thinks it is unwise to invest his own money in a village decide it is important for government to invest in rural communities?

Kenya's rural residents account for 74 percent of the country's population. The proportion for other East African Community member countries is 68 for Tanzania, 88 for Burundi, 70 for Rwanda, 81 for South Sudan, and 84 for Uganda. That's a significant proportion of East Africans.

Here's the link to the quoted article by Willim Ruto:
Given the context of his response, it is evident he is speaking of a choice between spending that much money building a personal home in his village, or spending the same amount in 100-bed hotel in a city, and concluding from an investor's viewpoint that a village cannot provide the best returns.

A leader speaks for every citizen. He may have pleased his fellow investors by his comments, but he most certainly could not have pleased the majority of rural people living in rural areas who may have fooled themselves into believing that their interests coincide with their leader's interests.

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