NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 1 – Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga has joined the debate surrounding the reported loss of Sh21 billion allocated to the Arror and Kimwarer Dam projects in Elegyo-Marakwet by calling for the arrest of top public officials implicated.
Addressing the party’s National Governing Council meeting, Odinga said nobody is above the law and that the corrupt must carry their own cross.
“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,” said the former Prime Minister.
He challenged ODM party members across the country to stand firm against corruption and the corrupt.
“We are witnessing a level of corruption never seen before in our country. It is a web that has all the makings of a criminal enterprise working from within the State itself. We must reject attempts by this enterprise to turn the war against them into an affair of their communities and we must reject attempts by these criminals to target, criminalize and stigmatize investigative agencies. We must take lead in making life difficult for purveyors of corruption.”
“We have seen that them, they are bold, fearless, reckless and even contemptuous,” Odinga added.
“We should call a thief, for who he is a thief let us not sugar coat by saying that he knows how to make money. We must make Kenyans know how to earn money. We know people who dutifully work from the 1st to the end of that month so that he can be paid a salary and then we have this people who sleep until 9am or 10am and then they come to the office and start asking where the tenders have been awarded so that they can go and defraud the parent State bodies.”
The Opposition leader’s remarks came barely a day after Deputy President William Ruto insisted that only expenditure of Sh7 billion is in question.
“You’ve heard that government has lost about Sh21 billion in Kimwarer and Arror dam, which is a flat lie!” Deputy President Ruto said at the Supreme Court on Thursday.
“The money in question is about Sh7 billion and for every coin that has been paid, we have a bank guarantee. No money will be lost because we are a responsible government.”
At the same time, Odinga backed remarks by President Uhuru Kenyatta where he warned that the ‘get rich quick mentality’ is ruining Kenya by perpetuating corruption, plunder of public resources and related economic crimes.
“A criminal is a criminal. This is issue should not be ethnicised, if Raila Odinga commits a crime it is not the Luo who have committed a crime. People must be prepared to carry their own crosses themselves because when you were looting you did it alone, you never shared the loot with their community,” he added.