Deputy President William Ruto has described opposition leader Raila Odinga as a sore loser who throws tantrums and brands him “the high priest of corruption”.
He went on to term Raila a most insincere person unwilling to see others succeed. Thus, the ODM leader’s “false narrative” against him.
“My friend Raila is simply a bad loser. When I supported him, I was a fantastic chap. I was wonderful. I was not corrupt. I was not everything. Then, all of a sudden he wants everybody to believe I am. I work very hard and if I was corrupt I would be in jail by now,” Ruto said in a 90-minute special on K24 TV on Wednesday night.
“These are just tantrums. And I am okay with it,” he said.
The prime time 9 o’clock news was delayed for the interview with Richard Kagoe. Ruto said the issue of corruption is “personal” and he answered questions at length.
Ruto said, “If he [Raila] has a problem with my background and me being a hustler, I want to tell him and the rest I have no apologies to make. I will not disown where I have come from and I will not disown who I am.”
Raila, Ruto’s ally until they fell out in 2010, has referred to the DP as “the high priest of corruption” and questioned the source of huge sums Ruto routinely donates at frequent fundraisers.
“Somebody like Ruto earns about Sh2 million but gives Sh5 million weekly at fundraisers. We are owed explanations,” the former Prime Minister said last year.
In response, Ruto said he has able friends and well-wishers who want things to get done, so they join him and contribute at harambees.
“There are millions of Kenyans out there who mean well and are philanthropic. They believe a church should be built here, a school supported there. Anyone who has issues with the wealth of William Ruto, there are channels you need to follow,” Ruto said.
Deputy President William Ruto shares a light moment with the Board Chairman of Bible Society of Kenya Prof Mumo Kisau and Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero at the Kenya School of Government in Kabete during the opening African Biblical Leadership on Africa on Tuesday. Photo/REBECCA NDUKU/DPPS
The DP said Raila and Cord leaders question everything he does, adding the opposition would not exist were it not for him.
“My friend Raila has a way of thinking. He believes if you are a son of a peasant or if your father does not have a brand name, the only way you can succeed is to steal or to rob or to cut deals. There are many young people who have made it through sheer hard work, including myself,” Ruto said.
A visibly agitated DP said the opposition cannot compete with him because “they have nothing meaningful to say.”
“All these people branding me, saying William Ruto is a land grabber, William Ruto is corrupt … where did he find his money? These people cannot compete and have no capacity to compete, so they resort to painting me as this and that,” Ruto said.
He added, “I can account for any shilling I have and every step I have made both as an individual and a politician.”
Ruto said the maize scandal that Raila to expel him from the Cabinet during the Kibaki administration was something that never was and all investigations cleared him.
On the one acre belonging to Kenya Pipeline, Ruto said he was innocent and the court ruled he had no case to answer.
“The fellow who was paid the money was in court and said it was him who was paid and not William Ruto who was paid. But because it was political, it had to be taken to court,” the DP said.
He denied his Weston Hotel had grabbed land belonging to Langata Primary School.
“The land at Langata Primary School has owners. You can put a turban on my head as much as you want but the Singh who owns the land exists… he is not a ghost… he lives in Kenya… As we talk, he is in court defending what he calls his property… it has nothing to do with William Ruto.”
He challenged anyone with evidence he has acquired anything illegally to go to authorities and prove he is corrupt.
Ruto also addressed Raila’s suggestion in Narok that the DP’s camp was not equal to that of President Uhuru Kenyatta in Jubilee.
“These are people suffering from a hangover of a ‘nusu mkate’ arrangement. They always believed Jubilee was going to break. They waited, they waited and instead of Jubilee breaking, they are now confused because Jubilee has not only consolidated two parties but 12 political parties,” Ruto said.
He wanted Raila to know he and Uhuru had decided before the 2013 elections their coalition would become a single party.
The DP said they had agreed the Jubilee government would not be as quarrelsome as the Grand Coalition government in which Raila was Prime Minister.
“I made a personal decision and told my friend Uhuru Kenyatta, you are the President and the leader and I am happy to be your deputy and I do not want to run a parallel system. That is why today we have a record second to none in running a government,” Ruto said.
The DP denied he was under siege and facing rebellion in the Rift Valley where some allies refuse to join Jubilee.
Ruto said there were few dissenting voices in the media, adding nearly all the Kanu elected leaders in the Rift Valley had joined Jubilee.