, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 23 – Deputy President William Ruto has vowed to remain focused on the Big Four development agenda notwithstanding what he has termed as “sponsored headlines, paid opinions, and fake news” being propagated by his detractors.
Speaking in Ogembo, Kisii County, Ruto once again dismissed an Ipsos corruption perception index ranking him top at 33 per cent saying he will defeat his opponents on the arena of development.
“I want to give them free advice – let them prepare themselves very well. Once they’re done with publishing fake polls and fake news, they can come so that we compete on issues that concern the citizenry and I will tutor them,” he told a public gathering on Thursday.
The DP said he will not be dissuaded from pursuing his aspirations despite concerted efforts to malign his name.
“Who told them bodaboda riders are unequal before the rest? I want to tell them that we’re all equal before God and so they can publish falsehoods everyday if they so wish,” he said.
“It is clear these people want to compete with me and the day of reckoning is coming. The citizens will judge us,” he added.
Ruto said his fortunes had changed over the years primarily because of hard work and a firm believes in God dismissing claims the corruption perception by the Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.
“Are you people going to elect a leader because he is good at propaganda or because he’s done development? I know you’re wise enough to make a choice,” he said.
Earlier on, Ruto met leaders from Kirinyaga at his official residence in Karen where the leaders led by Governor Anne Waiguru recommitted to backing his ambition to vie for the presidency come 2022.
Waiguru who was ranked second at 31 per cent in the corruption perception index that saw 2,016 respondents sampled in 45 counties once again took a swipe at the pollster for propagating what she termed as falsehoods.
The Thursday morning meeting came in the backdrop of a tough-worded statement by Ruto’s Press Secretary David Mugonyi who on Wednesday termed the Ipsos survey as a conflation of political rivalry and corruption perception to produce “distorted opinions in a libellous crusade by shadowy sponsors.”
Mugonyi had linked the Ipsos report to an ongoing campaign to amend the Constitution so as to bar Ruto from running for the presidency in the 2022 presidential election.
“At a time when people are so desperate that they want to amend the constitution to bar DP from running for presidency, it should not shock anyone that a survey like this would be concocted,” the statement released Wednesday evening read in part.
In the statement, Ruto called for caution in the use of fraudulent statistics urging the public to resist fictitious data sets and stage-managed findings.
“Good governance for national transformation relies on solid statistics,” he noted.
“We must be careful not to mislead Kenyans with faulty or fraudulent statistics, even for mundane purposes. We must resist a culture of cooked surveys, manipulated data and stage-managed findings,” he warned.
The Ipsos-funded study which was conducted between July 25 and August 2 with former President Daniel arap Moi listed third in the corruption perception index at 17 per cent, President Uhuru Kenyatta coming in forth at 11 per cent.
Reacting to the opinion poll, Waiguru had said anyone with evidence that she is corrupt should present it before State agencies tasked with the mandate of probing graft.
“I think they’re advancing a political agenda; there can be nothing other than that. If they have any evidence let them take it to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations or the Director of Public Prosecutions so that action can be taken!” she remarked while inspecting a development project in her county on Wednesday.
“I will say to Ipsos shame on you for pushing a political agenda! I have never been taken to court on corruption, instead I sued Raila Odinga for defaming me on corruption,” she added.