You’re not above the law, Raila tells Ruto in war on corruption

ODM Party leader Raila Odinga arrives at the Party National Governing Council meeting held in Nairobi in March 1, 2019/FAITH MUTEGI.
ODM Party leader Raila Odinga arrives at the Party National Governing Council meeting held in Nairobi in March 1, 2019/FAITH MUTEGI.

ODM leader Raila Odinga on Friday launched a scathing attack on Deputy President William Ruto saying the DP is not above the law.

Speaking during the launch of the Judiciary annual report on Thursday, Ruto denied media reports that the Sh21 billion allocated to two dams in Rift Valley had vanished.

But on Friday, and without naming names, Raila told off Ruto and asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to intensify the fight against corruption. “You have heard that the government has lost about Sh21 billion which is a flat lie! The money in question is about Sh7 billion, and for every coin that has been paid, we have a bank guarantee,” Ruto said.

Raila who spoke during a meeting with ODM members at Orange House, said nobody is above the law in the fight against corruption.

“If somebody is stealing money, do not go and shout there that ooh Sh7 billion is nothing,” Raila said.

“Sh7 billion is not pocket change! Sio pesa ya kununua mandazi halafu wanaenda pande hii wanasema ooh sisi ni wakulima.. akitoka pale ooh mimi ni mfugaji.. yeye nikama popo which loosely translates to “Sh7 billion is not pocket change! It’s not money for buying a snack then you go to the other side and say we are farmers...after that you go elsewhere and say we are pastoralists...he is like a bird”.

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In a quick rejoinder Ruto accused the opposition leader of wanting to criminalise every development initiative by the government.

“They have orchestrated and are driving a narrative that every government initiative has a corruption element in it. We’ll not allow those whose signature is keeping people in the slavery of poverty and fighting every development initiative using fake data, fake news and false information to try and scuttle the development agenda for our country,” said Ruto without naming Raila.

“Let me tell these people, as they try to advance this narratives and create this falsehoods, let them not target William Ruto or individuals, this is not about a person or personalities. It is about 100,000 people in Arror and Kimwarerr who will get drinking water.”

The DP said the project was about changing the lives of people who are

victims of cattle rustling and creating in them a hope for the future. Ruto urged his critics to forget “the petty politics of 2222” and focus on the main issues. A visibly angry angry Ruto wondered why people were bringing “mandazi business” into a very serious issue that “we are focusing on.” “This is not a favour for this people. It is a development project.”

He said the war on corruption will not be won “by exaggerating figures and introducing economics that do not make sense.”

“The truth is the truth. It does not matter how many times you repeat a lie. It will never become the truth,” Ruto said.

Ruto, without providing any evidence, claimed that Raila had told his friends that he was joining the government so he can break the Jubilee Party. “I want to tell him that he will not succeed. There is a shortage of fools in this country. People are very smart and know his schemes,” he said.

An aide to Ruto was roped into the multi-billion dam scandal which is under active investigations by the DCI.

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Ken Osinde is on the DCI radar after a company he is associated with is listed among those suspected to have played a role in the multi-billion tenders for construction of Kimwarer and Arror dams in Elgeyo Marakwet county.

Raila said Kenyans should make life difficult for corrupt individuals.

“These people are bold, reckless, contemptuous but we must stand firm and show them that Kenya is more important than anyone. We should tell them that a crime is a crime and a criminal is a criminal,” Raila said.

“People should be prepared to carry their own cross. When you are stealing you don’t tell people that I have stolen money come we share... you only eat with your wife.”

Raila asked his party members to stand firm against corruption, saying Kenyans must be organised to be in a good position to fight graft.

“We must take the lead in making life difficult from purveyors of corruption...the party must move with speed to administer these issues. Our party must sensitise people across the country to detect, name and shame those involved in corruption,” the former Prime Minister said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday said the Judiciary is not immune to the temptations of corruption and its officers must guard against criminals out to exploit court processes to escape the consequences of their economic crimes. He said brokerage of justice has left many Kenyans suffering and their businesses, health and lives destroyed through impunity.

He said there are known culprits who exploit the court processes and judgements to escape the consequences of their economic crimes.

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