Deputy President William Ruto has hit out at opposition leader Raila Odinga, accusing him of covering up for those behind the alleged theft at Kemsa.
Ruto on Tuesday said the “heist at Kemsa is a deplorable manifestation of the worst public vice that has seen the hypocritical “former” Opposition characteristically change the tune”.
Ruto said the current “stammering, staggering and flip-flopping by Raila is a confirmation of thieves caught red-handed stealing from the sick, endangering the lives of the front line workers and robbing the dying”.
“It is clear that you, the owners and operators of the Corruption Laundromat are working overtime in your effort to “sanitise” the Covid Billionaires,” he said.
He added, “The perpetrators of this heist are lucky they do not carry the tag ‘Ruto allies’, otherwise they would have taken political responsibility, stepped aside, written statements, companies investigated, individuals arrested and hauled to court”.
Ruto’s sentiments come after Raila in a statement called for a special audit of the country’s Covid-19 funds.
Raila said no one should be spared if found guilty of misappropriation of the funds.
“ODM wants a speedy professional audit that can lead to prosecution instead of a political shouting match that creates more confusion and end up clouding the issues and even covering up for the thieves,” he said.
“ODM will not defend anyone including members for relatives and friends of its officials found to have benefited from funds and other resources meant for fighting the pandemic.”
This was after allegations were levelled against the procurement and handling of Covid-19 protective gear by the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa).
Raila said ODM never did and never will tolerate corruption in all its manifestation, no matter who is involved.
“The government needs to conduct a thorough and urgent audit of all the funds that have been put at the disposal of ministries to fight the pandemic with a view to establishing the facts on usage of such resources,” Raila said.
“ODM has always advocated this systematic audit of the sale of grand regency hotel and attendant consequences. ”
Raila said as matters stand, none of the people taking to the podium or social media to condemn theft of funds has any evidence.
“The so called condemnations of theft could well be part of a cover up. Our experience in this country is that the best way to bungle and cover up corruption investigations is to have many different voices each with its own version of truth,” he said.
But Ruto wondered where Raila would find the power to direct independent institutions on what to do and how.
“What is the REAL motive of the “special” audit and to be carried out by who-cover up? Why must independent institutions wait for a special audit before they carry out their mandate? My friends, your double speak is too loud for our ears. Your double standards are too glaring and obvious to our eyes. What happened to taking political responsibility? What happened to stepping aside? Why is it different now,” Ruto posed.
The DP said the DCI, EACC and DPP are constitutionally independent institutions expected to work independently, never at the direction of any person or office and this must be the case even in the KEMSA scenario.
“First, they told us we should ignore what was happening at KEMSA, and that there was nothing wrong with some newly registered suspect companies being awarded tenders worth billions. Then, they told us that the media was sensationalising business at KEMSA by ostensibly elevating rumours to facts. Now they have told us nothing should happen in KEMSA until something called “special” audit is done,” he said.
Ruto said as a matter of fact, the Raila Odinga led brigade must tell Kenyans when they changed their position on the role of the media.
He said Raila has always told Kenyans that the media is independent and has a role in informing the public and over-sighting the Government.
“They chastised us when we said criminal investigations should not be carried out in the media.