The war of words between Cord leader Raila Odinga and the Jubilee leadership heightened on Friday with each side warning Kenyans against electing its rival.
Mr Odinga denied accusations that he was a beneficiary of funds from governors elected on the ODM ticket as he warned that the country will disintegrate if Kenyans re-elect President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2017 elections.
However, Deputy President William Ruto stoked more fire when he said that by defending Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi on corruption allegations, the Cord leader confirmed that he was complicit of graft in the counties.
“I have never asked for money from governors, they are here they should tell you,” said Mr Odinga while addressing delegates from Western region at the Golf Hotel Kakamega.
He said Jubilee should stop blame games and tackle corruption adding that diversionary tactics won’t help.
Mr Odinga said the Jubilee administration cannot be trusted to run the country for another term on account of its failure to fight graft and insecurity as well as create jobs for women and the youths languishing in poverty.
“Kenyans have a date with destiny in the elections of 2017. Our country is suffering. Corruption is at an all-time high and is spreading its tentacles to all levels of government,” he said as he accused Jubilee of protecting those in high positions involved in graft.
“Jubilee has descended on our nation like armyworms and cockroaches, eating and stealing anything and everything that can be eaten or stolen,” he added.
But the DP hit back saying: “Those in support of corruption in the counties are beneficiaries of that money. They must step forward and account for the money that is lost through corruption in counties which they are defending.”
Mr Ruto, who last week ordered swift arrest and prosecution of suspects in the Sh1.18 billion scandal in Kilifi, faulted the former Prime Minister of double speak in addressing graft.
“How is it possible to say that the interim report in the Ministry of Health is fit to be taken to court while that of Kilifi scandal is not good enough to have suspects prosecuted? He should know that we have a shortage of daft people in Kenya who you can lie to.”
“Those implicated in corruption and misuse of public funds should carry their own baggage because they have no party, tribe and should be taken to court and be made accountable,” Mr Ruto added during a fundraiser at Chuka Catholic Church.
He also accused Mr Odinga of owning the ailing Mumias Sugar Company millions of shillings, saying he was part of the problems that contributed to the near collapse of the giant miller.
A company associated with Mr Odinga has been previously accused of owing Mumias Sugar millions of shillings, but he has denied any wrongdoing.
“While he is in Mumias, he should explain to the people the corruption that brought the company to its knees which he knows and which he and his compatriots are beneficiaries. When are they going to account for the losses and when will he refund his so-called loan?” he posed.
Accompanying the DP were Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki, Governor Samuel Ragwa and MPs Kareke Mbiuki (Maara), Muthomi Njuki (Chuka-Igambangombe), Beatrice Nkatha (Woman Rep Tharaka-Nithi), Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East) and Mburi Muiru (Tharaka).
In Kakamega, Mr Odinga accused the Jubilee administration of scheming to undermine devolution by sabotaging its operations and giving it a bad name to discredit the system which had began to benefit communities in the regions.
Mr Odinga said marginalisation of communities in some regions was unacceptable and efforts must be made to turn back the practice to save the country from disintegration.
- Raila Odinga (second from left), the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, and Funyula Member of Parliament Paul Otuoma (second from right) dance at the party’s conference for delegates from western Kenya region at Golf Hotel Kakamega on November 25, 2016.