President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday accused Opposition leader Raila Odinga of peddling falsehoods against his government by associating mega projects with corruption.
An angry President Kenyatta turned his new Jubilee Party’s National Governing Council meeting held at the Bomas of Kenya into an arena to battle the Opposition leader, dismissing his grand corruption claims in the Jubilee government as a mere campaign strategy.
The President and Deputy President William Ruto even denied that the latest scandal unearthed in the Ministry of Health, insisting that the ministry had spent all the monies allocated expeditiously.
“We have been hearing a lot of noise every time we initiate a mega project. They started with the standard gauge railway but failed, then moved to laptops, then to the Northern Water Collector Tunnel and all these have been found to be full of gossip and falsehoods,” the President said.
An audit at the Health ministry raised preliminary queries against the spending of close to Sh5 billion and the Opposition has been calling for the sacking of those involved.
Mr Kenyatta accused the ODM leader of introducing scandals into the political arena to cause divisions and panic for political expediency.
“He always thrives on dividing Kenyans and creating poverty. His work is to engage in smear campaigns to obstruct us from developing our country. We will not allow it,” President Kenyatta said.
Though he did not mention Mr Odinga by name in his 10-minute onslaught, he left no doubt in the minds of the delegates attending the events who his tirades were targeted at.
His deputy also criticised the Opposition leader’s constant position on corruption, urging Kenyans to take his claims with a pinch of salt.
“We have come to learn that all these claims by these guys are lies. They said the SGR (standard gauge railway) cost was inflated. Today it is here. They said laptop project will not happen. Today schools are receiving iPads; they are liars,” Mr Ruto said.
Mr Odinga has been consistent in his allegations against government on corruption.
In the National Youth Service scandal, former Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru even sued Mr Odinga, while in another case touching on the Eurobond scandal, other top government officials have sued the Cord co-principal.
ODM Secretary-General Agnes Zani issued a statement defending Mr Odinga and accused the Jubilee leadership of engaging in unnecessary PR to defend open corruption.
“Hon Odinga will continue to hold Jubilee to account seven days a week for the next nine months after, which this whole nightmare will be over because Jubilee will have been defeated and consigned to junkyard of history,” Dr Zani said.
She accused the President of unnecessarily engaging in hate campaigns against Mr Odinga, warning that such could provoke anger.