Raila to Ruto: You should be last person to lecture anyone on graft

Raila Odinga

ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses an Azimio la Umoja rally at Posta Grounds, Bungoma town on March 4, 2022.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho also said the DP should be the last person to talk about graft, terming him the mastermind. 
  • The DP told a US-based think tank that the war on corruption in Kenya is subjective and merely a political tool.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has accused Deputy President William Ruto of hypocrisy for attacking the government over graft. 

Speaking yesterday on the campaign trail in Bungoma County, the former premier said the DP lacks the moral authority to claim there is wanton corruption in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration while he has been the person perpetuating theft of public resources. 

“When they have stolen money from our public offers, they stash them in gunny bags then crisscross the country telling youths that they want to do fundraisers for them...  When he says in America that public resources are being stolen, who is stealing them? He is behaving like a thief who is being chased while pointing at another person.”

DP Ruto on Thursday claimed Kenya could have lost nearly half a trillion shillings in the last 10 years to “budgeted corruption”.  

“You have close to Sh100 billion budgeted every year that has no oversight in opaque institutions,” he said. “That amount has grown between four- and fivefold in the last 10 years.” 

The DP told a US-based think tank that the war on corruption in Kenya is subjective and merely a political tool. He said the country has serious accountability challenges and vowed to ruthlessly fight graft if he wins the presidency in August. 

But at the Bungoma rally, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho also said the DP should be the last person to talk about graft, terming him the mastermind. 

“I am surprised that Ruto has the audacity to talk about corruption... those are kicks of a dying horse.”

'Most corrupt person'

Former United Nations Conference on Trade and Development secretary-general Mukhisa Kituyi castigated the DP for demeaning the gains made by the country since Independence. He said he has never seen any African leader go to America to demean his own country. 

“I have worked abroad for many years and eight of those years as an international leader and I know the respect that international countries have against their countries. In America, if you talk ill about your country, you are perceived as a fool,” Dr Kituyi said, after shelving his presidential ambition in favour of Mr Odinga’s. 

Lawmakers Kanini Kega (Kieni) and Senator Ole Kina (Narok) said the DP has been the person blocking efforts to weed out the menace.

“Someone who should be the diplomat is out there tarnishing our country’s name in America while he is the most corrupt person,” said the Narok senator. 

Meanwhile, in Kehancha, Migori County, Mr Odinga promised to incorporate wooed the Kuria community to support his presidential bid. Attending the funeral for Kenya’s High Commissioner to Nigeria Wilfred Machage yesterday, he said he would ensure the community gets a county and development projects.

He was accompanied by his wife Ida, governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Hassan Joho (Mombasa), James Ongwae (Kisii) , Migori Senator Ochillo Ayacko, and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, among other leaders. He urged the region to support his fifth presidential bid.

“You are my brothers but have always been voting for the other side then complaining later about neglect. Let us join hands in this election,” Mr Odinga said.

Machage was in the National Assembly for two terms before being elected Migori senator in 2013 following “negotiated democracy” initiated by Mr Odinga. Of the top four county seats, the community also had Woman Representative Dennitah Ghati (now ODM-nominated senator) and Deputy Governor Mwita Mahanga.

Additional reporting by Ian Byron

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