Ruto: Kenyans would not be interested in what I own
4 months ago, 10 July 07:00
On Sunday morning, Deputy President William Ruto donated Sh8 million — in crisp currency notes in a green bag — for the construction of a children's centre at the 100-year-old All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi.
It is the kind of generosity that has come to be expected of the DP, who attributes his rise from a humble background to prominence — political and financial — to the grace of God.
During the evening prime time news, he was to sit down for an exclusive interview with NTV’s Mark Masai, where, with the public glare on corruption, high-profile arrests and prosecutions and proposed lifestyle audits of public servants, his source of wealth would certainly be broached.
“How is that important to you?” Mr Ruto asked, when Mr Masai asked the million-dollar question on the lips of Kenyans.
He said he was neither rich nor poor when gauged against the vast disparities in wealth among Kenyans. He was not as rich as people made him to be, or as rich as "the people we all know", he said, giving the impression that the question unfairly targeted him.
“Can you truthfully say that William Ruto is a rich man in this Kenya? Richer than the people we all know? I won’t say that I am a poor man, but I wouldn’t say that I would be in the class of people that Kenyans would be interested in what they own. There are people who own things in this country, and I am not in that class,” Mr Ruto said.
Among the things he is wrongly said to own, he listed his Sh450 million official residence in Karen, the 680 Hotel in the city centre, which he was said to have bought for Sh3 billion; the Hotel Boulevard, next to the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, and “I don’t know how many choppers and I don’t know how many planes.”
A self-proclaimed "hustler" who worked his way up the political ladder from a chicken seller in Uasin Gishu to Kenya’s second in command, Mr Ruto has been known do donate generously to church projects, a habit he defended at All Saints Cathedral on Sunday.
That Mr Ruto’s fortunes have risen since 2013, when he was elected deputy president, is not in doubt, and many people have questioned the rate at which he gives money at fundraisers, coupled with the tens of properties he is reported to have acquired during his short tenure as DP.
He has publicly admitted to owning the 100-bed Weston Hotel opposite Wilson Airport on Lang’ata Road in Nairobi, and is said to have interests in Amaco Insurance, neither of which he listed among the things he said he is said to have acquired. That is besides his home in Surgoi in Uasin Gishu county.
So open has the discussion about Mr Ruto's wealth been that Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa in May ridiculed opposition politicians Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula for not having Sh200 billion for a presidential campaign in 2022. Since Mr ...
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