Jubilee committed to fight against graft, says DP Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto presents business certificate to Cherangany Boda Bada Sacco Chairman Micah Mitembo and Mike Wanjala (left) before he raised funds in aid of their sacco at Sibanga Primary School in Trans Nzoia County yesterday. 29.10.2016. PHOTOS BY PETER OCHIENG/STANDARD.

Deputy President William Ruto has defended the Government over the Health Ministry’s Sh5.3 billion alleged procurement scandal.

He lashed out at Opposition leaders, accusing them of blanket condemnation of the government over alleged corruption deals. “A lot has been said both true and false through the media but it should be clear that the Jubilee Government has nothing to hide over the alleged loss of funds,” said Ruto.

The DP said the government should not be accused of corruption on the basis of an audit draft report but facts.

“The queries in the findings should be subjected to the standard financial procedures first before anyone can authoritatively condemn any culprits,” he added.

Ruto said if the Jubilee leadership was as corrupt as the Opposition is trying to make it appear, it would not have initiated an internal audit at the Ministry of Health in the first place.

“The auditing process was initiated by the government and not external auditors. We are keen on accountability and proper usage of public resources,” said Ruto. He said the Jubilee administration does not condone corruption and has had a clear record in dealing with graft perpetrators. He said the current government has acted firmly and taken decisive steps by sacking senior government officials associated with graft.

He further said everybody, irrespective of their relations, have the right to do genuine business and should not be given harsh treatment because they are related to senior government leaders. “Whether as an individual or company, everybody has a right to invest and do business openly. The true point however is that we cannot defend anyone who will be found involved in graft irrespective of who they know,” said Ruto.

The DP said the current issue had been blown out of proportion, explaining that the government has had an unbeatable record in transforming the health sector.

“We have given modern equipment to counties to enhance high quality healthcare services, catered for free maternity and made government health insurance affordable, which should be appreciated,” he said.

Speaking in Sibanga Primary School in Trans Nzoia where he presided over a fundraiser for a boda boda savings and credit cooperative society, Ruto told maize traders not to deliver the cereal to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). He said the new price of Sh3,000 per 90 kilogramme bag announced by the government is meant to benefit genuine farmers alone and not middlemen and traders.

“We cannot debate on that issue. Only individuals who have proof of toiling in the farms will be allowed to deliver their produce to NCPB to ensure they sustain their investments,” he said. Host MP for Cherangany Wesley Korir who was elected in 2013 on an independent ticket lauded the Jubilee leadership and announced that he would defend his seat on the new party ticket. “I have seen the great things the government has done for this area, and I will not accept to be on the fence or kitchen but in the main house. I will battle out for the nominations as I seek to defend my current position,” said Korir.

Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba of Ford Kenya appreciated the close working relationship with the national government but expressed his loyalty to his party and commitment to serve the people. “I welcome competition from the other side; but the important thing is that we are in power now and we will serve the people until the elections come. The noises of our nemesis will not detract us from delivering services,” said Khaemba.

Ruto called on the locals to support the Jubilee leadership and embrace national unity, saying their agenda for developing the nation is clear, unlike the Opposition.

“The Opposition are undecided on who will be their candidate in 2017 yet our house has a plan for the next three terms. Their agenda is opposing everything and demonstrating,” Ruto said. Also in attendance were West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin, Senators Henry Ndiema (Trans Nzoia) and Zipporah Kittony (nominated) as well as a host of political aspirants.