Corrupt? Not me, says DP Ruto
CLEAN DEPUTY PRESIDENT SAYS HE CAN ACCOUNT FOR HIS POLITICAL AND FINANCIAL ACHIEVEMENTS
William claims some people did not want him to support Uhuru because he is the son of a former President
Deputy President William Ruto has dismissed claims that he is corrupt and accused those who say so of envy.
Ruto defended his political and financial achievements, saying he can account for all his success.
“I’m very proud of my record,” said Ruto in an interview with the Star in New York.
“I perfectly understand the people who believe that the only way to get anywhere is to take shortcuts. I have got here by sheer hard work,” said Ruto.
Ruto said he has always competed with many other able Kenyans for the positions he has held over the years.
Ruto first joined active politics in 1997, when he trounced Reuben Chesire, now deceased, a relative of the then President Daniel Moi.
He was subsequently reelected twice, serving as an MP for 15 years until 2013, when he became Uhuru Kenyatta’s running mate in the deal that gave birth to the Jubilee coalition.
“Every position that I have gotten, I have competed for with others. I have worked hard for it and I have not gotten a lift from anybody,” stated Ruto.
He said he understood that some people had a problem with his achievements in life because he came from nowhere, with little-known parents, to become the country’s second most powerful man under the new Constitution.
“I understand why some people have a problem with a son of a peasant getting this far – because it normally does not happen. But they should wake up to a new reality that this is a Kenya in which every child, irrespective of their background or where they come from – that it does not matter the status of their parents, whether poor or not, we must all have an equal chance,” added Ruto.
The DP recalled some unnamed people had a problem with his supporting Uhuru merely because he is the son of a former President.
“They said, ‘why do you support the son of a former President? You mean there are no other people in this Kenya who can be leaders except the Kenyattas?
“My position was, and is, that you cannot penalise Kenyatta merely because his father was a former President.
“You should look at Kenyatta as his own man: Ask if he is capable or not. It is the same way we should look at Ruto and not judge him that ‘your father was a poor man, so why do you have money?’ That is primitive and backward. We should be evenhanded,” said Ruto.
Ruto is a wealthy politician with a substantial stake in insurance and real estate, among other investments. He is associated with the Amaco Insurance Company, the Weston Hotel at Wilson Airport, and rental houses in Nairobi and elsewhere.
He has homes in Karen, Elgon View in Eldoret and a farm in Sugoi.
The DP is building a new home in Keiyo.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has previously questioned Ruto’s sources of cash and asked him to account for it.
The two fell out in 2010, when Raila, then Prime Minister, unsuccessfully tried to sack Ruto from the Cabinet over his alleged involvement in a maize scandal.
Raila and other opposition leaders have also raised questions about the huge amounts of cash the Deputy President has donated at harambees across the country on a virtually weekly basis.
The perception is widespread, especially on social media, that the former Eldoret North MP has amassed wealth through dubious means.
Raised in a humble Christian environment, Ruto, 47, has fought many battles on his way to the top.
Until he confirmed that he has an interest in the Weston Hotel along Lang’ata Road and stated that he acquired the prime piece of land legally, Ruto had been accused of grabbing the land, which previously belonged to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.
In 2010, the High Court ruled he had a case to answer in connection with alleged payment of millions of shillings arising from land deals involving the Kenya Pipeline Company.
He was charged with selling to KPL land in Ngong Forest that had not been de-gazetted. He was acquitted for lack of evidence.
The same year, Ruto was back in the dock after Adrian Muteshi filed a suit at the High Court accusing him of grabbing his 100-acre farm in Turbo at the height of the 2008 postelection violence.
Muteshi claimed he fled the land in the midst of the violence, and subsequently found Ruto had taken possession of it.
The court ordered Ruto to surrender the land to Muteshi.
Ruto’s story is most unlikely in Kenya’s politics of power, privilege
and patronage. The DP is the quintessential self-made politician.
He grew up in poverty in Kamagut, Uasin Gishu, treading barefoot to school, craning his neck to reach passengers in buses plying the Malaba-Nairobi highway and sell them peanuts and chickens to supplement the family income.
He made it to the University of Nairobi, where he completed a degree in Botany and Zoology in 1990.
He briefly taught in secondary schools in the North Rift, where he also met his future wife and mother of their six children, Rachel.
At 26, Ruto joined the Youth for Kanu 1992 lobby group, which was led by Cyrus Jirongo, to campaign for Moi during the first multi-party elections in Kenya for 26 years.
His family says Ruto grew up like any other child “and God knew he would one day become a leader”. They also say that his strong belief in God has made him what he is today.
As a young boy, he never missed Sunday School, at the Kamagut African Inland Church, and as he grew older, his determination, focus and hard work saw the youth of the church elect him their chairman.
Ruto, the third-born in his family, is described as very organised and disciplined in all his undertakings.
OPPOSITION LEADERS HAVE ALSO RAISED DOUBTS ABOUT THE HUGE AMOUNTS OF CASH THE DP HAS DONATED AT HARAMBEES. THE PERCEPTION IS WIDESPREAD, ESPECIALLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA, THAT THE FORMER ELDORET NORTH MP HAS AMASSED WEALTH THROUGH DUBIOUS MEANS
Deputy President William Ruto addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, US, September 21, 2016.