Murathe grilling by EACC: It wasn’t me, it was Ruto

Vocal Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe once again dragged Deputy President William Ruto’s name into the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) scandal.

Mr Murathe was on Friday questioned at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission offices in Nairobi for four hours. He walked out to explain his nexus with Kilig Limited that was allegedly awarded Sh4 billion tender to supply 450,000 personal protective equipment to Kemsa. He denied any involvement in the company’s business and shifted the blame to DP Ruto.

“I know Willbroad who is a partner at Kilig and a Mr Zhu, and I know at some point they were not able to secure financing for the provision of the kits that they had committed. They had commitment letter from Kemsa, they transferred their shareholding to persons who are known associates of DP Ruto. So I came here to present that evidence today,” Mr Murathe said.

Sh4 billion contract

On Wednesday, the DP, however, denied Mr Murathe’s  links to Kemsa scandal, saying that he is more than happy that such theft is happening at a time when has been sidelined in government.

“The corruption “consultants”, brokers and conmen, some bankrupt in 2013, are now billionaires after looting while scapegoating William Samoei Ruto,” tweeted DP Ruto.  Mr Murathe asked former senators Boni Khalwale and Johnson Muthama to appear before the EACC since they seem to know more about the scandal.

Mr Murathe defended the company noting it was never awarded the alleged Sh4 billion contract.

“I know Kilig never delivered anything to Kemsa. I know Kilig was never paid a penny by Kemsa. I know that the order was cancelled before the date and the reason was budgetary constraints. I know all these because I asked Willbroad and he told me. My association with him is not in any business,” he said.

Kilig was registered in January and had no previous record of ever handling such a bulky tender nor dealing in medical supplies.

Despite his denial, the EACC still summoned Mr Murathe on the ground that there were claims that he is a signatory to bank accounts of the company.

Investigating allegations

“The commission is investigating allegations of procurement irregularities in relation to the Covid-19 emergency supplies at Kemsa where Kilig Limited, a company you are a signatory to its bank account, is featured,” EACC Twalib Mbarak wrote in his summoning letter.

Journalist Tony Gachoka, Willbroad’s brother, has gone on record claiming that many powerful people, including Mr Murathe, were culpable for the loss of billions in unscrupulous dealings and tenders at Kemsa.

Mr Murathe, however, dismissed the claim saying if he wanted, he would have gone to court to sue Mr Gachoka for defamation but it is not worth it. Mr Murathe, President Kenyatta’s ally, said he was ready to face the consequences should he be found guilty, adding “hapa hakuna mchezo” this time round.

Mr Murathe faulted the media for sensationalising the scandal, something that has forced donors to withdraw funds to the country.

“If the budget allocated to Kemsa was Sh4 billion and their crime is to over-commit to 7 billion that is the crime. This figure of Sh43 billion that you are writing, where are you getting it from. Please stop it! Donors have stopped funding malaria and HIV/Aids. Sensationalising this issue is doing us more harm than good. ” he said.

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