Deputy President William Ruto on Tuesday evening defended himself against the public perception that he has a ‘good appetite for land’.
The Kenya Kwanza flagbearer explained that he legally acquired every parcel that he owns.
“Allegations are made left, right and centre, but every piece of land that I have has been legally acquired,” the DP said.
Dr Ruto, who was confronted by the land question during the presidential debate, seized the opportunity to clarify how he acquired the controversial land in Turbo, Uasin Gishu originally belonging to Adrian Muteshi.
“[On Muteshi land] I was a victim of land fraudsters who sold the land to me. Those people are in court. What the court ordered me to do was to pay for the three years I had occupied the land and they calculated and said the income from this land would be approximately Sh5 million for three years and that’s what I paid” he said.
Dr Ruto took a swipe at his rival – Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga -- pointing out that he has also been a victim of allegations touching on land.
“Even my competitor, the Dominion and Molasses lands (In Siaya and Kisumu respectively) have been mentioned about him. Does that make you guilty? Not at all,” Dr Ruto said.
He lamented that he was probably the only politician in Kenya subjected to several audits.
“I am probably that politician in Kenya who has been audited left right, upside down, inside out on any matter. This should be enough. Maybe because I have raised my head beyond what many people think I should. If I was a quiet business person, I’m sure I wouldn’t attract the kind of labelling that I have been subjected to,” the DP said.
Dr Ruto has questioned on several occasions how he acquired his property including his 2,500 acres piece of land in Taita Taveta, the land in Trans Mara that belonged to former vice president Joseph Murumbi as well as the parcel which Weston Hotel that is linked to him sits on.