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William Ruto allies respond to 'thief' remark

MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto have challenged President Kenyatta to stop shadow-boxing and have the thieves he doesn’t want elected to office prosecuted.

President Kenyatta last Friday in Ruiru town warned Kenyans against electing thieves who will plunder the country and water down gains his administration and that of his predecessor Mwai Kibaki have made.

Settle scores

The DP is yet to directly comment on the issue but he has been on record accusing the police and the chief prosecutor of playing to the whims of politicians to settle scores and place roadblocks on his 2022 presidential bid.

But yesterday, the DP’s allies, riding on the presumed reference by the President to his deputy or others, challenged the Head of State to unmask those he had in mind.

“President Kenyatta should tell us if he knows of any corrupt individual who wants to inherit his seat next year. Let him reveal the identity of that person because we can’t live with generalities and guesswork,” Garissa Township MP Aden Duale said.

“The Constitution is very clear on who can vie for the presidency. You can’t then set conditions for Kenyans on who should become their next President outside that Constitution. We elected the President and his deputy when they were facing very serious concocted crimes at the International Criminal Court. We’re reminding them that they should not tell us who to vote for,” Mr Duale said.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua said the President should stop being “street casual” , adding, he doesn’t deny the fact that corruption must be dealt with head-on.

The MP cited last year’s Covid-19 funds theft, saying, despite a promise by the President that suspects would be charged, there have been no prosecutions.

“If he knows there is a thief who is about to be elected, he should tell us who that is. The President is being insincere, too casual, and he should be clear.

“He said the government is losing Sh2 billion [daily] but didn’t tell from where that money is stolen, by who or what action his government is taking. He is the President with all the machinery at his disposal and he can’t be lamenting when Kenyans are doing the same,” Mr Gachagua said.

Buuri MP Mugambi Rindikiri asked the President to name the thieves and have them convicted.

“But first he must tell Kenyans who the thieves of Kemsa Covid monies are and what steps he has taken [against them]. There are many governors on the list of corruption. Some of these are chief campaigners of his preferred candidate,” the MP said.

Anti-graft campaign

Since 2018, the President has ratcheted up his anti-graft campaign. He has vowed that the fight on corruption will spare no one irrespective of status, wealth, power or political clout and connections.

But some of DP Ruto’s allies have argued that the timing of the war on graft is a ploy to contain him and undermine his bid to succeed President Kenyatta.

More than 30 key allies of the DP are facing possible jail time in a renewed clampdown on corruption that risks denting his public image.

Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika recently accused the Directorate of Criminal Investigations of “coming up with imaginary cases against those allied to Dr Ruto” to further political interests.

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