BUSINESSMAN Jacob Juma has written to the anti-graft authorities seeking the recovery of over Sh700 million from Deputy President William Ruto.
Juma says the money was payment the DP allegedly received for selling a parcel of land in Ngong Forest to the Kenya Pipeline Company.
Ruto was charged with fraud alongside Joshua Kulei, a one-time presidential aide, and Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita in 2003.
But the three were acquitted by then Nairobi chief magistrate Gilbert Mutembei for lack of evidence.
The case collapsed when the prosecution’s key witness – Hellen Njue, KPC’s chief finance manager – failed to appear in court and testify.
According to Juma, the payment made by KPC, amounting to Sh272 million, should be recovered plus interest accrued over the years.
The controversial businessman says the amount now stands at Sh728 million. This includes the principal amount plus interest at 12 per cent every year, for 14 years.
In the letter, Juma has given the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission 14 days to institute proceedings with a view to recovering the money.
The letter was also served on the DP’s office. “Failing to comply with this request to exercise your statutory mandate to recover these public funds, our client will be left with no choice but to take appropriate action,” part of the letter reads.
Juma says in the letter that the EACC has a duty to protect and recover public revenue and the DP and Kulei have a liability to compensate KPC with interest.
“The corporation [KPC] lost both the land, since it is gazetted forest land, and public funds, since no refund was made to it,” he says in the letter.
Ruto faced a charge of fraudulently receiving money from Njue, then acting on behalf of KPC, by pretending he could sell 1.75 hectares in Ngong Forest to the corporation.
The offence is said to have been committed on September 6, 2001.
A source at the DP’s office, who asked not to be named, dismissed the allegations and insisted that the DP did not receive any money.
Ruto’s spokesperson David Mugonyi said he cannot comment on the matter. ?