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Five issues that will impact Ruto’s every facet of life for a long time

Sunday February 17 2019

Weston Hotel

Deputy President William Ruto speaks during the burial ceremony of late police officer Leonard Kipkorir Yator in Uasin Gishu on February 15, 2019. If ever a property epitomised theft of public utilities, Weston is it and Weston is now the DP's other name. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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There are five things which Deputy President William Ruto should wrap his head around immediately because they are live, explosive and are going to impact his every facet of life for a long time to come.

One is that as I wrote on June 27, 2015, his “Weston Hotel has emerged as a magnificent and eloquent monument to corruption”.

If ever a property epitomised theft of public utilities, Weston is it and Weston is now the DP's other name.

The implications for his political career and presidential ambition are massive. Dr Ruto will never live down the fact that the land on which the hotel sits was public land that was corruptly acquired and parcelled out to individuals.

The others may remain anonymous but Dr Ruto carries their banner of plunder.


Two is that Weston will forever bring to mind the unwillingness of Dr Ruto to tell the truth from the get go or handle it altogether.

Firstly, he denied ownership of the hotel and indeed had a sidekick emerge to claim ownership and therefore stench of graft wafting from it.

Secondly, Dr Ruto next said in a TV interview that he only had an interest in the hotel and then that he only held shares in it.

But a diligent newspaper promptly dug up court documents that proved he actually owned the hotel.

Cornered, he told a public meeting that just like the late Kiambu County business and political titan Njenga Karume sold charcoal and built hotels, he, too, sold chicken and built hotels.

It was a sweet story to tell, but a convenient untruth. This was my riposte: “The DP belongs to that group which acquired prime public properties for a song; got titles which served as collateral to secure loans to develop them or sold them dear and grew rich.

"Karume worked early and late, long and hard, scrimped and saved, then borrowed, built, produced, made and sold to grow rich. Read Karume’s book From Charcoal to Gold.”


Three is that the matter of the truth and the theft of public property bring to mind the issues of trust and character.

If Dr Ruto has serious problems with handling and telling the truth, the populace cannot know when to take his word for truth or whether his word is bankable.

Crucially, can Dr Ruto hold the high office of president in trust for the people of Kenya? The answer is No.

Number four is for Dr Ruto to know that on admitting Weston sits on stolen public land, he will forever trigger questions about the source of his wealth; on the multibillion mega home and hotel he is constructing; about the forced acquisition of Muteshi's land which a court stopped; the choppers he owns; and the millions he gives at fundraisers week in and week out.

Lastly, for the first time corruption may actually decide the result of the 2022 presidential election.

The anti-corruption platforms of 1992 and 1997 did not stop President Moi and Kanu, who were regarded as the grand masters of the vice.


In fact corruption, then personified by Youth for Kanu 92, won the 1992 General Election for Kanu and Moi. The Goldenberg mega scandal did not stop the two in 1997.

The anti-graft platform of 2002 was immensely boosted by the rallying of a hitherto fractious opposition solidly behind Mr Mwai Kibaki and a populace fatigued by 40-odd years of Kanu rule.

Dr Ruto is fast emerging as everybody’s whipping boy in regard to grand corruption which, President Kenyatta said in his first term, is found in the Presidency, and which Mr Raila Odinga fought furiously when he stood with, and fought for, the people.

In fact, the DP might be cracking under pressure. Why has he had such disastrous two weeks?


He was evidently uncomfortable in his skin and was fumbling and bumbling in the UK.

The critics who have branded him as partaking in the cup of corruption have got under his skin.

That he would want to go onto BBC's and Stephen Sucker's hard-driving talk show in that frame of mind, or schedule a Chatham House public lecture followed by a question-and-answer session, point to desperation in his search for acceptance or to explain oneself.

It is a long way to go to London to muddle and mire oneself into Kenya's parochial localisms and fail completely to tell the world what you stand for and your vision for Kenya.