While Deputy President William Ruto has stepped up his political activities and his hustler campaigns which his allies hope will propel him to power, his inner circle is filled with foes and allies who may sink his 2022 bid to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Many have in the past pointed out that he may not be genuine in his empowerment campaigns as he is surrounded by men who have allegedly stolen billions from the same hustlers he purports to represent and things could be worse when he is in power as his allies will now be on a looting spree.
The question on how he will protect the country’s resources at a time when his closest associates are the same ones facing prosecution or convicted in questionable deals with some allegedly executed in his own office is one that may be difficult to handle.
It is not lost on Kenyans that the second in command has not revealed any meaningful strategize to deal with corruption that remains a scar on Kenya’s face but has circumvented the matter, only promising empowerment.
When the DP and his allies toured Mumias last month, netizens were quick to pick out former Sports CS Rashid Echesa in the Tanga Tanga brigade. Many opined that the presence of Echesa who is the key suspect in the fake Sh. 40 Billion arms deal which saw him (Echesa) meet the victims in the boardroom at DP Ruto’s office was not good for Ruto’s image.
In Kisii, controversial businessman Don Bosco Gichana who was found guilty of money laundering and imprisoned for 5 years in Tanzania was part of his delegation.
A section of netizens were quick to point out that “birds of a feather flock together” and faulted the DP for dining with people of questionable integrity, found guilty by a competent court of law.
Ruto is also on record defending embattled Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua who is staring criminal charges over Sh 12 billion acquired in dealings that are suspected to be corruption. Rather than leaving independent constitutional bodies to prove the guilt or innocence of the MP, Ruto rushed to defend him, alleging that Gachagua’s troubles are linked to his political stand (support for DP Ruto).
Another associate of the DP who many opine could do him more harm than good as far as his image is concerned is Sirisia MP John Waluke.In July last year, Waluke was sentenced to 10 years in prison or pay a fine of Ksh.727 million for defrauding the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) Ksh.313 million.
He appealed the ruling and is currently out on bail. The character and criminal record of some of DP Ruto’s associates has given his opponents fodder