Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has asked Deputy President William Ruto to step aside over the Sh39 billion guns scandal that saw former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa arrested and charged at JKIA court.
In a statement she released on Sunday, responding to DP Ruto’s defence over the scandal; Ngilu said that it was prudent for Ruto to vacate office to pave way for investigations.
“The Deputy President should stop hoodwinking Kenyans through tweets and do the honourable thing, step aside and let investigations be conducted in an impartial environment," the statement read in part.
She accused Ruto of shamming the Presidency and subjecting the country to ridicule.
The Deputy President should stop hoodwinking Kenyans through tweets and do the honorable thing, STEP ASIDE and let investigations be conducted in an impartial environment. #AnnexCrimeScene pic.twitter.com/FIeEYkqeWUFebruary 16, 2020
She said: “It’s disheartening to learn that this trust has seemingly been broken by the deputy president who has clearly breached the security of the country by engaging in a fake arms deal,”
“It is now evidently clear through his admission that these activities have been taking place in his office.”
Ngilu’s attack on the DP triggered rather furious reactions from Ruto’s allies, who fired back at the Kitui governor.
It started with Senate Majority leader Kipchomba Murkomen who claimed Ngilu had been coerced into attacking Ruto and supporting the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
“The tragedy is that Ngilu has been advised that as long as she attacks DP Ruto then her file which is ready for prosecution will be shelved and she will remain free. You may hate it but sadly that’s a sound strategy and she will truly remain free for as long as she attacks DP and sings BBI,” Murkomen said.
The tragedy is that Ngilu has been advised that as long as she attacks DP Ruto then her file which is ready for prosecution will be shelved&she will remain free. You may hate it but sadly that’s a sound strategy&she will truly remain free for as long as she attacks DP&sings BBI https://t.co/QHuqA5ilVs — KIPCHUMBA MURKOMEN, E.G.H (@kipmurkomen) February 16, 2020
Murkomen’s mockery did not go well with Ngilu’s new-found ally, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua who picked Murkomen head-on as he accused the legislator of fanning malicious propaganda.
“Senator Kipchumba Murkomen is fond of peddling propaganda whenever someone talks of corruption in Kenya. He keeps lying that the reason leaders support BBI is because they are under graft investigation. How does he know? We also want to know the status of his maize graft theft file,” said Mutua.
This soon degenerated into a full-blown blame game as other Tanga Tanga politicians joined in defence of the DP, as they accused Governor Ngilu of hypocrisy.
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They also accused Ngilu of maliciously attacking Ruto.
“Charity has to postpone DCI summons by attacking DP. Charity we have not forgotten the fire at Ardhi house records, the dam scandal and oooh yes the BBI loot, just to name a few. Keep twitting but justice will be served one day,” said Soy MP Caleb Kositany Soy.
Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga, on the other hand, responded to Ngilu’s accusations on the deputy president accusing her of being let go the Jubilee party due to her corruption cases.
“It’s sad that Mama Ngilu who has failed to appear before PAC for audit queries can't be ashamed of spreading propaganda against the DP. Again 'saint' Ngilu was fired from Jubilee government due to mountains of corruption cases Ngilu should be the last person to talk about corruption,” said Omanga.
On Sunday, the DP, said his office did not procure goods as services for any ministry insinuating that the scammers had visited his Annex office for 23 minutes.
“Other than 23 minutes in Annex, for months, which government offices involved in the ‘tender’ did the scammers visit? Did they access DoD? Get the truth”
ODP does NOT procure for any ministry/department. Question:other than 23min in Annex,for months,which government offices involved in the 'tender' did the scammers visit? Did they access DOD? Who facilitated? Who did they meet? Get the truth.Forget the sponsored NONSENSE in media — William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) February 16, 2020
On the other hand, the arms dealers told police that Echesa had approached them in October 2019 via mail, and he promised to help them secure a lucrative Sh39.5 billion tender.
The former sports CS has been accused of defrauding a Polish company, Eco Advanced Technologies LLC, by allegedly promising he could help the company secure lucrative tenders to supply the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) with high-grade surveillance equipment.
He was arrested last week over fake tender deal to supply the government with military surveillance equipment, guns and ammunition.