‘Natoa shukrani kwao’ – Raila says Bomet residents were justified to heckle CS Chirchir
Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga says Bomet residents were justified to express their displeasure with Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir on Sunday, November 19, 2023.
The CS was yesterday forced to cut short his speech during a church service in Sotik after the angry congregation heckled him.
The residents cited challenges accessing power supply in the region during the event attended by President William Ruto and dozens of high-ranking government officials and politicians.
Reacting to the incident, Raila opined that the CS deserved the embarrassment. He argued that the CS and leaders in President Ruto's Kenya Kwanza administration had turned a blind eye to the needs of Kenyans, despite their promise to uplift the common mwananchi 'hustler' during the campaign period.
He claimed that the residents were equally angry at Ruto but didn't subject him to the humiliation because of the respect they have for him.
"Natoa shukrani kwa watu wa Bomet kwa kumuonyesha yeye (Chirchir) adhabu. Kwa sababu yeye hajui vile wakenya wako na shida. Ata bwana Ruto wanampatia tu heshima lakini hawakubaliani na yale alikuwa anasema - alikuwa anasema huongo. Haitakikani kwa mtu ambaye anajiita raisi kusema huongo," Raila remarked.
Loosely translated, "I extend my thanks to the people of Bomet for rebuking him (Chirchir). Because he doesn't understand the difficulties Kenyans face. Even Mr. Ruto, they are just giving him respect but they don't agree with what he was saying - he was spewing lies. It's unacceptable for someone who claims to be a president to lie."
The opposition chief was addressing journalists in Nairobi on Monday.
Raila on G-to-G oil deal
He also called for the resignation of CS Chirchir and his National Treasury counterpart Njuguna Ndungu over an alleged fraudulent scheme in the procurement of petroleum products through a Government-to-Government agreement with Saudi Arabia.
The former prime minister maintained that the oil deal was hatched to illegally withdraw money from the exchequer to pay shady private firms.
According to the Azimio leader, part of the money was used to finance businesswoman Ann Njeri Njoroge in a contentious Ksh17 billion fuel deal that hit the headlines recently. The claims were first made by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah.
"He (Omtatah) was able to establish a link between the Ksh17,224,718,632 which was unconstitutionally withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund in June 2023 to subsidize unnamed private financial enterprises and the Ksh17 billion contested oil shipment between Ms. Njeri and the two Cabinet Secretaries," Raila said.
"I concur with the senator’s suspicion that Njeri is the ‘private financial enterprises’ funded by the Ksh17,224,718,632 illegally from the Consolidated Fund and received by the Ministry of Petroleum."
Raila said the two CS had committed criminal offences and should not only resign but also be prosecuted.
"The CS for Energy and Petroleum Chirichir and National Treasury CS Njuguna Ndungu have certainly committed criminal offenses, abused office and gone against the constitution. They stole money from the Consolidated Fund, in addition to spend monies way above what Parliament approved. They must not only resign. They must also be prosecuted," he added.
President Ruto recently denied Raila's claims, insisting that the deal was conducted openly and transparently. He noted that the G-to-G arrangement was necessary to ease the pressure on the Dollar.
"The International oil companies sell fuel directly to oil marketers in Kenya, the Government of Kenya is not a broker, the entire process is private sector driven. Our business as a government is to underwrite that this transaction will not go haywire," Ruto said.
“I want to assure them (the Opposition) that the fishing they are doing for a scandal in this administration, they are not about to succeed,” he added.