Former Jubilee vice-chairperson David Murathe yesterday appeared before the anti-corruption watchdog to shed light on the millions he and other prominent individuals received from debt-ridden politician Cyrus Jirongo, who is linked to a series of controversial dealings with a piece of land in Nairobi.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) summoned Mr Murathe to explain the purpose of the Sh25 million he received from Mr Jirongo on July 23, 2020, which is part of an ongoing fraud investigation.
Mr Murathe denied knowledge of the land deals that have put Mr Jirongo in trouble and maintained that the funds he received were to settle a debt the former Lugari MP owed him.
In 2021, Mr Murathe was among those named in the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) Covid-19 scandal.
Release to Kenyans
He appeared before Parliament, and dragged Dr Ruto’s name into the scam, saying it was, in fact, people close to the then Deputy President that were guilty in the scandal.
An inquiry file President Kenyatta had promised to release to Kenyans has never been made public.
“Kilig Limited and Entec Technology Limited only requested me to be a signatory to Kilig Limited’s bank account to guarantee that Entec, as the supplier of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, would be paid upon Kemsa effecting the anticipated payment on completion of the procurement process and I obliged,” says Mr Murathe in the affidavit in April 2021.
Kilig Limited was awarded a Sh4 billion tender to supply PPEs to Kemsa, a transaction that it then subcontracted to another company, Entec Technology Limited.
But for Mr Murathe, his has been a relationship of no love lost been him and the President, Dr Ruto.
In January 2019, Mr Murathe quit his post as Jubilee Party vice chairman to rally around a ‘Stop Ruto Movement’, as he argued the then DP and the outfit’s deputy party leader was not eligible to run for president in 2022.
Besides his bid to seek an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court to disqualify him to run for the top seat after serving as the DP for two terms, Mr Murathe told a press conference at his Garden Estate home that he was also looking at using a proposed referendum, and lastly, a mass walkout from Jubilee leading to a broad-based political formation that would comprise top opposition figures.
We have no problem
“There are a lot of people within Jubilee and outside Jubilee who share my sentiments. Going forward, the ‘Stop Ruto’ movement which we are going to start, there is no stopping it. Let them form their troops, and we have no problem, let the best side win,” Mr Murathe said then.
Since then and up to the tail end of the August 2022 elections process, Mr Murathe went hammer and tongs on Dr Ruto, accusing him of corruption and being unfit to rule.
He insisted that President Kenyatta, whom Mr Murathe was said to have his ear, had no obligation to back his deputy.
Mr Murathe, who later returned to his post as Jubilee vice chairman and was later named the Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja One Kenya deputy chairman, insisted that Kenya had a Nelson Mandela moment in the former prime minister.
He likened Mr Odinga’s 2022 State House bid to the time South Africa’s Mandela got out of jail and went on to embrace his apartheid oppressors and form government.
Memorandum of understanding
Regarding claims of a memorandum of understanding between the two leaders, for President Kenyatta to back Dr Ruto for the top job in 2022, Mr Murathe said there was no such thing.
“MoUs are public documents, and today I want to dare those that say there exists such a thing between Ruto and the president to produce it,” he said in 2019.
With his often acerbic tongue and regular appearances on television, Mr Murathe kept his attacks on Dr Ruto.
At the hotly contested August polls, Dr Ruto emerged winner and was sworn in as President on Sepember 13.