Economy

Ruto fights back as State leaks details of personal assets

Deputy President William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday fought back after a fiasco over his bodyguards provided a sneak peek into his wealth.

A presentation by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to Parliament showed that Dr Ruto had an interest in over 18,500 acres of real estate properties, two high-end hotels, five helicopters in two hangers at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport and a chicken farm.

The document revealed that the Deputy President owned Murumbi farm in Transmara Narok, Agricultural Development Corporation- ADC Laikipia Mutara Ranch, Mata farm in Taita Taveta, Koitalel Poultry farm, private homes in Elgon View and Kosachei in Eldoret, Dolphine, and Weston hotels.

He also owns Kitengela Gas and five helicopters and two hangers under Kwae Island Development Limited.

DP Ruto properties

The list of properties belonging to DP William Ruto that were shared by CS Fred Matiang'i in a statement to Parliament. PHOTO | COURTESY | INTERIOR MINISTRY STATEMENT

David Mugonyi, the secretary communication at DP’s office, however, disputed the DP owns all the listed properties.

“To underscore Matiang'i’s recklessness, many properties allocated to the Deputy President in his statement to Parliament are in fact not his. To add insults to injury Matiang'i asserts that he has deployed police officers to these unknown strange properties,” Mr Mugonyi said.

The CS inadvertently revealed details of the DP Ruto's wealth while answering a summons to explain why the State withdrew GSU officers from the deputy president's security detail.

He said the Deputy President has a 257-member security team that offers round-the-clock protection to his public and private assets.

The DP is protected by an inner layer of 85 officers drawn from the elite Presidential Escort Unit, General Service Unit, and directorate of criminal investigations officers, and an outer layer consisting of 121 officers drawn from the Administration Police Service, Prisons, and General Duties as well as a 24-hour mobile patrol by the local officers commanding police divisions.

An auxiliary security layer comprises 51 officers who man Dr Ruto’s vast properties spread across the country.

“We need statutory action to define VVIPs security deployment. Otherwise, we are forcing police to have an occurrence book (OB) for chicken to record that this is sick and the other came in late,” Dr Matiang'i said.

Lifestyle audit

The deputy president has been cagey about revealing his wealth rebuffing questions about his personal net worth in TV interviews.

While the Constitution anticipates public servants to reveal the source of their wealth, there is no legal framework for wealth declaration.

Senator Farhiya Ali introduced the Lifestyle Audit Bill in 2019 but it did not see the light of day and in April this year she made a second attempt to bring the piece of legislation to parliament.

The DP reading malice in the CS’s revelations said the property claims are false and he is willing to be audited.

“The Deputy President went on record as early as 2018 to announce his readiness to undergo a lifestyle audit per the President’s directive. This false association with strange and fictitious properties is therefore unnecessary and malicious,” Mr Mugonyi said.