William Ruto’s Third Name on Google is “Mr. Corruption”: He is Unfit for Public Office!
It is not surprising that Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto’s third name on Google is “Corruption”. He has a stinking trail of corruption scandals dating from the 1990s, when he joined active politics. This article cites entries in the Kenya National Assembly Official Record (Hansard) for Parliamentary Debates and other sources to inform this claim, and to question his integrity as a State Executive.
Hansard 13 May, 1999: While debating on the need for reducing the number of Ministries and Assistant Ministers, former Budalangi MP Raphael Wanjala said: “In fact the number of Assistant Ministers was increased on tribal basis. Some of the newly appointed Assistant Ministers are already involved in financial scandals to the tune of Kshs350 million. For example, hon. William Ruto, who is among the Assistant Ministers who were appointed recently, has been mentioned in a scandal of Kshs350 million.”
Hansard 08 December, 1999: The then Public Investments Committee (PIC) Chairman Mwangi Githiomo mentioned William Ruto as part of a group of people who were illegally allocated Government land from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) at Kitale Top Station. Ruto was allocated land on Partial Development Plan (PDP) No. KTL 109446. PIC recommended that since no title deeds had been issued, the Commissioner of Lands should “cancel the allocations and transfer the land back to KARI.”
BBC News 14 April, 2004: “William Ruto, a close ally of former President Daniel Moi, was charged with fraudulently obtaining $3.5 million. He was charged along with a former senior civil servant, over the sale of land to the Kenya Pipeline Company. Mr Ruto and former Land Commissioner Sammy Mwaita denied the charges and were released on bail of $64,000 each. The BBC’s Muchiri Kioi in Nairobi says the alleged fraud occurred during a sale of 70 acres of forest land on behalf of the then ruling Kenya African National Union (Kanu) to the state-owned company.”
Daily Nation Newspaper 06 February, 2009: “In early 2009 after parliamentary debate on a maize scandal, William Ruto was accused of illegally selling maize by Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale (Public Accounts Committee chairman). All the documents bearing the National Cereals and Produce Board seal that linked Mr Ruto to the illegal sale of maize were accepted by Parliament’s deputy speaker.”
The United Kingdom Parliament Lords Hansard Home Page (05 March, 2009: Column 873): “More recently, during the food crisis, the Agriculture Minister and Kalenjin leader, William Ruto, was suspected of allocating tenders for famine relief to his cronies. Whatever the truth of those accusations, they do not give the Kenyan people confidence in their leadership any more than us. The media are vocal and there have been repeated calls from MPs for Ministers such as Ruto and Kimunya to resign—calls that we might not have seen two years ago. Yet they know that nothing will happen fast: the idea that you help your own people is firmly rooted in African traditions even if Europeans have forgotten it.”
William Ruto, the lord of impunity
Excerpts from a statement published on News24Kenya (14 May, 2015) by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) as a response to Ruto’s attempts to blame former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for his own corruption allegations indicate: “The DP said he has no apology to make over the scam at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret where he is accused of hijacking the procurement process and inflating the bill before trying to divert the funds to set up a personal institution. We are not surprised. Ruto has no apologies on very many issues. He has no apology to make on having been involved in:
1. Grabbing land of an elderly neighbor who was also an IDP, Mr Adrian Muteshi’s land in Eldoret. High court ruled on this matter where Ruto was found guilty.
2. Ruto’s name featured in the grabbing of Langata Primary School playground and the adjacent plot belonging to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) where Weston Hotel stands. He had no apologies. Ruto had no apology to make over the tear gassing of school children.
4. Ruto’s was accused of grabbing the Kenya Pipeline land in Nairobi.
5. Ruto’s name featured in the grabbing of Prisons land in upper Hill area.
6. He featured in the grabbing of Processional Way in Nairobi. In all these, he has had no apologies to make.
The story of Kenya Pipeline land, like that of Adrian Muteshi’s, is particularly painful. It is a touching story of heartlessness. Mr Linus Cheruiyot, then the MD, who was forced to sign away the land, had to run away to the US where he lives on the edge today despite his sound education. He could not countenance the idea of going to jail over land that he was forced to sign away.”
Apart from Adrian Muteshi’s case when Ruto was ordered by a court to pay him Kshs5 million to compensate for loss of income while he occupied his land, Ruto has always walked scot-free from the documented corruption scandals. In August 2015, the Jubilee-dominated Parliament dismissed a report by CORD-led Ababu Namwamba Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) which found that in 2013: “Mr Ruto travelled to Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Nigeria and Gabon between May 16 and 19. The House team established that Sh18.9 million was spent on the trip, but was unable to establish the origin of invoices that showed the Office of the Deputy President paid Sh100 million.”
On 15 May, 2015 the Nation newspaper ran an article titled: “How brokers and MPs conspire to rip off Kenyans” which mentioned that: “In (Kenya) Parliament, business is tied with politics; it is always about making deals. As a result, oversight bodies are compromised from the word go”, according to lawyer Bobby Mkangi. No action can be taken against the likes of William Ruto because of: “Political partisanship, bribery and unethical practice at the hands of oversight MPs, sloppiness and tardiness in the operations of oversight committees, non-implementation of PIC/PAC recommendations, inability of MPs to interrogate and analyse money matters, and frustration at the hands of the Executive. MPs have grabbed every available chance to shield themselves and their corrupt allies from scrutiny, sought bribes, and whitewashed State sleaze.”