VIDEO: Murathe hints at arrests of top officials and cabinet reshuffle
Former Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe has said the looming arrests and prosecution of top Government officials for corruption will trigger a major Cabinet reshuffle. In an exclusive interview with KTN News Point Blank show, Mr Murathe said President Uhuru Kenyatta has also given the investigative agencies the go-ahead to probe and charge any State officers involved in graft “no matter how high their positions in the Jubilee administration”. And in yet another no-holds-barred attack against Deputy President William Ruto, Murathe claimed that Ruto did not meet the integrity threshold to continue holding a public office.
To back his claim, Murathe listed Ruto’s admission that the land on which Weston Hotel sits was illegally acquired as well as a court case where the Deputy President was ordered to pay Adrian Muteshi Sh5m for irregularly taking his land in Uasin Gishu. In the interview, Murathe talked about a wide range of issues; from a possible political alliance between Opposition chief Raila Odinga and Uhuru in the run-up to the next General Election; to signs that Ruto and his allies could be planning to ditch the ruling coalition. Murathe, a close Uhuru ally, said he talked to the President after his State of the Nation address and that “heads will roll anytime from now,” after Uhuru reportedly declared he would not protect anybody involved in graft. Uhuru had last week told the nation that Government officials will cease to hold office immediately they are charged in a court of law. “When the President addressed the State of the Nation, he washed his hands off the legal process and left the matter to the relevant investigative agencies and courts. That is why he said he doesn’t want mob justice.
“The wheel is turning. It could be turning slowly, but this you can take to the bank; very soon you will see arrests, prosecutions and sackings. The agencies are ready and are just waiting for the whistle to go. That whistle to go was given on Thursday by the President. Is he going to let the agencies go after whoever it is no matter how high? Yes! They have been given the marching order,” said Murathe. He said nobody would be spared in the purge, giving examples of South Korea where a sitting president was jailed, and the recent prosecution of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu over corruption claims. “Here in Kenya we have a DCJ in court; that is the deputy president of the third arm of the Government. Even if you are a deputy president nothing stops you being charged,” he added. He said the tanga tanga camp defending Ruto were busy fighting the renewed war on graft in clear defiance to the Head of State. “They defend graft and the person who is perceived. This is a person who has gone on record on a programme on the BBC and admitted that a hotel which he owns sits on stolen land. He himself said, ‘we have since discovered that the parcel was irregularly acquired’.
“He is handling stolen property, but his troops are going round telling us that is nothing when he has defied Chapter Six of the Constitution that requires him to demonstrate the highest integrity. If you can go public and admit that ‘I took Muteshi’s land and I admit I will pay him Sh5 million fine” what are you telling us?” he posed. Murathe said the decision by Ruto allies to buy yellow T-shirts for their supporters in Kiambu was a sign they were plotting to ditch Jubilee ahead of the 2022 elections. “You have seen they have started wearing yellow T-shirts, which are colours of URP. What message are they sending? Are they hinting at leaving Jubilee?” He backed what Siaya Senator James Orengo alluded to that Uhuru and Raila could be planning an alliance for the 2022 contest. “I can tell you for free about formations in 2022. There will be a formation led by Raila Odinga. I expect people like Kalonzo (Musyoka), Musalia (Mudavadi), Gideon (Moi) and probably even Uhuru to be part of that formation. William will also have his own formation with the (Aden) Duales and (Kithure) Kindikis of this world.”
Murathe said there could be new formation outside Jubilee and ODM in the contest but “something of like-minded against the tanga tanga group”. He said Mt Kenya had no reason not to back Raila should he give the presidency another try in 2022. The former Gatanga MP sensationally claimed that MPs allied to Ruto used to blackmail Uhuru in Parliament before Raila came into the picture with the “handshake”. “In terms of Parliament, there was some alignment which was making it possible for the DP’s side to blackmail the President. Like if you don’t do this, we won’t pass this. It was like they were holding a gun to his head until Raila came. “So when Raila came in with his numbers, Kalonzo came in, Gideon was already in and Mudavadi also came in. It is no longer possible for them to hold a gun over a matter to be prosecuted in the House,” he said. Scared of Ruto Murathe, who resigned in January as vice-chair, said he tendered his resignation to stop Ruto from ascending to power since people “are scared” of his presidency. He said he wanted to end the narrative by Ruto allies that Mt Kenya owed him support, stating that there was never a Memorandum of Understanding to that effect.
“The narrative that was going on was that Mt Kenya must support Ruto. If there was an agreement, then it was between Uhuru and Ruto and not the community. The people must be allowed to make their choice and that person cannot be Ruto. The way he has conducted himself since 2013, he is not the right person to succeed Uhuru. “We are scared about what Ruto’s presidency would be. If he behaves this way as Number 2, people shudder to think what he would do if he becomes Number 1,” Murathe said. He added: “He is the kind of a person who can pick up a phone and call junior procurement officers on how to award tenders.” However, no formal complaint of impropriety has been raised against Ruto in public regarding the award of tenders. Murathe also claimed he was not sure whether his resignation was accepted by Uhuru. “When you tender your resignation, you tender it to the appointing authority and wait for the appointing authority to either reject or accept. If you go to the Register of Political Parties, you might still find David Murathe is still the vice-chairperson technically.” He said the number of MPs from central Kenya backing Ruto’s presidential bid was reducing by the day and there were only five lawmakers committed to the tanga tanga group. –