Fact-checking: Deputy President William Ruto’s statement on corruption in government while visiting Nyamira

2017 is an election year and political campaigns are getting hotter by the day. In these campaigns, politicians often make a lot of statements to woo voters but most of them are usually laced with lies. In diverging from tradition of the media that just involves telling you who said what, where…we want to dig in and find out whether those statements can be backed with facts or not.

Our only allegiance is to facts.

While in Nyamira, Deputy President William Ruto said that the opposition was wrongly accusing them of “eating government money.”

Sasa hawa watu ambao wanasema pesa ya Jubilee imepotea, kama pesa imepotea tungekuwa tumejenga reli? Barabara tungejeng, hoospitali tungeshughulikia, kinamama tungewashikilia, huyu Bwana Onsoro hapa — angekuwa amepata stima? Aaah hawa watu waache porojo bwana (These people saying that Jubilee (government) has stolen money, if money was lost would we have built the railway, would we have built roads, would we have equipped hospitals, would we have taken care of the women, would Mr. Onsoro here have been connected to electricity? These people should stop their propaganda).

– Deputy President William S. Ruto

With those statements William S. Ruto made two claims, the first one being that Jubilee has not lost (government) money, and he also alluded to the projects being Jubilee initiated projects that were not there during the previous governments. With this fact- check, we will attempt to prove otherwise. 

Let’s analyze his statements bit by bit.

  1.  If money was lost would we have built the railway? – The Kenyan government is not constructing the Railway from funds collected through local revenue. 90% of the USD 13 billion SGR project is funded by the Export – Import Bank of China with only 10% being injected by the government. With the actual construction work being done by China Road and Bridge Corporation, this limits corruption loopholes that would and makes it extremely difficult for Jubilee operatives not to steal, not that they are not thieves (as we shall see in a few).
  2. Would we have built roads? – The expansion of the road network in Kenya was not a Jubilee pet project. These projects which include expansion of major highways such as the Nairobi – Busia road, Thika Super highway and Mombasa road were projects initiated by retired President Mwai Kibaki during his two term presidency both times running the government with Opposition Chief Raila Odinga as a key partner of those governments. Most of these road projects are funded by the World Bank and AfDB. The award of these roads construction tenders have not been without incidences of corruption as the cartels have infiltrated government systems with bidders being given insider information to help them win bids at a fee. This article by the Daily Nation explains exactly how.
  3. Would we have equipped hospitals? – An investigation by Africa Uncensored indicated that Kenyans are paying high for medical services due to skewed tendering processes for equipment and pharmaceuticals. “Kenyans are incurring medical expenses which are 30-300% higher than market prices due to the government’s skewed procurement mechanism. The mechanism, known as the Market Price Index model, is not informed by market prices. This has facilitated regular leakage of funds through purchases made at significantly inflated prices.As a result, there have been exorbitant regional price discrepancies for medical equipment and drugs in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa. For instance, a delivery bed costs KES 39,357 in Nairobi, KES 49,000 in Mombasa, and KES 114,500 in Kisumu. In 2016 a scandal was unearthed at the Ministry of health which involved the loss of more than Sh. 5.3 billion. This was from funds meant for maternal healthcare. Among those who pocketed payment for overpriced supplies were President Kenyatta’s sister and cousin.
  4. Would Mr. Onsoro here have been connected to electricity? – Mr. Onsoro and several other Kenyans have been connected to electricity since the begining of the Jubilee administration. These projects were however not initiated by the Jubilee administration. The Last Mile Connectivity which is an AfDB funded project was initiated in 2004 and has been connecting Kenyan households since then. William Ruto seems to be super obsessed with taking credit for the project which was an initiative of the NARC administration.Interestingly, it’s not the only project.

In the 4 four years of Jubilee’s administration, they have been involved in major looting of government coffers either by design or by default.

Anne Waiguru was forced out of the Devolution & Planning docket following the theft of Ksh. 1.6 billion that implicated her and top ministry officials. Interestingly enough, when news about the scam first broke out, Ruto was one of the first people to deny that money was stolen from NYS. He however made a quick turn when his close asociates Farouk Kibet and Senator Kipchumba Murkomen were linked to the scam.

Regarding the Eurobond floated in June 2014, the Auditor General raised audit queries regarding the expenditure of about Sh. 215 billion.

The management has not provided any list of project(s) that were funded by the Eurobond proceeds. In the circumstance, it has not been possible to confirm how the Eurobond funds were utilised.

Have funds been lost, misused or stolen in the 4 years of Jubilee administration? The answer is an emphatic yes!

Follow this blog on Twitter @OmindesWords

Image: Nation Media Group 

 

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