DEPUTY President William Ruto has for the first time confronted the numerous graft allegations against him and insisted they are a scheme to weaken the ruling Jubilee Coalition.
Speaking on Citizen TV’s The Big Question on Tuesday evening, Ruto told off his critics, saying he is used to “tough political wars” and his rivals in Rift Valley “are doomed”.
From the Sh17 billion Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to the Lang’ata Road Primary School playground scam to the 134-acre Karen land grab, the DP insisted on his innocence.
“There is a consistent narrative being developed. Initially, many people believed that this government would not survive because they believed myself and Uhuru Kenyatta would disagree.
They waited for a year, it didn’t happen,” Ruto explained. “They then went ahead to give money and orchestrate some of the URP people to say, ‘you know, Uhuru Kenyatta is a bad man; he has shortchanged William Ruto’. That did not sell.
They developed another narrative, ‘William Ruto has lost control of his backyard’. Now they have come up with a new narrative, ‘Uhuru Kenyatta is a good man, the bad man here, who is political baggage, is William Ruto’.”
However, during the hour-long interview, the DP admitted that he has “interests” in Weston Hotel, but vehemently denied the establishment had grabbed the Lang’ata Road Primary School playground.
“I want whoever is making that allegation to look at me. My name is William Ruto. There is a person who owns the land on Lang’ata Road. He has not denied ownership.
He is not a ghost. He is not a foreigner. He is a Kenyan. He is in court,” Ruto emphasised. Ruto said he is never bothered by the ridicule a section of Kenyans have exposed him to on social media.
“Social media is a place you shouldn’t take too seriously, because they are capable of announcing your funeral while you are still alive,” Ruto said, dismissing euphemisms such as “private developer” to mean land grabber. But yesterday, it appeared that the DP, who is fighting for control of his Rift Valley backyard, had opened up another political war front – this time with Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ng’eno.
The MP accused Ruto of being “evil” for claiming that he stage-managed the burning of houses in the Mau Forest. In a hard-hitting response, Ng’eno maintained that just because Ruto comes from Eldoret, where residents set ablaze the Kiamba Church at the height of the 2007 post-election violence, not everyone acts in such a manner.
“Just because you come from a region where people burnt a church with children, the elderly, pregnant mothers and old men inside it to death, you think we do the same in our region – then you are misplaced and evil,” the MP posted on his Facebook page. The comment generated heated exchanges since Ruto is charged in his crimes against humanity case at The Hague with orchestrating the bloodletting that engulfed the Rift Valley after the disputed 2007 polls.
The lawmaker posted the comment only hours after Ruto accused him of torching the houses to portray the government in a bad light by implying that Jubilee was forcibly evicting people from Mau Forest.
Rut also hit out at former President Daniel Moi’s family, whose son Senator Gideon Moi has declared an interest in the presidency. Ruto spoke of political jealousy and the widespread Kenyan assumption that one has to have access to billions of shillings to run for president.