Deputy President William Ruto and former Devolution CS Anne Waiguru clash over NYS scandal

Deputy President William Ruto (left) addresses residents of Gatitu village, Nyeri County, yesterday. He is flanked by MPs Mary Wambui (Othaya), Ndung’u Gethenji (Tetu) and Peter Weru (Mathira). [PHOTO: KIBATA KIHU/STANDARD]

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday told off former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru for allegedly dragging his office into the Sh790 million NYS scam.

Speaking in Nyeri, Ruto told Waiguru that she was ultimately responsible for the loss of the money because the mess happened while she was Cabinet Secretary in the ministry under whose docket NYS falls.

“Where there is theft of public resources as in the case of NYS, under the ministry led by Waiguru, we have taken action. But people should not politicise corruption just for the sake of it. Where we know theft occurred, those who are there must take responsibility,” said Ruto.

“We are always open and ready for scrutiny as far as use of public funds is concerned. We have taken action against those officers who misused public resources. This is an indication we are sincere in fighting corruption. We have not protected civil servants who engage in corruption.”

But moments after, Waiguru, who appeared before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee on Thursday to testify on the matter, fired a rebuttal.

In her statement to newsrooms, Waiguru said, “Prosecutions are based on evidence and the law — period. And the facts will not be changed by politics. I laid my facts in the PAC as was expected. The last time I checked investigations are left to independent bodies, unless he (Ruto) intends to influence the outcome.”

“On financial responsibility, I refer him to PFM (Public Finance Management) law and the Constitution and I believe this country is governed by the rule of law. Finally, I did not mention his office. I referred to individuals based on facts and not allegations.”

Appearing before the PAC, Waiguru named Farouk Kibet and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen as beneficiaries of the funds looted from the NYS. Farouk is an aide of the Deputy President, while Murkomen is Ruto’s close ally.

Speaking for the first time since Waiguru mentioned his key allies, Ruto told Waiguru to carry her baggage because she was ultimately in charge when the scam was perpetrated.

Manufacturing scandals

The Deputy President also accused the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) of “manufacturing” scandals against the government as a weapon to make the state look bad and distract its development agenda.

He said claims by the Opposition that there was loss of funds through the Eurobond were false.

“The biggest lie in the history of Kenya is that on Eurobond because it was something that never was,” said Ruto.

“The Opposition says the US Government conspired with the Kenyan Government to steal from the people. Is that possible? That two governments conspire to steal from citizens?”

Ruto said the Government would continue implementing its development agenda for the country, despite “unfair” criticism by the Opposition.

“We will transform Kenya through implementation of our development projects. Those we are competing with do not want to see the lives of Kenyans transformed,” he said.

He spoke in Naromoru and Kaguathi in Kieni and Tetu constituencies, where he launched the upgrade of Naromoru-Munyu-Karisheni road before laying a foundation stone for the Kieni Technical Training Institute.

He also officially opened the Naromoru Health Centre, launched the Kieni Last Mile and the Kaguathi Technical Training Institute in Tetu Constituency.

The DP was accompanied by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, MPs Kanini Kega (Kieni), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) Peter Kinyua (Mathira), Antony Mutahi (Laikipia East), Ndungu Gethenji (Tetu), Mary Wambui (Othaya) and Nyeri Woman Representative Priscilla Nyokabi.

Gethenji said the Government has initiated many development projects and told off Opposition leaders for criticising Jubilee, saying they have nothing new to offer Kenyans.

Duale and Kuria appealed to Jubilee supporters to campaign for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.

Ruto said the Government has set aside funds for the construction of Naromoru Dam and irrigation infrastructure that will curb water shortages in the region. He said more funds will be used to upgrade Karemenu Dam.

He said the Naromoru-Munyu-Karisheni road will open up the region and boost agriculture and business activities.

The MPs said the Jubilee administration has an outstanding development track record that the Opposition cannot compete against.

“We are grateful for what the Jubilee administration has done across the country,” said Kinyua.

Duale said, “The Government’s aim is to serve all Kenyans and it will not be distracted by the noises from the Opposition.”