There is a lot of hubbub around Ruto’s declaration that he will be gunning for the Presidency. Though not new, (Remember his dismal bid in 07) the media splurge has concentrated their lens on his vituperations and puerile indignation against Raila and not the odds against his grandiose project. The battlefield is the Kalenjin Rift Valley. A keen observer will most likely find out that Ruto’s rabid attempt to balkanize the Kalenjin Community from the rest of the country is for bargaining purposes rather than a credible stab at the presidency. But since he insists that he is serious about it, then we must shift the scenario of the debate from Rift Valley to Kenya and weigh his chances objectively vis-à-vis personality, resources at his disposal, organizational ability, issues and appeal with the international community.
William Kipchirchir Ruto’s personality in public is genial and affable. A wide grin and a tight handshake are always on the ready. However, knowing him closely will reveal a cocky and derisive person especially when dealing with the poor, his workers and staff. Interviews with employees and members of the public, who have interacted with him, paint a picture of a harsh snob who has no time for the unfortunate. He sneers, scowls and shout at you whenever you ask for a job or favor. His smiles are reserved for the cameras and public rallies. Even MPs who follow him around have in many occasions been snubbed and shouted at. He wears his amicable self when seeking favors from those who are equally or more moneyed than him. He dismisses other people as fools, his favorite adjective.
Ruto never keeps friends unless convenient and useful for that time. In fact, he does not have a single friend. The MPs who traversed the country with him in his ill-fated shot for the Presidency in 07 were all dumped as soon as they lost in the ODM nominations. Besides, he did not come to their financial aid prior to the nominations but rushed to finance whoever won. Those who were presumed to be close to him like former Eldoret East MP Joseph Lagat and former Kipkelion MP, Dr Sam Rutto are languishing silently and cursing Ruto publicly. The story is the same for his former allies in the last parliament. He ignores their calls and openly snubs them whenever they visit him at Kilimo House. He has taken the art of use and dump to a whole new level.
In terms of corruption, he could be the most shady and fraudulent presidential candidate ever. A legion of corruption cases are pending in court. The maize scandals are still fresh. His AMACO insurance business is notorious for tax evasion. His hotel under construction opposite Wilson Airport sits on stolen land. His Easton Apartments in Jogoo Road was built with stolen cement from Portland Cement. His flat under construction in Rongai is on a disputed plot. The list is endless. All Ruto’s wealth is ill-gotten and I wonder whether any sober Kenyan will even contemplate electing him. In fact, he had grabbed a public road reserve connecting State House to Uhuru Park!
His escapades with women are legendary. He is risqué and immoral in all extent of the meaning of that word. It is not uncommon to see young girls queuing for sex and money in his private office in Transnational Plaza every evening. He had converted his Continental House Office to a brothel before being appointed a minister. His aides claim that he cavorts with at least three women in a day. MPs have been warned not to introduce their wives or daughters to him. His home is crowded with children from extra-marital affairs not to mention a dozen others he has fathered. Relationship with his wife is nothing to write home about. His family saga is already in the public domain. One thing that baffles his aides and accomplices is that he never use any form of protection! It is unimaginable to have this sex maniac as a role model for our children in this time and age.
There is a widespread misconception that Ruto is a very generous man. It cannot be further from the truth. The truth of the matter is that he buys influence. He is indeed a master of cash diplomacy. Whenever there is a hot issue or a function he would want to appear before the cameras, he will always pay 100 000 Kshs to every Mp to attend and be seen alongside him. That is why he is very popular with broke first time young MPs like Kuttuny and Dr. Kones.
He cherishes an aura of a wealthy man. On Harambees, he will contribute generously to curry favor with the public. When it comes to his employees, family or an individual without influence, the case shifts dramatically. He can’t part with a dime. He only invests where he is sure of maximum political returns. Woe unto you, if he owes you any money, he never services his debts. Even bills. Power disconnections are common in his house!
Resources are a very important factor in winning a presidential race in Kenya. A well oiled campaign machinery requires an upward of Kshs 2 Billion. Ruto is worth but an eighth of this.
