Deputy President William Ruto in Eastleigh on January 12, 2022. [Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has said if he wins the August 9 presidential election, he will set up a Sh5 billion annual kitty for small businesses in Nairobi.

The funds are expected to cushion the traders from what he describes as predatory lenders.

“We will also build modern markets and initiate pro-investment laws that will oil the growth of such enterprises.”

Ruto addressed crowds at Motherland and Eastleigh First Avenue in Kamukunji Constituency.

He added that the kitty will advance Hustler Nation’s broad and inclusive plan of uplifting millions of ordinary Kenyans struggling economically.

Defending Hustler Nation

Ruto has defended his Hustler Nation narrative, saying it is a global phenomenon.

He has, in the past, said politicians opposing the hustler narrative don’t want Kenyans to unite.

The DP said the movement will create investment opportunities for 16 million poor Kenyans, who will, in turn, be placed on the country’s tax bracket.

“Those claiming that it is about hustlers versus dynasties want to taint the [image of the] movement…. It is not a competition between the poor and the rich,” Ruto said in March last year.

He has previously told the State not to brand his meetings with low-income earners as a recipe for class wars. 

“We have democracy and freedom of political affiliation. When the rich endorse a certain candidate to protect their property, that is okay. But my meetings with the hustlers should not be termed [as] class wars or incitement,” Ruto said.

He said he had been accused of inciting the poor yet all he had done was show the economically disenfranchised population that they could also climb the economic ladder.

“A lot of leaders have ganged up and declared that they have to fight me because I have told the hustlers that they can also climb the ladder. They are accusing me of inciting the youth,” said Dr Ruto.

“The elite are worried that the poor have been awakened and know that their interests are also important and must be included in the national dialogue,” said Ruto.

He said the government had invested in roads, railways and electricity, but had neglected small businesses.

“Many of them are accusing me of inciting the poor, but my question to them is, didn’t we build a 700-km railway for Sh400 billion? And connected eight million people to electricity and built 10,000 kilometres of roads? Would it be a problem if we now assisted mama mboga?,” Ruto posed.