Ruto and Raila clash in fresh storm over graft

Deputy President William Ruto (third right) arrives for Frontier County Development Council summit 2019 at Lantern Resort, in Garissa Town, yesterday. [DPPS]
On the day the President sacked a Cabinet Secretary, Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga faced off in war of words with the former accusing the latter of rocking Jubilee.

Raila kicked off the storm at an ODM convention in Karen, Nairobi, yesterday, when he mocked Ruto’s “hustler” tag, and hit out at him for downplaying the billions in question in the Kimwarer dam probe.

To explain how rooted graft is in the country, the ODM leader used the paradox of a bat which changes bird and mammal identities depending on the audience.

But speaking in Garissa while opening the Frontier County Development Council (FCDC), Ruto took Raila head on accusing him of fanning confusion in Jubilee.

“Some people told us that if they lose an election they will go and make mandazi. You lost the election, why are you not making mandazi instead of bringing petty politics into serious programmes that we are focusing on,” the DP said.

He maintained that no money has been lost in Kimwarer and Arror dam projects and accused Raila of trying to scuttle Jubilee’s development agenda.

“Slaves of poverty do not want any development in arid and semi-arid areas through the construction of dams and that is why they are driving the narrative to criminalise this kind of development initiates,” he said.

“As we focus into the future we will be guided by what is good for millions of Kenyans we want to tell them that we will go out of our way to make sure that these dams are constructed,” the DP added.

At the ODM convention, Raila called on those who have been mentioned in corruption scandals to carry their own cross without dragging their respective communities into their mess.

Seeking for tenders

“A criminal is a criminal and the issue must not be ethnicised; people must be prepared to carry their own cross because nobody steals on behalf of a community,” charged Raila.

In an outright attack on Ruto’s self-acclaimed ‘hustler’ tag, the ODM leader stated that making money had replaced earning money, and was the new narrative of corrupt people. He said the idea is that how one makes money does not matter as long they get the money.  

Raila regretted that Kenya is experiencing the worst corruption in decades.

“They are bold, fearless and reckless. They are contemptuous but we must stand firm and tell them Kenya is bigger,” he said.

He further questioned how those flaunting their wealth have made their money if not through tenders that they seek from government agencies.

“Tenderprenuers do nothing else! They sleep until 10am then wake up and pass through offices seeking tenders,” said Railaadding, “They come up with mega projects to steal and this country is choking from debt because money borrowed is being lost to corruption instead of being utilised in development projects.” On the ongoing push to nail corrupt leaders, Raila pointed out that nobody was above the law.

At the same time ODM leaders took on Ruto over his remarks on Thursday that only Sh7 billion was in question in the controversial dam projects.

Suba South MP, John Mbadi took a swipe at Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen over his attempts to trivialize the ongoing war on graft.

“The Leader of Majority in the Senate spoke as a procurement officer at the Kerio Valley Development Authority. Murkomen should be investigated as he seems to know more,” said Mr Mbadi.

Raila also urged Kenyans to support the Building Bridges Initiative even as he lashed out at leaders who oppose development projects in opposition strongholds.

He said: “Every Kenyan is a taxpayer so nobody should come and say we’ll develop only some areas and leave other areas because they did not vote for the government.”

During the New Year celebrations Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria claimed President Uhuru Kenyatta was focusing on developing other areas at the expense of Central.

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William RutoCorruptionPresident Uhuru KenyattaRaila Odinga