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Azimio, Human Rights groups question Ruto’s warning to investors

The opposition has condemned President William Ruto’s recent remarks towards investors.

Speaking in Bungoma on August 28, 2023, the Head of State appeared to threaten am investor with either deportation, a jail term or ‘journey to heaven’.

In response, the opposition’s Azimio Coalition, in a statement read by Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo, his Kitui counterpart Enoch Wambua and Migori Senator Eddy Oketch, suggested the remarks could scare in private investors.

“It is quite disturbing to hear a whole President threatening investors in Kenya by claiming that they be arrested, deported or taken to heaven,” the lawmakers observed.

The lawmakers further defended billionaire businessman Jaswant Singh Rai, who is believed to be the subject of the attacks, saying he had the right to own and run businesses in the country without supporting the sitting President.

“Even though Mr Rai is being accused of stalling the revival of sugar industry, there are better ways to address it other than the President of a democratic country.”

The leaders noted there was need to revive state owned sugarcane companies for the benefit of residents.

They said once the industries start thriving, Kenyans will be able to purchase the sugar at an affordable rate. The indiustries will also be able to offer job opportunities.

President Ruto, speaking in Bungoma, suggested his government not spare anyone frustrating the common citizens from accessing services.

He specifically sent a warning to the individuals who, he accused of paralyzing success of sugar factory mills in the western region, leaving sugarcane farmers with millions of unpaid dues.

According to President Ruto, the cartels who have been frustrating sugarcane factories will have three option; to leave the country, to be jailed or to go to heaven.

And in a relared development, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and human rights groups including Haki Africa, Kenya Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International Kenya have jointly condemned the President’s remarks.

According to the lobby groups, Ruto’s warning comes against the backdrop of the reported abduction and subsequent release of Mr Rai, who is one of the parties involved in court dispute over Mumias Sugar Company.

“The unfortunate statement by the Head of State, call into question the Government’s commitment to upholding the right to life and protection of persons against cruel and inhumane treatment…the Constitution of Kenya guarantees every person the right to access courts and the right to have every dispute determined in accordance with the laws of the land. The declaration by the President therefore, appear to suspend the Constitution and substitute the rule of law,” lobby groups said.

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