This is my problem with William Ruto – Raila Odinga
ODM Party leader Raila Odinga on Sunday opened up on his relationship with Deputy President William Ruto, accusing the country’s second-in-command of unethical practice.
Mr. Odinga claimed that DP Ruto lied about the March 9, 2018 handshake by claiming that he (Raila) had first approached him before reaching out to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“I can swear. I never ever talked to William Ruto,” said Odinga, adding that it was “very unethical” of Ruto to claim that the ODM party leader approached him before the handshake.
In April last year, Ruto, in an interview on Citizen TV, alleged that Odinga approached him four times after the 2017 elections, before the opposition chief went ahead to engage President Kenyatta in what would culminate in a much-publicised handshake at the steps of Harambee House.
“I was shocked and surprised when he (Ruto) mentioned that I had approached him. That is very unethical. Why would I call Ruto, I would rather call the President. I can swear. I never ever talked to William Ruto but the good Samaritans know themselves,” said the ODM leader in a Sunday interview on NTV.
Odinga says he reached out to the President after some “good Samaritans” convinced him to do so.
“Some good Samaritans talked to me and I told them that under these conditions I’m ready to talk. Ultimately, the conditions were met and we talked. We met just the two of us,” he added.
Odinga says his relationship with DP Ruto is “basically cordial” and that they don’t talk much but they “greet each other.”
“Do you talk with DP William Ruto?” Odinga was asked in the interview.
In response he said: “We greet each other. Our relationship is basically cordial. I have no serious issues with him.”
“Would you say you are friends with William Ruto at the moment?” he was further asked, to which he replied: “I don’t hate him as a person. There are certain things he does or has done that are basically contrary to what I would think is the correct way of doing things.”
The former prime minister says his main problem with the deputy president is “corrupting the political process.”
“You see, for example, he is the deputy president and he knows very well that in this country we had conducted an investigation. Parliament had a Select Committee led by Koigi Wa Wamwere that conducted investigations about Harambees and it was established that Harambees are a source of corruption and they should be banned… That is why under my administration with Kibaki, there were no Harambees.
“Then he (Ruto) decides to resurrect Harambees and he is running around donating money whose sources are dubious. In my view this is corrupting the political process,” said Odinga.
“What kind of business does William Ruto own that makes those millions he produces every week. 52 weeks in a year, he contributes not less than Ksh.5 million every weekend. If you do a lifestyle audit of Mr William Ruto, you will find that the source of that money is questionable. And that is the issue I have with him. Otherwise I have no serious personal issues with him.”
Odinga further claimed that sometimes DP Ruto lies during Harambees when he claims the President has given him his share to contribute on his behalf.
“The president himself sends donations to some of these events. Is he also doing something wrong? asked the interviewer.
Odinga responded: “I know for a fact that the president does not produce a penny. Ruto produces the money and says he has been sent by the president but I know that is not true. The president feels very embarrassed.”
He says that the numerous fundraisers DP Ruto attends are meant to “corrupt the political process to show that this man is a God fearing man… he loves the church and the people and that’s why he is coming with money to donate.”
The ODM leader says that while he does not rule off the possibility of DP Ruto becoming the President of Kenya, he (Raila) would be reluctant to work with him.
“Can you see a day when he might possibly become the president?” Odinga was asked. To which he replied: “Why not? If the people of Kenya elect him as president, who I’m I to say No.”
“Would you work with him?” he was further asked and in response Odinga said: “My values are very clear so before I get into any kind of relationship I will have to question.”
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