Lawmakers allied to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party on Monday invited former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru to reveal more information on the alleged involvement of Deputy President William Ruto in the National Youth (NYS) scandal.
Six MPs from the opposition party, who were gleefully stoking the fires of controversy haunting the Jubilee administration, challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta to take stern action against top officials involved in corruption to allay fears that the top leadership was either complicit or unwilling to act.
The lawmakers, who were led by ODM chairman John Mbadi, claimed Mr Ruto’s weekend attacks on Ms Waiguru were not driven by the desire to fight corruption but an attempt to cover up what the former minister may disclose regarding alleged corruption in the Executive.
“Mr Ruto is scared stiff and his attack on Ms Waiguru is as a result of fear over what Ms Waiguru may disclose about corruption which appears to run deep in the Executive,” said Mr Mbadi.
It was ironic that the MPs, who have been steadfast in attacking Ms Waiguru over the NYS scandal, appeared to be courting her to reveal more information against Mr Ruto, a move that will likely trigger tension between the Deputy President’s camp and that of President Kenyatta.
The MPs were taking advantage of the escalation of exchanges between Mr Ruto and Ms Waiguru after the former Devolution minister last week linked the DP’s personal assistant Farouk Kibet and his ally Senator Kipchumba Murkomen to the NYS scandal.
Mr Ruto on Saturday said Ms Waiguru should take responsibility for the loss of Sh1.8 billion from the NYS when she was in charge.
On Sunday, he linked Ms Waiguru to NYS key suspect Josephine Kabura, saying that Ms Waiguru was “cat-walking and talking a lot of English” even after the loss of public funds.
“When a hairdresser registers 20 companies in a day and goes on to be paid close to a billion, which she said she carried in sacks and then someone is cat-walking and talking a lot of English … Give me a break!” he said.
Ms Waiguru immediately hit back, charging that the DP appeared uncomfortable with some of the evidence that was coming out.
“Like many Kenyans, I am curious about what regarding my submissions has made the Deputy President and his close allies so uncomfortable that they have to comment on this matter in public gatherings … This is indeed very telling. And as I said, Kenyans are very intelligent people. They are following events very closely and will not be fooled,” she replied.
Speaking separately, Kirinyaga Central MP Joseph Gitari alleged that some Jubilee MPs were pushing Ms Waiguru to attack Mr Ruto so as to drive a wedge between him and President Kenyatta.
Mr Gitari threatened to name the MPs should Ms Waiguru persist in attacking the Deputy President.
In a statement read by Butere MP Andrew Toboso at a press conference at Parliament, the six ODM legislators said the President had resorted to pointing fingers in a blame game over corruption in government and was “burying his head in the sand”.
Although the government has dismissed as “propaganda” reports of corruption in the Health ministry and the alleged loss of Eurobond money, among others, top officials, led by Mr Ruto, have admitted that theft of public funds took place at the NYS, and he has called for those responsible to face prosecution.
The lawmakers accused Jubilee of “ranting endlessly” in attacks on Cord leader Raila Odinga, who has been at the forefront of constantly exposing the government’s corruption record.
Mr Odinga’s latest claim is that Jubilee leaders are involved in a Sh33 billion scandal to divert water from 12 rivers in the South Rift to individual properties of top leaders in the ruling coalition.
The MPs also referred to the scandal at the ministry of Health and urged President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto to sack those mentioned in the scandals.
Homa Bay MP Peter Kaluma said the “mobile clinics” imported from China at Sh10 million each were overpriced, calling them “goods containers” that should cost no more than Sh300,000.
Nominated MP Oburu Oginga said the corruption scandals that have rocked Jubilee are the “worst since independence” and called on the country’s leaders to take the war seriously as Kenyans were watching and may decide to “take action”.
The MPs repeated a call for mass action, giving the government one week to deal with corruption or they will embark on “sustained” protests.
In Eldoret, Labour Party of Kenya leader Ababu Namwamba urged Ms Waiguru to take full responsibility for the mess at the NYS.
Mr Namwamba, as the last Cabinet minister in charge of the youth in the Grand Coalition government, said he handed over a clean ministry to Ms Waiguru.
“When I was in charge of Sports and Youth Affairs, I handed a clean ministry to Ms Waiguru. There was no smell of corruption,” said the Budalang’i MP on Sunday.
Reported by John Njagi, Stanley Kimuge and Barack Oduor