Video:Herbert Ojwang’ answers William Ruto, defends his role in MTRH saga
A former aide for Raila Odinga on Thursday evening revealed the details of what transpired between him and Deputy President William Ruto in the multibillion-shilling tender for the upgrading of Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Appearing in an NTV live interview during the 9pm news bulletin, Mr Herbert Ojwang’ also revealed that he had met the Deputy President on the second floor of the Weston Hotel to discuss the project.
The hotel, which is located on Langata Road, has been the subject of discussion for most of this year, with the DP being variously referred to as the owner.
He, however, admitted to owning shares in it during another interview on Tuesday on Citizen TV.
“The Chinese businessmen and I met with the DP on the second floor of Weston Hotel, where we held discussions for two hours,” Mr Ojwang’ told NTV‘s Smriti Vidyarthi.
He had, in a press conference earlier in the day, shown journalists a photo of him and Mr Ruto holding a briefcase.
The DP is seen smiling, checking the contents of the briefcase.
Mr Ojwang’, however, declined to reveal what was in the briefcase or the nature of the gifts presented to the Deputy President by the Chinese businessmen.
“That was the gift from the Chinese businessmen to the Deputy President, I cannot reveal what he was given, let Mr Ruto himself tell you what was in the briefcase,’’ said Mr Ojwang’.
The businessman also wondered why it had taken the Deputy President two years to declare the tender fraudulent. He pointed out that if indeed the DP had stopped the project as he purports, it is not clear whether the termination letter went to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital or to the Chinese?
He said he had more documents to support his case and would release them in due course.
In a spirited defence of his role as a broker and wheeler-dealer, Mr Ojwang’ described himself as a “clean businessman”, while at the same time saying that no rules barred him from playing a consultant role in such a deal.
The former Odinga aide said he had been approached by the director of Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Dr John Kibosia, who he said knew of his work since his days as a board member of Kenyatta National Hospital.
“Mr Kibosia, who knew that I have local and international contacts, approached me and told me they wanted to build a 1,000-bed hospital. I worked out a proposal and put him in touch with the Chinese businessmen (and) I negotiated a five per cent cut of the deal,” he said.
He pointed out there was nothing wrong in his demanding such a commission, saying that this happens in other projects.
Mr Ojwang’ maintained his innocence and said that he “was at an advanced stage” of taking the DP to court for labelling him a conman on national TV.
“He called me a conman, putting my integrity on the spot, we shall meet in court, I am a clean businessman,” he said.