Ruto Cannot Talk On Corruption - NASA
Lately there is much talk of black pots and kettles and people who live in glass houses.
NASA has turned up the heat on Jubilee and DP William Ruto, calling him the "chief priest" of corruption after Ruto said graft cartels were funding opposition campaigns.
Furious opposition leaders speaking separately, yesterday accused Ruto of hypocrisy and said he has no moral authority to lecture anyone about corruption.
“When they say some people are corrupt, why have they not taken action? That is hypocrisy of the highest order,” NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga told a rally in Narok yesterday.
Raila's adviser Salim Lone accused Ruto of diversionary tactics but thanked Jubilee leaders for placing the subject of corruption so forcefully on the national agenda.
"It is clearly not possible for them to deny such destructive cartels exist and are impoverishing our nation," he said in a statement.
"Ironically, they made this wild and totally unfounded allegation while campaigning for [former Devolution CS] Anne Waiguru, who the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly has recommended be barred from public office," he said.
On Wednesday Ruto said opposition leaders had no moral authority to speak about corruption because they are literally owned by cartels. NASA is financed by corrupt cartels and unaccountable NGOs, he said.
“How will you fight corruption when the helicopters you and your secretariat use are paid for by corruption cartels?” Ruto asked in Kagio town.
Yesterday Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho weighed in.
Calling the DP Ruto arap Kipindupindu (Son of Cholera), Joho challenged him to account for his wealth. The reference was to the cholera outbreak last week at Nairobi's Weston hotel owned by Ruto.
“The choppers we are using have been donated by supporters and others have been hired. Can he tell us who is paying for their [Jubilee's] choppers?" Joho asked.
“We hear you are buying hotels in Nairobi and Mombasa and building a Sh1 billion home in Uasin Gishu. Can you tell Kenyans your source of money? Ruto should be the last person to talk about corruption," the governor said.
The Daily Nation reported on Monday businessman Jimmy Wanjigi is bankrolling NASA's presidential campaigns.
Wanjigi was reported to be pulling the strings in the upper echelons of NASA, where he is mobilising funds and ensuring logistics are in place.
But yesterday opposition MPs said numerous “documented corruption allegations,” which they said tarnish the DP’s image, cannot allow him to assume the moral high ground against the “cancerous corruption vice”.
"What is at stake here is whether it's Jubilee or NASA that Kenyans trust to fight corruption, make food affordable, unite Kenyans into one nation and attend to pressing needs in healthcare, housing and education," Lone said in a statement to newsrooms. He was Raila's spokesman when he was Prime Minister.
Jubilee’s record of failure on virtually every front reveals that lives and businesses have been degraded over five years, Lone said. At least 70 per cent of Kenyans indicated in polls the country is headed in the wrong direction, the highest percentage ever recorded."
Ruto, Jubilee's main point man and NASA's biggest headache, has been battling corruption claims since 2011 when he was Education minister.
Although he has been cleared by courts in some cases and denied any links to corruption, the DP’s career has been plagued by graft allegations.
Ruto's name featured prominently in reports of an attempted land-grab of the Lang'ata Primary School playground by 'faceless' individuals. It was said the aim was to convert the playground into a parking lot for his luxury Weston Hotel.
The hotel on Lang’ata road was said to be built on land grabbed from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority. Ruto says he did not grab any land but has interests in the hotel.
Ruto was found guilty of grabbing land of IDP Adrian Muteshi in Eldoret and ordered to pay Sh5 million for unlawful takeover of the 100-acre farm. In May, Ruto withdrew his three-year-old appeal, challenging the order to pay.
In 2009, the DP was caught up in the maize scandal in the Grand Coalition government. He was accused of selling maize from the strategic grains reserves while he was Agriculture minister.
Ruto reportedly used his personal assistant to write a letter requesting an individual be allocated 1,000 bags by the NCPB.
He survived a no-confidence motion after the Speaker rejected evidence adduced to Parliament.
A PwC audit painted a picture of massive corruption involving influential people buying maize from government stores cheaply and selling it to millers at huge profits, as millions of Kenyans went hungry.
In 2013, the DP was hit by the Hustler's Jet scandal. He was accused of hiring a private jet for Sh100 million to tour West Africa while the government was struggling to pay bills.
Ruto has proudly called himself the Hustler, saying he rose to prominence through hard work.
A report on the jet was trashed by Parliament in August 2015, when the Jubilee-dominated assembly dismissed a report by the Cord-led Public Accounts Committee.
"Ruto travelled to Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Nigeria and Gabon between May 16 and 19. The House team established Sh18.9 million was spent on the trip, but was unable to establish the origin of invoices showing the DP's Office paid Sh100 million,” the PAC report said.
In October 2010 Ruto, then minister for Higher Education, was suspended from the Cabinet over sale of Kenya Pipeline Company land in Nairobi.
The case arose from charges Ruto received Sh96 million to facilitate sale of ungazetted forest land to KPC.
He was cleared by the High Court of any criminal liability.
"Yet again this ruling has vindicated me and I'm sure all other [cases] ahead face the same fate because I am an innocent man,” Ruto said after that ruling.
Yesterday, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said, "Ruto must know he is the chief priest of corruption.
"He must first remove the log in his eye before removing the speck in other people's," the ODM parliamentary group secretary said.
Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabir said Ruto's is taking revenge on Jimmy Wanjigi for ditching Jubilee for the opposition.
"Ruto lives in a glass house and should not be throwing stones," Shabir said.
Homa Bay Women representative Gladys Wanga said, "This a classic case of thief shouting thief."
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