Controversial remarks by the president William Ruto while speaking at a thanksgiving ceremony in Kisii County on Saturday concerning the ceremonial sword handed over by his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta to mark transfer of power and authority have faced intense criticism.
Ruto warned everybody opposing the Housing Levy expressing his intentions to use the symbolic sword to “weed out crooks.”
“Si mnajua nilipewa sword. Kwani mnafikiri hiyo sword ni ya kukata mboga? Si ni ya kufyeka wakora hapa? Nitawafyeka kabisa, Kenya itasonga mbele,” Ruto stated this which translates to (You know I was given a sword. Do you think it’s for cutting vegetables? It’s for dealing with all these crooks here. I will uproot them completely, and Kenya will move forward).
Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua has joined the list of those who have expressed displeasure with the statement.
“When Ruto castigates people going to court on his punitive policies and says the sword he was given is not for cutting vegetables , is he implying that it is for cutting/killing people ? Sort of reminding us what he was is capable of ?” the politician stated on X
The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) had also reacted to the controversial remarks earlier. LSK President Erick Theuri took to X stating that the sword symbolizes protection and upholding the constitution, not oppression.
“Alongside the sword, the president was given the constitution. The sword is intended to protect & uphold the Constitution and is not an instrument of oppression. As advocates, we similarly took an oath to protect the Constitution and rule of law,” Theuri said.
He additionally asserted that advocates, like himself, will not be intimidated by the head of state.
“We will do so candidly, boldly and won’t be threatened or intimidated from challenging any government decisions that offends the Constitution. The Constitution of Kenya is our sword, and we will swing it against impunity,” he asserted.
Rarieda Member of Parliament, Amollo also criticized Ruto’s statement saying that the threat is not only intended to lawyers and parties but also to courts handling the petition.
“So, overlooked in Bunge, and now threatened with beheading for litigating the legality of the Housing Tax! This threat is not just to the parties and lawyers, but it’s directed at the Courts on a pending case! This is how far we’ve sunk!” the legislator wrote.