Raila, DP Ruto allies lock horns on lifestyle audit
Political allies of Deputy President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday clashed over a lifestyle audit proposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Ruto’s allies, led by Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa, had challenged Mr Odinga to subject himself to the audit instead of attacking the DP.
But Mr Odinga’s allies and a section of Rift Valley “rebel” MPs hit back, telling politicians in Mr Ruto’s camp to stop pushing the narrative that the audit targeted the DP.
Speaking in Malava constituency, Mr Echesa demanded that the opposition chief reveals the source of the funds he used to construct a palatial home in Riat Hills on the outskirts of Kisumu town.
“I laud President Kenyatta’s directive on wealth declaration as he escalates the war against corruption. But let the opposition leaders who have served in the previous governments declare their wealth first,” he said.
But speaking on Tuesday, MPs allied to Mr Odinga, including Mr Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Mr Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga) and Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabbir, turned up the heat on Mr Ruto, asking him to subject himself to a lifestyle audit and keep the opposition chief out of the matter.
“The main target of their barbs is Uhuru but they lack the spine to face him directly. Some of them are stunned by Uhuru’s determination to slay the dragon of corruption and want to use Raila as the scapegoat,” said Mr Wandayi, adding that the claims by the DP’s allies were proof of Jubilee’s raging factional wars.
Mr Atandi said: “We insist that Ruto must initiate lifestyle audits on his close aides.”
And addressing a press conference at Parliament Buildingson Tuesday, the three “rebel” MPs from Mr Ruto’s North Rift backyard supported the lifestyle audit and dismissed those linking it to a plot targeting the DP.
MPs Joshua Kutuny (Cherangany), Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) and Silas Tiren (Moiben) dismissed Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen’s assertion that the audit is not supported legally.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei over the weekend questioned the motive of the audit, saying it targets particular people and is also laced with 2022 succession politics.