Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu in a statement issued on Sunday, February 16, demanded that Deputy President William Ruto steps aside to pave way for investigations into the Ksh40 billion arms scandal that saw former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa arrested on Thursday, February 13.
Alluding to Ruto’s tweets in which he distanced himself from fraudulent activities allegedly conducted at his Harambee House Annex office, Ngilu tore into the deputy president noting that she was shocked by the reports.
“The Deputy President should stop hoodwinking Kenyans through tweets and do the honorable thing, step aside and let investigations be conducted in an impartial environment,” her statement read in part.
Echesa had been accused of defrauding a Polish company, Eco Advanced Technologies LLC, by allegedly promising he could help the company secure lucrative tenders to supply the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) with high-grade surveillance equipment.
It was further alleged that meetings to thrash out the fraudulent deal were conducted at Ruto’s Harambee House Annex office.
In her strongly-worded statement, Ngilu accused Ruto of bringing shame to the presidency and putting the country’s security at risk.
“It’s disheartening to learn that this trust has seemingly been broken by the deputy president who has clearly breached the security of the country by engaging in a fake arms deal.
“This happening in an office that should be beyond reproach is certainly putting the country, the presidency to shame, ridicule and has now gone beyond acceptable limits,” she asserted.
Ruto had earlier taken to Twitter seeking to distance himself from the scandal, asserting that several other government offices were housed in the same building as his office.
“ODP does NOT procure for any ministry/department. Question: other than 23min in Annex, for months, which government offices involved in the ‘tender’ did the scammers visit? Did they access DOD? Who facilitated? Who did they meet? Get the truth. Forget the sponsored NONSENSE in media,” he shared on Sunday, February 16.
Reacting to Ngilu’s statement, Senate Minority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, a staunch Ruto ally, claimed that Ngilu had been threatened with prosecution if she failed to attack Ruto and support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
“The tragedy is that Ngilu has been advised that as long as she attacks DP Ruto then her file which is ready for prosecution will be shelved and she will remain free.
“You may hate it but sadly that’s a sound strategy and she will truly remain free for as long as she attacks DP and sings BBI,” he wrote.
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