CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS

JOSEPH MUTUA NDONGA: Ruto not justified to fire salvos at Raila

In doing so, he ended up doing more harm than good to his bid.

In Summary

•At one time the DP moved to defend the then Devolution Cabinet Secretary Ann Waiguru over claims she denied of stealing National Youth Service funds.

•A few days later, the DP changed tune after Waiguru let the cat of the bag, revealing that some of his allies were the biggest beneficiaries.

Deputy President William Ruto.
Deputy President William Ruto.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

A few days ago, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga warned leaders stealing public funds and using ill-gotten wealth to popularise themselves that their days were numbered.

He said once they are out of power after the next General Election he will push for their arrest, prosecution and imprisonment.

These people have milked our economy dry and this is why the majority of Kenyans are struggling to get food and other basic needs, yet these are rights.

Raila did not disclose whether he will run for President but his point was clear.

Even if he will not run, he will play the role of kingmaker and he was optimistic his team will form the next government.

He fell short of revealing he was poised to become a key player in the new administration.

In what was seen as training his missiles on him, Deputy President William Ruto immediately came out guns blazing, citing the graft claims in the Kazi Kwa Vijana programme during the President Mwai Kibaki-led Grand Coalition Government where Raila served as prime minister.

He also revisited the corruption scandal in Kemsa, stating it minted Covid-19 billionaires. This man is now running corruption cartels in Uhuru’s administration. How?

In my previous commentaries, I have reiterated that corruption cases cannot be prosecuted in church pulpits, at funerals, weddings and political rallies.

Reason? Kenya is not a banana republic; it is a country governed by the rule of law.

Therefore, one would have expected the DP to move a step further to present his evidence to anti-graft bodies.

He failed to do so. This demonstrated he was just playing politics with his eyes trained on his bid to succeed President Kenyatta in 2022.

We recall the big role Raila played during the first term of UhuRuto presidency of exposing mega corruption scandals and pushing for prosecution of the culprits.

That made him a darling of all the communities, including the Kikuyus. During the time, the DP would take on Raila for making these revelations.

Raila is envious of us because we defeated him, he would say. He is, therefore, peddling lies and propaganda. If not, let him present his evidence to the relevant arms of government.

At one time the DP moved to defend then Devolution Cabinet Secretary Ann Waiguru over claims, which she denied, of stealing National Youth Service funds.

In an apparent reference to Raila, he argued the intention of those making the claims was clear.

They wanted to paint the government in bad light. "We will not allow them to have their way".

A few days later, the DP changed tune after Waiguru let the cat of the bag, revealing that some of his allies were some of the biggest beneficiaries.

The DP fumed. "Waiguru is speaking a lot of English and doing cat-walking. We do not want stories, the buck stops with her".

For Kazi kwa Vijana, that time I used to work with a Non-Governmental Organization called Youth Agenda.

When we sought an appointment, the office of Prime Minister was positive. When we went there, the top officials assured us that no money had been stolen.

Some of the documents they presented to us included the audit done by the World Bank, which cleared the PM of any wrongdoing.

Even if one assumes the funds were misappropriated, the question is, how come the DP, who has been serving in this position for almost 10 years, has never revisited this matter?

In the first term, his working chemistry with Uhuru was very cordial. In fact, many referred to them as twins conjoined at the hip.

This is the time the DP could have pushed for Raila’s prosecution if he had evidence linking him to any Kazi kwa Vijana scandal.

Back to Raila’s pledge to push for the jailing of economic saboteurs, he did not mention the name of any state officer. So, was DP justified to take on him? He wasn’t.

In doing so, he ended up doing more harm than good to his bid. This cleared the way for his detractors to dig more into his past.

He has been luring youthful supporters who were born after 1992. What do you expect to happen when they understand his full history? Many will ditch him.

Political analyst and blogger

Nairobi

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris