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Ruto defends Waititu on Sh2.1b budget query

DP William Ruto flanked by Embu Diocese Bishop David Kariuki during a church service in Embu.[Photo: DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto has defended Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu over Sh2.1 billion query by the Senate.

The Sh2.1 billion issue came to light last Thursday when the governor appeared before Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee to answer audit queries.

Among the activities funded by the Kiambu budget, according to the audit report, was allocations for coordination of State House functions, South Sudan peace, free primary education and payments of retired presidents.

Speaking at All Saints Catholic Church in Komothai, Githunguri, yesterday, Dr Ruto said the audit queries in question should not be directed at Mr Waititu since they touched on national Government.

Ruto told Waititu, who was present, not to worry about the audit query raised by the Senate since he was only supposed to be asked things touching on Kiambu County.

“Do not get worried about the audit query on South Sudan and former Presidents since we will answer that. Just answer queries touching on Kiambu, which you will be asked by the residents and other people” said Ruto.

He said even if President Uhuru Kenyatta hailed from Kiambu County, State House budget had nothing to do with that of the devolved unit.

“Watu wasimwulize Waititu maswali ya bure; yeye aulizwe mambo ya Kiambu County. Ile ya national government sisi tuko na mawaziri wengi wa kujibu. Tuulizwe mambo ya South Sudan, retired presidents and State House, tutajibu. Bibilia inatufudisha kila mtu atabeba msalaba wake. Huyu Baba Yao asiwekewe msalaba ambayo sio yake. Aulizwe ya Kiambu na sisi tuulizwe ya national government. (People should stop asking Waititu a lot of questions that have no basis. He should be asked questions about Kiambu County. We have Cabinet secretaries to answer queries touching on national government. We should be asked about South Sudan, retired presidents and Statehouse. The Bible tells us that everybody should carry his/her cross. Baba Yao (Waititu) should not be left to carry a cross that is not his. He should be asked about Kiambu, and we, about the national government,” he said.

Waititu said the Council of Governors would on Tuesday summon Auditor General Edward Ouko and senior Treasury officials to shed light on the issue.

He attributed his woes to politics and his support for Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambitions.

“All this you are seeing is because I am in team Tanga Tanga. But I want to say I am a Christian and I have been through a lot and God always sees me through. I only fear God and hot porridge,” he said.

Waititu has defended himself even as calls were made for his resignation.

Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro on Saturday said the governor should stop diversionary tactics on the matter and explain where he spent the Sh2 billion in question.

Speaking to the media at a Nairobi hotel, Dr Nyoro said the county risked losing Sh10 billion budgetary allocation from Central Bank if it failed to account for funds.

“The claims by the governor that he does not know how the allocations found their way in to the documents are untrue since he ought to have gone through the documents before signing them,” he said.

Nyoro has been at loggerheads with his boss over the running of the county's affairs.

Some MCAs, who have gone to court challenging the Sh16 billion budgetary allocation, said the governor was not being transparent about the audit query.

“The governor is lying when he says that he had not seen the report allocating money to national government functions. We know that he knew. He is just trying to pretend,” said Karuga Ngige, the Limuru East MCA.

On Friday Thika residents held a protest and called for the governor's resignation.

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