, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – Agriculture Minister William Ruto on Monday launched a vicious attack on Prime Minister Raila Odinga accusing him of using “guerrilla tactics” to fight him politically.
At a press conference, Mr Ruto told off the Prime Minister over his latest attempt to suspend him from government maintaining that it was a political witch-hunt. He accused the Premier of consistently and unsuccessfully pursuing him through last year’s Censure Motion in Parliament and the maize scandal audit released last week.
“He is trying to achieve through the backdoor what he did not through the Censure Motion and the report by the PricewaterhouseCoopers. I want to ask him to be man enough to face his opponent and use better means of engagement other than the guerrilla tactics and the shadow boxing that he is currently engaged in,” he said.
A day after President Mwai Kibaki quashed the suspension, Mr Ruto reported to office as normal. Mr Odinga had suspended the Agriculture Minister follows his implication in the multi-billion shilling maize scandal. Also ‘suspended’ for three months was Education Minister Sam Ongeri the over loss of Sh100 million in the Free Primary Education programme.
The Agriculture Minister questioned the leadership of the Premier saying that he was dishonest.
“What integrity does a leader who attempts to use his office to manipulate an audit report have, a person who lies with a straight face to the public that he had consulted the President while he knows too well he had not?” he wondered.
The Eldoret North MP maintained that the PM should lead the way in taking political responsibility since he chaired the ad-hoc Cabinet committee that was in charge of the purchase, sale and distribution of maize.
“I find it very strange that the PM is trying to act judge in a matter his committee is the accused. It beats basic logic. Moreover his officers are in the dock in this matter.”
On Saturday, the President suspended permanent Secretaries Romano Kiome (Agriculture), Mohammed Isahakia (Office of the Prime Minister) and Mohammed Ali (Special Programmes) for three months over the scam.
Other officials asked to step aside over the saga included the Administrative Secretary in Office of the Prime Minister Caroli Omondi, the Managing Director – National Cereals and Produce Board Gideon Misoi, Mr Boit, Sales and Marketing Manager – NCPB and Mr Langat, the General Manager also of the National Cereals and Produce Board.