ODM leader Raila Odinga has questioned Deputy President William Ruto’s commitment to the fight against corruption, saying he must allow institutions to do their work professionally.
Mr Odinga on Wednesday opposed any attempts by Dr Ruto to impede investigations, either directly or otherwise, adding that any stumbling blocks to the fight against graft must be dealt with decisively.
“If you are talking about the theft of dams and figures, don’t come and tell us it was not Sh20 billion and only Sh7 billion. Let the investigating authorities tell us. Who are you to tell us? How did you know?” posed Mr Odinga, while revisiting the controversy surrounding the construction of Arror and Kimwarer dams.
“Everyone should carry their own cross without involving others,” Mr Odinga said on the second day of the Sixth Devolution Conference in Kutus, Kirinyaga County.
The ODM leader said undermining the war on corruption from within the government is frustrating efforts to end the vice, despite the huge public support.
He noted that corruption had permeated almost all levels of the national and county governments, adding that waging a successful war on the vice is crucial to the economy.
“Corruption exists in all countries in the world. The difference is what is done when it is discovered. Here in Kenya, instead of politicians leaving the institutions charged with the responsibility to investigate, they take it upon themselves to do so in funerals.
“If corruption is in a particular department, you arrest those responsible. You cannot go and invent other people to do a balancing act of tribes. This is overdue and it's important that we address this issue and allow the Constitution to function,” Mr Odinga said.
And to explain how deep-rooted graft is in the country, Mr Odinga said Kenya should follow the example of countries that have successfully prosecuted senior State officials who engaged in corruption.
While addressing the same gathering on Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said anyone who might have evidence linking him to corruption should report to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
Dr Ruto had accused Mr Odinga of fanning confusion within Jubilee and taking advantage of the handshake to scuttle their development agenda.
When he accompanied the President to Kirinyaga on Tuesday, the DP steered clear of the corruption debate.
Dr Ruto will officially close the conference today and is expected to take Mr Odinga’s assertions on his commitment to fight graft head on.
Meanwhile, Mr Odinga said there is an urgent need to review the structure of devolution to better the lives of Kenyans. Last year, he expressed a similar opinion during the Kakamega conference.