That Ruto is a very wealthy man is nothing but a myth. He is a man of means but not as much he would want us to believe. His hubris, flamboyance and ostentations have helped perpetuate this myth amongst the innocent public. In 2006 and up to 2007, Ruto was at the verge of bankruptcy. He was running a costly campaign backed by insufficient resources and unwilling donors. His salary in parliament was a paltry Kshs 100 000 because of loans. He was earning Kshs 300 000 per week as allowances in AMACO, 1.5 Million from rent in Eastons Apartment and Kshs 300 000 from rent in Matiny property in Rongai and yet his campaign budget was Kshs 2 Million per week. There was a huge gap that had to be filled. His major donor, Mr. Joshua Kulei was fatigued. Yagnesh Devani of Triton was getting pissed off. Harambee checques were bouncing by the dozens. Moi was fighting him with money that he could not match. He was in dire straits. To bridge the expenditure gap, he withdrew more and more from AMACO driving it almost belly-up.
He begged for cash left, right and centre. His home in Karen was up for auction by HFCK over unpaid mortgage to the tune of Kshs 3 Million and ditto for his houses in Rongai. Transnational Bank was threatening to sue over a 6 Million overdraft.
He was a man under siege. He sold off his plots in Nairobi but the reprieve didn’t last long. All along people used to claim he had cash stashed in foreign accounts but it was untrue. Kulei upped his weekly handout to Kshs 200 000 per week but it was insufficient. He wanted to be seen flush with cash but the image was too expensive to sustain. When he was an inch to the cliff the Raila presidential campaigns came. It was such a relief for him.
He harassed Asian tycoons to contribute to the ODM kitty through him. He is such a formidable resource mobilizer. He applied the YK 92 tactics. Money flowed in millions. The money did not get to the ODM secretariat but he utilized it to sort his financial woes and fund ODM Members of Parliament in Rift Valley, Upper Eastern, Coast, North Eastern and some in Western Kenya. Each to a tune of between 1.2 Million and 3 Million. Some of the lackeys and poodles namely Aden Duale, Ababu Namwamba, Dr Julius Kones, Charles Keter, Joshua Kuttuny and many others following him around owe their allegiance to this money.
His financial godfather Mr. Joshua Kulei gave him a whopping Kshs 300 Million in cash and a white Range Rover ( it carried a KAG registration but was changed to KAW 583) 60 Million of which he forwarded to ODM Secretariat and kept the rest. Former Triton tycoon, Mr. Yagnesh Devani, gave him 50 Million and a green Mercedes Benz E 350 (formerly carried a KAM registration but was irregularly plated KAW 600 Q, same as his green Range Rover 4.8). Not a single cent got to the ODM kitty. Kabuito Contractors magnate gave him Kshs 10 Million and a white Range Rover Discovery. These amongst many other major donors contributed almost 500 Million.
He dazzled and dazed friends and foes alike in the campaign trail with his newly acquired wealth. Even Raila himself was enthralled.
The massive millions he retained were used to jumpstart the construction of the hitherto stalled Weston Hotel (still under construction opposite Wilson airport) bought a farm for Kshs 40 Million from his business partner and MD of AMACO; Mr. Silas Simatwa and renovated his decaying Karen home. He also shilly-shallied with a consultant to build a resort in Karen.
The money he is splashing around is from sugar, maize and fertilizer tendering kickbacks in his Agriculture Ministry. If Ruto was to be fired today, then his presidential ambitions and nationwide campaigns will grind to an immediate halt. This is because he has not improved his investment portfolio since his 06/07 presidential campaigns and his relationship with his bankroller Mr. Kulei is on the rocks. He is liquid owing to his ministerial position and thieving habits but not wealthy. Only addition are the twenty China made lorries he bought from the maize scam proceeds doing transit business registered under BZK, formerly Buzeki.
Ruto’s assets can be summarized in a single paragraph: AMACO, Easton Apartments, Osere Flats in Rongai, Weston Hotel (under construction), Karen Home in Koitobos Road worth 28 Million, Elgon View Home, Sugoi Home and Farm, twenty Lorries (China made). Period. These investments cannot finance a Kshs 8 Billion campaign war chest as it was claimed in a section of the media a few weeks ago.
Organization can break or make any campaign. Obama’s campaign was a great success owing to the way he related with his staff and the free hand he gave Mr. David Axelrod to run the campaign.
With the benefit of hindsight from his failed presidential bid in 07, Ruto cannot measure up to the demands of team work necessary in a campaign of this caliber. He believes in one man show. Those who have worked with him will tell you a story of a control freak. He is hardworking, yes, but a presidential campaign is demands a formidable well coordinated campaign secretariat. In 2007, he didn’t have a secretariat but utilized the offices of Katwa and Kemboy Advocates. His ‘secretariat’ members were made up of Katwa Kigen and Julius Kemboy only. These are the people who wrote his manifesto.
