Kenya: Prominent Leaders Trade Barbs Over Land Grabbing

By Samuel Ouma

Deputy President (DP) William Ruto and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.Photo courtesy
Deputy President (DP) William Ruto and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.Photo courtesy

Deputy President (DP) William Ruto and former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka have been involved in the heated verbal exchange over land grabbing allegations.

The dispute between the duo was elicited by Kalonzo’s claims that Ruto ignored other communities in his 50 per cent share of the top government positions. Instead, he awarded the posts to men and women from his community.

“Who doesn’t know that Uhuru got 50 per cent of the government and Ruto 50 per cent, to the exclusion of everybody else. At least, Uhuru took his 50 per cent as a national leader and gave out some slots to other communities,” said Kalonzo.

In rejoinder, the second in command hit back at the Wiper party leader, claiming the only legacy he left behind after serving as the vice president and in the various government dockets is the grabbing of 200 acres of National Youth Service (NYS) land in Yatta, Machakos county.

Address the press on Monday, January 18, 2021, Kalonzo denied claims that he grabbed the government land. He accused Ruto of disparaging his reputation and asked the investigative agencies to move in and conduct investigations distancing himself from the deputy president’s allegations.

“I have nothing to hide and I today challenge the authorities to open an investigation into this matter. I am today presenting myself for a thorough investigation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation as well as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. I want the matter settled once and for all. Indeed, this is the time to separate the truth from lies and malicious propaganda,” he said.

In retaliation, Kalonzo branded Ruto a chief land grabber listing several scandals which he claimed have been linked to the DP.

Some of the scandals listed include the Weston Hotel land saga, attempted land grabbing of Lang’ata Road primary school, more than 100 acres belonging to the late Adrian Muteshi, and land belonging to Joseph Murumbi, Kenya’s first vice president, among many others.

Kalonzo challenged Ruto to present himself for probe concerning numerous graft allegations, calling himself a person of high moral and ethical standards.

He further accused the former agriculture minister of inciting Kenyans and causing divisions ahead of 2022 polls.

“DP Ruto has been fomenting bitter division and a class war instead of preaching unity and cohesiveness. As a disrupter of law and order, he is easily comparable to outgoing US President Donald Trump. People like DP Ruto must not be given the chance to wreak havoc through manipulation. They must be stopped on their tracks,” he added.

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