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Ruto hints at prosecuting Uhuru if he becomes president

Deputy President William Ruto has vowed to form a judicial team to investigate actions and policies of President Uhuru Kenyatta if he wins the August 9 election in what has elicited sharp reactions from Jubilee. Mr Ruto is also gearing up to reverse a number of Mr Kenyatta’s policies if elected, even indicating that they will not fear going after the President once he leaves office.

In the Kenya Kwanza manifesto that was launched on Thursday night, Mr Ruto said if Kenya Kwanza wins next month, they will form an inquiry into state capture and a tribunal on enforced disappearances and violation of human rights. Both could potentially mean going after the President and how he ran the government. He also vowed to create eight tribunals, taskforces and review panels to reverse Mr Kenyatta’s policies.

Under the ‘Ending State Capture’ sub-topic, Mr Ruto promises to establish, “within 30 days, a quasi-judicial public inquiry to establish the extent of cronyism and state capture in the nation and make recommendations”.

Though he has been the Deputy President since 2013, Dr Ruto has lately been playing a peripheral role in government after his falling-out with the President. He has accused the Jubilee government of being beholden to the people he calls cartels, fraudsters and economic saboteurs, and whom he blames for the rising cost of living.

“We have known for at least four decades that our economic model is fatally flawed. The question is why we have stayed on this path, why the government did not heed its own clarion call to restructure the economy, why we would choose to manufacture guns rather than garments. The answer is convergence of political and economic power,” the Kenya Kwanza manifesto states.

Yesterday, Dr Ruto’s allies expounded on the proposals and accused the President of using state policies to his favour, which the commission will investigate if they win power.

“State capture has strangled our economy. The problem is that the President and his allies have over the last 10 years made policies and decisions to benefit his enterprise. Just like the Guptas in South Africa, everything has been choreographed to benefit the private businesses of those in power,” says Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro.

According to Mr Nyoro, key sectors of the economy are currently being controlled by a few powerful families, hence the reason for the proposals of an inquiry under the Kenya Kwanza administration. “The kind of greed we have witnessed in the last seven years is unprecedented. It has dwarfed the stealing of Mau Mau land after Independence.”

Like Mr Nyoro, Mr Irungu Kang’ata, who is eyeing the Murang’a governor seat in the August election, welcomed the creation of such an inquiry, terming it necessary. “Certain families dominate key sectors. The energy sector is in the hands of a few. The extent of capture needs a study, hence the proposal. State capture retards development. It establishes negative linkages between politics and economy. This has nothing to do with Uhuru. It has everything to do with Kenyans’ wellbeing,” said the senator.

But allies of the President and Azimio politicians warned the Deputy President against making such proposals that could destabilise the country.

Jubilee Party secretary general Jeremiah Kioni described the proposal as “a clear statement of intention to overthrow the current Constitution”.

“This is already a clear indication of how dangerous a Ruto government could be for this country. They are on a vindictive agenda. Since they have been talking about witch-hunt that is now a clear case of witch-hunt that has been provided for in the manifesto,” said Mr Kioni.

“We want people who have stolen public funds to be dealt with. But we do not want to start creating other institutions that may be targeting specific people.”