His biggest undoing is money. He never believes in anybody else handling campaign money and never had a budget for the secretariat. He plays accountant, auditor, cashier and everything relating to his money. He never delegates because he believes himself to be perfect. His conceited and bigoted ego cannot allow him to learn any lessons from his 07 presidential debacle.
Since campaigns have become more high-tech and classical campaign methods are giving way to more sophisticated techniques, it remain to be seen whether he will conform. To start with, he is not computer literate; he cannot open mails nor access the internet. How he will utilize social networking sites is hard to fathom. Though he is currently on Facebook, it was his former personal assistant who ran the now dormant account.
Ruto is generally brilliant but uninformed and miserably knowledgeable. He never reads and neither does he keep himself abreast with international news. He has but one book of political quotes. That is why his speeches are replete with disjointed bookish quotes. He is so uninformed he once asked whether Iran is in South America. He would have made a formidable opponent to anybody had he spared himself some time to read and get informed.
Since he joined politics in 1992, Ruto has written four articles to the press. He has moved only one motion in Parliament. He is an avid debater but he is lacking on policy. He is yet to bring meaningful changes in the Agricultural sector. Scandals are more conspicuous than life enhancing policies. If he was to write a CV applying for the presidency then his credentials can hardly fill a single page. His track record is fit for a new address in Kamiti Maximum Prisons and not State House!
His history does not augur well with the aspirations of many Kenyans who want a clean break from the past. It will be interesting to watch him defend his tainted past in presidential debates. New economic dispensation and an end to corruption are dear issues in the hearts of many a Kenyan electorate. His records are ether bleak, obscure or dirtied in all these accounts.
Ruto’s international credentials leave a lot to be desired for a person who wants to run for presidency. He has zero connections with the international community. His image is tattered by numerous corruption cases that have dogged his political career. The US and the EU once banned him in early 2007 on corruption related issues. That is why he mobilized other ODM luminaries against accompanying Raila on his trip to the US the same year. His Visa has since been reinstated on unclear grounds but it might be cancelled any time in the light of new corruption allegations against him.
Weighed against Raila and Kalonzo, Ruto is an obvious light weight on this score and many other fronts.
In all fairness, it is obvious that chances of William Kipchirchir Ruto ( note that he adopted the name Samoei in 1997 for symbolic reasons, even his ID does not bear it)becoming the fourth president of the Republic of Kenya are tantamount to those of a dog becoming a lion! It is only but a decoy to balkanize and later auction the Kalenjin vote to the highest bidder.
January 19, 2010 10:01 PM
get your facts right idiot, so much non sense in your boring article
January 19, 2010 10:03 PM
Sounds better than has been alleged! If all this is true he's actually better than all his competitors.
I think you are just disgruntled because he fired you.
January 20, 2010 1:26 AM
thenkx for all those comments
January 20, 2010 2:18 AM
This is very important information. Thank you for a well researched article. Kenyans will not vote for a murderous thief
January 20, 2010 10:11 AM
We need to write facts and only facts for public consumption in all issues that touch on our leaders. An article that peddles lies and misrepresents facts in public domain is not only a candidate for libelious prosectuion but downright immoral and unacceptable before the eyes of right thinking minds of the public. If the author of this article escapes punishment, he or she should count his or her luck. This article appears to have been written by one Mr Samoei former PA of the subject, he seems to be very disgruntled and a bitter man, especially after the subject refused to endorse him for the Sotik parliamentary seat against the sitting MP, even though, reliable sources indicate he was given Kshs 700,000 and only garnered 40 votes in sotik by-election, after the sad demise of Hon Lorna Laboso. It is also a public secret that the author took money from the subject on pretense that he would pay for his MBA program at a local university. To add insult to injury, the subject has reportedly sought to distance himself from the bitter author, after receiving ovwerwhelming adverse complaints on the author from the public, including soliciting sexual favors from every female visitor and bribes in order for the author to arrange much sought after appointments with the subject. We hope by pouring his bitterness to the public, his soul and spirit may now go easy.
January 26, 2010 2:13 AM
Dude,some unfounded claims that cannot be defended need not to be put across,in all fairness i believe all the political leaders in kenya have dirty linen,the question should be who has a slightly dirty linen?
Lastly,with all that said go ahead and post the characters of the rest who have declared their presidential ambitions..
January 26, 2010 10:22 PM
i happened to have worked across Ruto's office in continental house in 06 n i can vouch for some of the claims to be through of the said Ruto! if people could know who ruto really is, i bet my bottom dollar that nobody will touch him with a long stick
January 27, 2010 1:30 AM