DP Ruto: Uhuru looked the other way as corruption thrived in Jubilee

DP William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto. 

Photo credit: File | Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

Deputy President Dr William Ruto on Sunday accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of neglecting the war against corruption and running a show of convenience to tarnish his name.

“Things were cooked for convenient reason to blame one William Ruto. For instance, the issue of Kimwarer and Arror dams’ contracts…do you know that they have never been cancelled and they are alive? Regardless of what the statements and declarations that they make, why have they not cancelled the projects?” he said.

While speaking on NTV on Sunday evening, Dr Ruto lamented that the war on corruption, as it is, now serves no common good since it has been politicized and the impetus of the fight against the vice was stage managed to target him and his August 9 presidential ambitions, vowing that he was in it to the end, and win.

He said he will within 90 days deliver a formula to fix the big issue of two third gender rule...

“Within one year I will be through. We will start by giving women half the cabinet, use administrative interventions, Bills already drafted...to serve the whole allay of women at the bottom of the pyramid with empowerment programmes," he said.

What I will do to deal with corruption - DP Ruto

He said the solution lies in passion, commitment and political goodwill.

In a straight punch to the president, Dr Ruto said that “when the president is the one who is giving us lectures on who to investigate, arrest, charge… he himself becomes untouchable,” saying the whole process becomes a matter of institutions worshiping the powers that be instead of delivering on mandate.

If he were the president, Dr Ruto said, he would not protect his loyalists, friends, relatives and allies “not even me.”

He said that all those associated with his political formation—including his running mate Rigathi Gachagua-- will be found culpable by law in the criminal cases surrounding them... If they have merit, they will succeed and get convicted and if their cases were politically instigated, they will fail.

“Nobody should be safe from the rule of law… be it my deputy, be it the president. This is the only chance we have in fighting corruption and win. I will empower the institutions to even prosecute the president...why not? That is the law,” he said.

He said that the plot has seen the same people in the post handshake politics and who claim to be committed to the fight against corruption continue to steal Sh2 billion per day from the public coffers, loot Covid-19 medications at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) and “steal from Kazi Mtaani programme where out of the Sh1, 000 approved as pay per day per each, more than half is not reaching them.”

Dr Ruto said that the president had given the nation 21 days for the Covid-19 billionaires to be apprehended but these many days later nothing doing since “the fight is about political, friends, and relatives of so and so...”

He said should he win the August 9 vote, his approach to fighting corruption will have no hypocrisy, sacred cows and will be structured to desist from being used as a political agenda.

“I will operationalize judiciary fund to empower it deal with corruption...a corruption case should not take us 15 years to determine. I will restructure Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Directive of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Attorney General (AG), Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP)…give them complete financial autonomy and political goodwill to deliver,” he said.

The Deputy president added that he has accepted the president is not supporting his presidential bid “and I would prefer that we discuss my candidature...it now has nothing to do with Uhuru Kenyatta. When I chose to support him in 2013 I did not give him conditions. I did not demand anything from him…rather; it is him who promised me of his support. But that is perfectly in order. He has decided to support someone else...it is his right.”

Dr Ruto said should he fail to win, he will be content and will surrender to the verdict of the voters.

“You can rest assured that I will hold no demonstrations, swear myself in, uproot railway…I will be satisfied…I am appreciative that I have come this far, identify that many people would have loved to be deputy president …It is not something that I take for granted…I will be content, support who will win and become part of the society,” he said.

He reiterated that there are telltale signs that his main competitor Raila Odinga backers in the system desire a leeway to corrupt the vote.

“We have had stories that cast doubts to transparent elections. There were efforts to remove some commissioners, remove voters from Mt Kenya and Rift valley from the roll...that does not need a rocket scientist to know what that alludes to,” he said.

But he warned that “you cannot steal my votes. It just means that. They have been very busy with two frontiers about stealing elections and about deep state. Their plot does not add up.”

He said that he is not worried “that they will interfere...they will attempt and they will fail. Unless something very drastic happens, we will have a credible election.”

He added that the major credits of the Jubilee administration—tarmacking 11, 000 kilometres of road, expanding electricity connectivity from  2.3 million connections in 2013 to the current 8.9 million today and changing the education profile to embrace technical oriented education where today we there are over 500,000 enrollments.

“I spent many hours with sectoral players in my boardroom at Karen Residence laying out the plans. I worked with cabinet secretaries on how to be cost effective and how to implement…the president’s role mostly was concurrence,” he said.

He added that he helped President Kenyatta craft the Big Four agenda where the plan was to ensure the country achieved rapid industrialization, food sufficiency, Universal health care and adequate affordable housing.  

Dr Ruto said that he was not party to the Jubilee’s administration notoriety for defying court orders, saying “I could disagree with many of their decisions but I remained respectful to their verdicts.”

Dr Ruto recalled the 2017 Supreme Court’s order that the election be repeated that had seen President Kenyatta and him as the deputy declared winners by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

“I was the first person who told President Kenyatta that we had to go back to the election. I criticized the decision on grounds that I believed we had won the election but I was respectful of the verdict and I led the team that campaigned for the repeat elections,” he said.

He defended his running mate as “a passionate leader, a people's person who speaks my language about the ordinary Kenyans...he believes in the people, bottom up economic model like me. That is why I settled on him."

About claims that he favoured him against more ideal candidates, Dr Ruto said that “those are stories...I had five people I was looking at...I consulted with friends, party members, stakeholders...I took time to consult and the outright winner was Gachagua. All the others are wonderful people, great...only that the chance was one at one time and it was him.”

He said that there were many instruments at play in picking the running mate...many aspects, things...some were favoured by gender, age groups, interests “but at the end of the day we collectively settled on him.”

Dr Ruto summed him as “a solid gentleman, accomplished public servant, self-made person with a passion for people's issues. He will help us deal with the challenge that we have in the country about deficiency of people passionate with ordinary people.”

He said that should he win the presidency, he will ensure that he relates well with his Deputy President, contrary to the persecutions he claimed has been unleashed his way in government.

“It will never happen with my deputy...I would not, for example, tolerate my juniors humiliating my deputy. I have put it in writing on responsibilities that my deputy will wield. My deputy will be a very busy person. If he goes rogue, there is the law that dictates the cause to be followed. If he contradicts the law, there are provisions on how he is to be dealt with…but not humiliation,” he said.

He said that the peaking of the humiliation in the hands of his boss came with Post handshake politics “that made my office something else. I was only left with dealing with counties, random assignments and my enterprise as a public servant to get something to do.”

He told of the pain he has gone through, saying “I did my best under the circumstances…I could not leave office...I was elected by the people of Kenya…There are people who thought they could frustrate me out of office. I could not them do so...peddled stories that I had abdicated duty …which duty, assignment to me that I did not discharge. They avoid that question. Tell me which assignment is pending that I was assigned by president, law constitution...that I did not execute.”

He denied that he abdicated duty and hit the campaign trail.

“If you watch all my clips, the time I’m said to have been on the campaign trail, I never said I was gunning for the presidency. I was working as per the demand of my office.”

In the face of all those persecutions, he added, “I have always recognised the president as my boss, covered up for him...and at all times acknowledged him.”

On the part of the president’s juniors, he added, was a chronology of setbacks, humiliation and intimidation.

“It has been a journey. They said that I will not be at the ballot, that I will not reach 2022...Those were statements said by people who are hanging around powers that be...they were said in front of the president,” he said.

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