HIGHLY PROTECTED

Five choppers, 18,500 acres part of Ruto's guarded assets — state

CS Fred Matiang'i lays bare some of DP's possessions but his office terms move 'reckless'

In Summary
  • The CS disclosed that Ruto also owns Weston Hotel along Langata Road in Nairobi, Dolphin Beach Hotel in Mombasa and 395-hectare Murumbi Farm in Transmara among others
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i arrives in Parliament chambers for a meeting with the National Assembly's Committee on National Security cand Administration on Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i arrives in Parliament chambers for a meeting with the National Assembly's Committee on National Security cand Administration on Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Image: EZEKIEL AMING.A

The government has for the first time revealed Deputy President William Ruto's multibillion-shilling empire even though the DP's office swiftly rubbished the disclosure as reckless.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i listed high-value assets spread across the country as belonging to Ruto and for which the government had deployed more than 51 police officers to keep guard.

Most of Ruto's investments have always remained secret. The exposure by the government could worsen the already deteriorating relationship between Ruto and his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

Matiang'i said Ruto owns five helicopters parked at Wilson Airport in two hangers for which five police officers provide round-the-clock security. 

The price of a helicopter is estimated to be between Sh350,000 million and Sh1 billion.

According to the CS, Ruto also owns Weston Hotel along Lang'ata Road, a facility that has been clouded in controversy after Kenya Civil Aviation Authority claimed the 1.73 acres on which it sits. The matter is pending in court.

Another hotel—also shrouded in controversy and is said to be owned by Ruto, according to the government—is the 7.4-acre Dolphin Beach Hotel in Mombasa. The hotel had at one time been accused of flouting building regulations and encroaching on the Indian Ocean.

Muslims for Human Rights had in 2018 threatened to move to court to stop its construction.

DP Ruto also owns the 976-acre Murumbi Farm in Transmara, Narok county, and ADC Laikipia Mutara ranch that lies on about 15,000 acres.

Murumbi Farm, a property previously owned by former Vice President Joseph Murumbi, borders the famed Masai Mara Game Reserve.

At one point, its ownership was contested by some quarters who had been questioning how the property changed hands.

The DP, according to government documents, also has private homes in his home county of Uasin Gishu. Also listed are Mata Farm in Taita Taveta, Koitalel Poultry Farm in Eldoret and Kitengela Gas.

Matiang'i made the submissions when he appeared before the National Assembly Committee on National Security and Administration to explain the alleged withdrawal of General Service Unit officers who were manning the DP’s residence.

The list triggered a fierce online debate, with pro-government supporters claiming Ruto was a fake 'hustler'. But in a rejoinder, Ruto’s office dismissed the list, claiming some of the multimillion-shilling assets do not belong to the DP.

David Mugonyi, the communication secretary at DP’s office, in a statement to newsrooms, said the list was not accurate. He accused Matiang'i of playing politics.

“The CS desecrated the hallowed precincts of Parliament, exploiting it as a forum to propagate malicious falsehoods and assaulted the dignity of that institution by recklessly publishing inaccurate data purporting to be the property interests and security deployments of the Deputy President,” Mugonyi said.

“In fact, most of the properties listed do not belong to the Deputy President.

"To underscore Matiangi’s recklessness, many properties allocated to the DP in his statement to Parliament are in fact not his. To add insult to injury, Matiang’i asserts that he has deployed security officers in these unknown strange properties.”

Mugonyi did not, however, specify which of the properties listed by the CS are not owned by the Deputy President.

 

Edited by P.O