NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 1 – Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga are at it again, firing salvos at each other in a fresh clash between the two big wigs in the country’s political landscape.
First was Odinga earlier Friday, when he told Ruto to stop dismissing the loss of colossal sums of money meant for the construction of two dams in Elegyo-Marakwet by insinuating that Sh7 billion “is too little”.
“Nobody is above the law, if somebody is stealing don’t go out there and tell us that Sh7 billion is nothing; Sh7 billion is not pocket change,” the former Prime Minister said as he broke his silence over the matter.
Hours later, Ruto fired back from Garissa where he was attending the Pastoral Leadership Summit, telling Odinga to stop trivializing the war on corruption to gain “unnecessary political mileage.”
“This is about 100,000 people in Arror and Kimwarer who will get access to water, so forget about focusing on the petty politics of 2022 and William Ruto and some mandazi-nomics that you have been telling us about…why are you bringing mandazi business into a very serious development programme that we are focused on?”
Ruto once again lashed out at the Opposition leader accusing him of engineering the scandal in which the DP’s Chief of Staff Ken Osinde, has been implicated as part of his well-choreographed plan to edge him out of the ruling Jubilee Party.
He claimed Odinga was taking advantage of the unity pact with President Uhuru Kenyatta to further his personal political agenda.
“I want to tell my friend who is peddling these lies, that we know his scheme to bastardize and to criminalize and to demonize the agenda of the Jubilee Administration using falsehoods and propaganda, because he is a master of propaganda so that tomorrow he can give us a lecture on how Jubilee has failed.”
“He told his friends that he is coming so that he can break Jubilee. I want to tell him there is a shortage of fools, my friend, in this town and in this country. My friend you will not succeed in breaking Jubilee because we know where we have come from, where we are going and what we are doing,” the Deputy President stated.
Ruto on Friday asked for the on-going fight corruption to be objective and avoid being used to settle political scores.
“The fight against corruption will be won if it is conducted on the basis of facts and solid evidence in a court of law. It cannot succeed if it proceeds on the basis of falsehoods, or half-truths in the court and in the drama of media and in the newspapers,” he noted.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has already summoned over 100 people for questioning over the controversy said to have cost the taxpayer billions of shillings in dubious deals.
DCI boss George Kinoti listed 27 companies and their more than 100 directors, whom he wants questioned over the controversial dams.
This came days after several high-ranking government officials – including Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich – were questioned over the scandal.
Police have confirmed that in the course of investigations, Cabinet Secretaries Simon Chelugui (Water), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution) and Mwangi Kiunjuri of Agriculture and their Principal Secretaries as well as officials in the procurement and accounts departments will be questioned to determine their roles, if any, in the tender awards or general dealings with the listed companies or their directors.