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Uproar over Ruto’s controversial sword remark

Ruto’s controversial sword remark on those opposing the government agenda elicits sharp reactions with some describing it as uncalled for.

President William Ruto has received major backlash over his remarks on using the sword and power granted to him on dissenters of his affordable housing project. 

In a controversial address on Saturday, Ruto had claimed that the sword, handed to him as a sign of power, was not for use in chopping vegetables and vowed to use it appropriately.

“Those people who are going to court to block us from undertaking the affordable housing project are the enemies of Kenya. I want to assure you that you gave me the powers, and I will deal with them. All I need is your prayers. I was already given the sword. Do you think it’s for cutting vegetables? It’s for dealing with all these criminals,” Ruto stated.

However, Ruto’s remark didn’t sit well with a section of Azimio leaders and the Law Society of Kenya.

Law Society of Kenya President Eric Theuri hit back at the president saying the sword was for protection of the Constitution and not “a tool for oppression”.

LSK is among the petitioners who filed cases against the Finance Act in which the Housing Levy is domiciled.

“Alongside the sword, the President was given the Constitution. The sword is intended to protect & uphold the Constitution& is not an instrument of oppression,” he said.

Theuri went on to say they will not relent adding that they will take the government head-on on policies that undermine the rule of law.

“As advocates, we similarly took an oath to protect the Constitution & rule of law. We will do so candidly, and boldly and won’t be threatened or intimidated from challenging any government decision that offends the Constitution,” Theuri said.

In addition, Azimio leaders led by Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo criticized the President, noting that the threat was not only directed to parties and lawyers that filed the court petitions but also at the courts handling the cases.

“So, overlooked in Bunge and now threatened with beheading for litigating the legality of the housing tax! This is how far we have sunk!” Otiende stated.

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Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai, however, read malice in the Head of State’s statement and asked the President to restrain from threatening people going to court to oppose his projects.

He further added that Kenya was not an autocracy and citizens had the right to challenge decisions made by the government.

“Threatening Kenyans who are using the democratic routes to challenge you is treason and you deserve to be denied the chance to hold the sword further,” Alai lamented.

Jubilee’s Deputy organizing secretary Pauline Njoroge concurred and reminded Kenyans of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s concerns that the sword would land in the wrong hands. Uhuru backed Raila Odinga for President during the 2022 campaigns.

“It is extremely distasteful for the President to continually issue threats against Kenyans whose only crime is availing themselves the constitutionally provided mechanisms to fight the violation of their rights,” she shared.

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