Politics

Covid-19 funds: DP accuses Raila of doublespeak

Covid-19 funds: DP accuses Raila of doublespeak

Summary

  • He called out Mr Odinga and his party for what he termed as hypocrisy.
  • Last week, the DP gleefully tweeted about his outsider-in-government status remarking he didn’t mind not being privy to the graft.
  • He said things would have been different were those suspected to have stolen the Covid-19 funds been his friends.

Deputy President William Ruto Tuesday launched another scathing attack on ODM leader Raila Odinga, accusing him of doublespeak in the Covid-19 funds theft allegations.

Dr Ruto said Mr Odinga’s call for a special audit on the use of Covid-19 funds as well as ODM’s statement that the media and investigative agencies should await the audit was a complete turn-around of the former Prime Minister’s positions on similar issues in the past.

“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?” Dr Ruto asked in a statement on his social media handles.

He called out Mr Odinga and his party for what he termed as hypocrisy, saying Mr Odinga had first said — in an interview with the Nation — that there was nothing wrong with some newly registered suspect companies being awarded tenders worth billions of shillings.

Later, Dr Ruto observed, Mr Odinga and the Orange Party accused the media of “a sensationalist extravaganza with half-baked information obtained from shadowy sources, ending up creating more problems than solutions.”

Many different voices

“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. We saw that noise with regard to Arror and Kimwarer dams and the NYS scams, among others,” Mr Odinga said in a statement on Monday.

But Dr Ruto said this position of calling for a special audit because “none of the people taking to the podium or social media to condemn theft of funds has any evidence” was a complete turnaround of Mr Odinga’s previous positions.

“My friends, your doublespeak 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?” Dr Ruto posed.

The DP, who had last week gleefully tweeted about his outsider-in-government status remarking he didn’t mind not being privy to the graft , said things would have been different were those suspected to have stolen the Covid-19 funds been his friends.

“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. By now they would be arranging bail. But here we are, stuck at some ‘audit’. It is alright,” Dr Ruto said.

‘Baseless statements’

The DP said while the older Mr Odinga had insisted that the media is independent and had a role in informing the public to oversight the government, the new Mr Odinga had now warned against what he said were baseless statements by the same media, only suggesting that the media should write and broadcast on Covid-19 funds theft after the special audit is done.

The DP also questioned Mr Odinga’s party position on the DCI only coming in after an audit has been done, and not before.

“The investigative agencies 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 this scenario. Where do they now find the power to direct independent institutions on what to do and how?” Asked Dr Ruto.

“The stammering, staggering and flip-flopping is obviously a confirmation of thieves caught red handed stealing from the sick, endangering the lives of the front line workers and robbing the dying...” Dr Ruto said.

ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna had on Sunday fought back the DP’s claims, saying the party had called for an audit and not defended the theft.

“It is the hope of the actual thieves to disappear in the fog of the manufactured ‘outrage’. The worst of Kenyans’ fear is you (Ruto) being in charge for we will lack words to describe the plunder that will ensue,” he said on Twitter.

On his part, National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohammed said: “Kenyans are tired of these hollow tweets. If you have evidence of this so called ‘Covid billionaire heist’, I urge you to report to DCI, EACC or nearest police station. For the first time since you were born, you will have helped Kenya unearth one corruption scam, if any.”