I was fully aware of EACC list, says DP William Ruto
Mr Ruto took issue with politicians alleging that he was kept in the dark by President Uhuru Kenyatta when the latter revealed the list of Government officers under probe for corruption by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), terming their utterances as “idle talk”.
He maintained the fight against corruption was a commitment between the President and himself and was fully aware of the entire process that has led to the stepping aside of five Cabinet secretaries.
“The claims by a few alleging that the Deputy President was not aware of the corruption report the President handed to Parliament are cheap, false and unfounded. Those making the claims do not speak for him. They do not know. They cannot know. They are engaging in idle talk,” said Ruto through his Secretary of Communication David Mugonyi.
Ruto said those peddling the falsehoods are looking for ways of creating cracks in the Jubilee government, saying they would not succeed as the resolve to fight graft was a Government decision.
A section of legislators have been quoted on the media alleging that the Deputy President was not in the picture with regard to the confidential graft report revealed to Parliament by Uhuru during his State of the Nation address.
However, after the address, State House clarified Uhuru and Ruto had met for close to five hours discussing the dossier before heading for Parliament for the State function.
“The Deputy President joined the Head of State in State House and for several hours, they were in a closed-door meeting. We suspect the subject of discussion was the list and how to make it public. The meeting took place just before the two separately headed to Parliament for the State of the Nation address,” revealed a source at State House.
Senior Director of Public Communication at State House, Munyori Buku, had also confirmed the meeting, indicating the Deputy President was in the know of the graft report.
“The DP was in State House and together with His Excellency they had a lengthy meeting. It is not anything new for the two to hold such meetings,” said Mr Munyori.
Ruto was Monday categorical that the war against graft, irrespective of who is arrested, would not divide the Jubilee administration.
He even took a swipe at the numerous wrangles that were witnessed during the last coalition government between retired President Mwai Kibaki and then Prime Minister Raila Odinga, saying the Jubilee critics should not equate the current administration to the fragile coalition arrangement formed after the 2007/2008 post-election violence.
“It is important to say this: The Government is as united now as it has been since inception. Unlike the coalition arrangement, the Government works together under one leader, President Uhuru Kenyatta. The naysayers should find something else to do,” he said in the statement.
The argument that Ruto had been left in the dark had been fuelled largely and backed by claims that majority of those named in the EACC dossier are those he forwarded for appointment.
Ruto, however, maintained that those named were Government officials who should not be allied to either him or the President.
“These are individuals who met the set criteria to work in the offices they were appointed. They are public servants and are expected to conduct and manage their offices and the resources therein to the highest standard,” he said.
The DP said Government officers must bear responsibility for their actions and inaction, saying those named in the corruption allegation will individually face the law.