WAR OF WORDS ESCALATES

Ruto protests Jubilee double standards in graft war

Says ODM pushing for special audit as a strategy to sanitise members involved in alleged Kemsa scandal.

In Summary

• Ruto says had Kemsa bosses accused of tendering malpractices been his allies they would have been arrested and charged.

• Raila loyalist Junet Mohamed told Ruto to stop tweeting about the alleged Covid-19 funds graft and instead present evidence.

Deputy President William Ruto addressing beneficiaries of Nairobi County youth and women groups empowerment programme at his Karen residence.
Deputy President William Ruto addressing beneficiaries of Nairobi County youth and women groups empowerment programme at his Karen residence.
Image: DPPS

Frustrated and isolated from Jubilee Party, Deputy President William Ruto now claims the Uhuru Kenyatta administration is applying double standards in the fight against graft.

In a hard-hitting statement, Ruto on Tuesday said had the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency bosses accused of tendering malpractices been his allies, they would have been arrested and charged.

“The perpetrators of the heist are lucky they do not carry the tag ‘Ruto allies’, otherwise they would have already taken political responsibility, stepped aside, written statements, companies investigated, individuals arrested and hauled to court,” he stated.

Ruto's ally former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu was hounded out of office after being investigated and charged with graft even though Ruto publicly defended him and dismissed the graft allegations. 

But in an immediate response, Raila loyalist Junet Mohamed told Ruto to stop tweeting about the alleged Covid-19 funds graft and instead present evidence about the alleged graft to investigators.

“I urge you to report to DCI, EACC and AoG or the nearest police station. For the first time since you were born you will have helped Kenya unearth one corruption scam if any,” Junet said.

He was responding to a flurry of tweets in which Ruto accused ODM boss Raila Odinga of defending corruption.

Ruto said the current "stammering, staggering and flip-flopping by Raila is a confirmation of thieves caught red-handed stealing from the sick, endangering the lives of the front-line workers and robbing the dying".

“It is clear that you, the owners and operators of the Corruption Laundromat, are working overtime in your effort to “sanitise” the Covid billionaires,” he said.

The attack on Raila comes following a statement issued by ODM on Monday, that the party will not cover anyone who will be linked to the scandal once investigations are done.

Junet  and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen engaged in a war of words on Monday about the same graft allegations which Ruto has jumped on since Kenyatta sidelined him from the government.

Murkomen had asked Junet to resign as he waits for his arrest once the investigations are over.

Ruto asked Raila in yesterday's statement to stop double-speak in the war against corruption.

The DP, who has been on a warpath with the Opposition since allegations of embezzlement emerged at Kemsa last week, said ODM’s “double standards on corruption were “glaring, loud and obvious.”

“They have been lecturing us to resign, step aside, take political responsibility and even asking people to be taken to court on corruption allegations. Today, the tune has changed to waiting for professional audits,” Ruto said at his Karen residence in Nairobi during a meeting with religious leaders.

For three days running, ODM has been castigating the media for blowing out of proportion the alleged scandal relating to the procurement of commodities to deal with Covid-19.

On Monday, in a statement seen targeted at Ruto, Raila said the country should wait for a special audit to be conducted by the auditor general, a departure from the past when he has called for officials adversely mentioned to step aside immediately.

Ruto said the hypocritical “former” Opposition have clearly and characteristically changed tune. He said ODM was pushing for the special audit as a strategy to sanitise some of its members who had been deeply involved in the Covid-19 pandemic scandal.

“All investigative agencies in Kenya are independent. They do not need lectures on what to do. They will certainly act at the right time,” he added.

Ruto wondered why "independent" institutions wait for a special audit before they carry out their mandate.

“My friends, your double-speak is too loud for our ears. Your double standards are too glaring and obvious to our eyes. What happened to taking political responsibility? What happened to stepping aside? Why is it different now?” he posed.

He added that it is surprising that ODM appears to have the power to direct independent institutions on what to do.