Ruto quilted as state moves to rekindle 2004 land fraud probe

Deputy President William Ruto
Deputy President William Ruto

The police in Kenya have renewed inquest efforts into a case where Deputy President William Ruto was acquitted of accusations of swindling a government agency of KES 272 million. The second round of investigations were launched nine years after Ruto and his co-accused were set free in the case where they allegedly defrauded the Kenya Pipeline Company by selling them ungazetted land.

In the case, Ruto and Berke Commercial Agencies, a firm linked to the Deputy President, former President Daniel Moi’s private secretary Joshua Kulei and former Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita, were charged alongside two others for reportedly obtaining funds from KPC by offending procedural norms in the sale of a piece of land hived off Ngong’ forest between August 6 and September 6, 2001.

Ruto is said to have pocketed Sh96 million out of the total Sh272 million paid to their joint firm. The trio were however acquitted by then Nairobi Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei, who argued that KPC had failed to prove that it lost money to the accused.

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Ruto’s then lawyer Katwa Kigen yesterday confirmed that he had appeared before the Land Fraud Unit at the DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road on behalf of the embattled firms. The investigative agency is however yet to reveal whether it purposes to summon the DP for questioning on the matter.