Opposition leader Raila Odinga yesterday accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of protecting former Devolution CS Anne Waiguru and associates of Deputy President William Ruto he says are linked to corruption.
Ruto’s aide, Farouk Kibet, and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen have been linked to the scam in which the National Youth Service lost as much as Sh1.2 billion some estimates are higher.
Waiguru, who resigned at the height of the scandal, has denied benefiting from the scam and named Murkomen and Kibet among others as people involved.
“The protection Waiguru is enjoying clearly demonstrates that the NYS scam is President Kenyatta’s scam and its chief architect Anne Waiguru is his protectorate,” Raila said in a statement to newsrooms.
Yesterday Waiguru declined comment when contacted by the Star.
This is not the first time Raila has accused Uhuru of shielding Waiguru while others were forced to leave his Cabinet and senior posts during investigations. Raila has said Uhuru removed her name from the original ‘list of shame’, a charge both deny. Waiguru has sued Raila for defamation.
However, Kenyatta has dismissed Raila’s anti-corruption crusade and accused the ODM leader of misleading Kenyans.
Speaking in Nyeri yesterday, He said the opposition chief was speaking about corruption to derail his government.
He was not asked about the latest Waiguru protection allegation.
“The problem in this country is bad politics. We are focusing on negative and divisive politics. Recently, when we allocated money to put up a referral hospital in Nanyuki to ease pressure on Nyeri Hospital, the same person said money has been stolen,” Uhuru said.
But the ODM leader said it was not lost on Kenyans that right from the start, the President issued statements from State House, declaring Waiguru clean even before investigations had begun.
He said the President supported Waiguru until she began “selectively releasing a dossier implicating the URP brigade led by Ruto in the NYS scandal and protecting the TNA brigade that is also implicated in the scandal”.
“Today everyone at the Ministry of Devolution and the National Youth Service whose name has ever been mentioned in the scandal has been charged — all except Waiguru.
“The only logical explanation for this selective prosecution is that Waiguru is a ‘Kenyatta protectorate’ whom the President is keen to retain even at the expense of coalition partners URP,” Raila said.
He urged the President to stop blaming Cord and instead use the authority given to them to effectively fight corruption.
At a State House summit on good governance on October 19, Uhuru said he has already done all he possibly can to fight corruption. He blamed the judiciary, law enforcement, the DPP and the Auditor General, among others.
However, yesterday Raila said, “The Jubilee administration must collectively realise it is in charge of the country and solely bears responsibility for fighting all vices crippling the nation, including corruption, unless it has surrendered this role to the opposition.”
Yesterday Murkomen yesterday fired back, saying Raila and his allies may have benefited from the NYS scandals.
Murkomen said firms linked to a senior ODM MP, a close Raila ally, were paid more than Sh100 million in contracts at the ministry then headed by Waiguru
The senator — who himself was linked by Waiguru to the NYS scandals — said opposition leaders, including members of the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, were plotting to shield Waiguru from prosecution.
“They don’t want her prosecuted because they benefited from the NYS scandals,” Murkomen said.
He also said ODM national chairman John Mbadi and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed were determined to protect Waiguru to reciprocate for helping them get NYS contracts.
He called for investigation of the two members PAC for lacking integrity in discharging duties.
“The committee is not doing its work as required instead they are being used to protect Waiguru,” Murkomen said in Iten town.
Waiguru told the PAC Murkomen and Ruto aide Farouk Kibet were linked to key NYS suspects. Murkomen has told her to carry her own cross.
“It’s unfortunate Cord lawmakers who are members of PAC are working in cahoots with the former CS to ensure she is not held to account for her actions while serving in the Devolution ministry rocked by multi-billion shilling scandals under her watch,” he said.
Mbadi has demanded Murkomen and appear before the PAC, saying they have information on the scandal.
Murkomen said opposition leaders should not pretend to fight graft while they had been benefitting from it. He said Raila’s recent move to defend Cord governors over links to graft indicates he was benefiting from county corruption.
The President said the Jubilee government is putting up systems to spur economic growth, which disappoints the opposition.
He said tarmacking the Narumoru-Ngaring’iru-Ngobit Road will ease movement of people and goods and improve market access for farm produce.
“This is historical. For the first time, we are launching construction of a tarmac road in Laikipia county,” Uhuru said.
He announced the government has set aside Sh80 million to modernise and equip Naromoru hospital to bring medical services closer to residents.
The President commissioned construction of a modern “model” market at Chaka trading center, which he said will be replicated countryside. He called it a one-stop-shop for all services, including banking.
Deputy President William Ruto also joined the fray yesterday, saying Jubilee won’t be distracted from its agenda to serve the people of Kenya.
Transport CS James Macharia said the government has set aside Sh19.5 billion to improve road infrastructure in Laikipia.
Local leaders led by Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachau and Governor Joseph Irungu thanked the President and the DP for leading and serving the nation.