ODM reads mischief in Ruto’s woes

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By Oscar Obonyo

Orange Democratic Movement will rally behind Agriculture Minister William Ruto who is grappling with abuse of office claims.

A source within the ODM inner circle, told The Standard on Sunday the party has realised the maize scandal is “an engineered problem meant to scuttle ODM’s top leadership”. “After close scrutiny, our team has discovered most of the documents flying around are fake. It is purely the work of NSIS (National Security Intelligence Services),” claimed our source. It was not however immediately possible to get comments from the spy agency. Noting the message in such literature has been consistent, the party official claims the plan was to weaken ODM by ensuring Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Ruto walk separate political paths before the 2012 General Election. Last month, a copy of a scanned letter purportedly written by party Secretary General Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, and addressed to the PM was circulated widely on the Internet. In a plea to Raila, its ‘author’ wants Ruto “immediately replaced for giving ODM bad publicity”. The letter bears no party logo or the Medical Services minister’s signature.

Regarding Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale’s documents tabled in Parliament, questions are being raised as to whether the MP has the capacity to intercept and collect highly secretive paperwork from a host of local and international agencies.

The Standard on Sunday learnt ODM plans to hold a retreat soon to review the matter. Even as the party appears set to forge a united front, many accuse it and the rival Party of National Unity of abetting crime.

Safina party leader Paul Muite, for instance, wants Kenyans to probe the President and the PM over grand corruption.

The Prime Minister, he says, co-ordinates and supervises Government functions by chairing important Cabinet committees and should tell Kenyans how a number of illegal deals were made.

Kanu’s Organising Secretary and former Siakago MP Justine Muturi is more blunt: “How does one expect the current Parliament to fight graft? Right from the top, majority of MPs ‘cooked’ their way to Parliament through fraud and have no commitment for transparency and accountability.”

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