William Ruto says Sh100b 'stolen' by graft cartels yearly


Deputy President William Ruto speaks at the Karson Instititute for Race, Peace and Social Justice in Baltimore, Maryland USA. [Rebecca Nduku, DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto has claimed that a whopping Sh100 billion is budgeted for corrupt cartels in Kenya every financial year.

In his sustained attack against the government, which he is ironically the second in command, Ruto claimed that billions of shillings are carted away into obscure institutions.

“The supposed opposition leader is a puppet of the government and the leader of the ruling party is a refugee in the opposition.” 

Further, the DP also accused the Jubilee administration of veering off course in the second term, saying its priorities had changed from the Big Four Agenda to “reversing the gains of Kenya’s progressive Constitution”.

Ruto alleged that throughout its tenure, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government has channelled billions into “opaque institutions”, with no oversight.

“That amount has grown (by) between four to five-fold in the last 10 years. Where you have accountability problems and oversight challenges, the more money you put in opaque institutions, the greater the corruption in there,” Ruto said on Wednesday during his tour of the US.

The DP who spoke at a forum on politics and policy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, did not explicitly state the opaque institutions which he referred to were.

But he had made reference to the Office of the President, which he said controlled the budget of the agencies tasked with investigating and prosecuting corruption cases, such as the Inspector General’s and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

The situation, Ruto added, had led to a subjective war on corruption, which he claimed had been personalised. The DP was responding to queries over his integrity.

He claimed their (Uhuru and Ruto’s) administration had “deliberately” refused to operationalise the Judiciary Fund, contrary to the Constitution’s dictates, to weaponise the war on corruption.

“We must have an accountable government and accountable public officials… accountability must be built around institutions… the moment it (fight on corruption) is subjective and personalised, it runs the risk of being used as a political tool by your competitors,” the DP said.

He faulted Uhuru’s handshake with ODM leader Raila Odinga as having created a conducive environment for corruption to thrive, as there is no opposition to check the government.

“There have been attempts to try and bring back an imperial president, an unaccountable Executive and undermine the independence of the Judiciary and undermine the oversight role of Parliament,” Ruto had said at an interactive session at the Washington forum, referring to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

At the same time, the DP said his administration would cure the ills he accused Uhuru’s and his administration of perpetrating, terming himself the leading candidate in the August 9 presidential contest, even as he kept up with claims that there are plans to influence the election.

“Many people and friends of Kenya will be watching the election closely,” he said.

Earlier, the DP had met US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Molly Phee in a three-and-a-half-hour closed-door meeting.

On his social media handles, Hussein Mohamed, the communication director of Ruto’s presidential campaign, said that the US government had assured it would safeguard democracy and advocate a free and fair election.

“Ruto together with his Kenya Kwanza counterpart Musalia Mudavadi further committed to a peaceful election on their part, while assuring the US of a steady and robust partner in the bilateral relations between the two countries,” Mohamed said.

He said Ruto would meet National Security officials at the White House on Thursday (American time).