Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu on Tuesday came out to defend Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka over claims of irregular land acquisition levelled against him by Deputy President William Ruto.
In an uncharacteristic defense of her longtime political rival, Governor Ngilu said she was well versed with the matter involving Mr Musyoka’s farm in Yatta area of Machakos County and that there was nothing illegal in its acquisition.
She said as a former Cabinet Secretary for Lands, she had the facts showing how Mr Musyoka acquired his farm and that DP Ruto were a desperate attempt to mudsling other leaders.
“During my tenure at Ardhi House, I had the chance of scrutinizing the details of that land including the transaction documents and I can attest here that Mr Musyoka acquired that land in a transparent manner” said Mrs Ngilu.
She spoke to journalists when she toured the Kitui Youth Enterprise Centre (KIYOSEC) – a county government facility at Manyenyoni within Kitui Town, which manufactures construction materials including interlocking bricks, cabros, culverts, concrete posts and slabs.
Mrs Ngilu told the DP to stop thinking that a leader of Kalonzo Musyoka’s stature can do the kind of things, he himself does, by grabbing pieces of public land across the country.
“On this one, Ruto should leave Kalonzo alone. Trying to link him to land grabbing is ill conceived because each and every Kenyan, even birds of the air know who the biggest land grabber in this country is” said the Governor.
Governor Ngilu disclosed that while at the Lands docket, it took the intervention of President Uhuru Kenyatta to restore the ownership of land belonging to Lang’ata primary school in Nairobi, which had been allegedly grabbed by Mr Ruto.
“I saw the worst of DP Ruto while serving as CS for Lands, grabbing land belonging to poor children whose parents live in Kibera slums and he knew very well those kids do not have any other playground” she said.
She recalled the DP ignored her advice against grabbing the school land to expand his Weston Hotel, but instead he went ahead to instigate the teargasing of the school pupils by police.
Mrs Ngilu castigated the DP’s Hustler movement saying giving wheelbarrows were not the answer to problems facing the youth in Kenya and was an insult to the same children from poor backgrounds whose land had been grabbed.
"I do pray and hope that Ruto will never be in a position where he can do that kind of a thing again," added the county boss.
The Governor took cue from the Wiper leader who on Monday challenged the DP to undertake a lifestyle audit to trace the source of his wealth, accusing him of involvement in numerous scandals.
The war of words between the two leaders started last week when Mr Musyoka faulted the ‘Kazi ni Kazi’ slogan adopted by the United Democratic Movement (UDA), a political party associated with the DP.
Tongue in cheek, Mr Musyoka said the slogan should be ‘Kazi ni Kazi bila Wizi’, a statement that prompted DP Ruto to hit back at him during a rally in Bomet last Friday.
The DP chided Mr Musyoka, questioning whether he prefers a slogan ‘Wizi Wizi bila Kazi’, accusing the former VP of having grabbed government land in Yatta.
“Some people are trying to insult me. You have been an MP, a Vice President, and Minister in almost all ministries yet where you are living is a government land. You have been in leadership for 40 years without doing anything and your only record is that you are living on government land which you have turned to be yours,” DP Ruto fired at Mr Musyoka.
Mr Musyoka also faulted the DP over what he termed as “fermenting bitter divisions and a class war” instead of preaching unity and cohesiveness.
“As a disruptor of law and order he is easily comparable to the outgoing President of the United States, Mr Donald Trump.”
Dr Ruto’s spokesperson, Mr David Mugonyi, dismissed Mr Musyoka’s allegations and said he would issue a statement on the matter later.