Can you approximate how rich is the Deputy President William Ruto? I know most people will raise different speculations on this depending on the information they have been predisposed too before.
That question took about two minutes of an interview Dr Ruto did with the BBC that was aired on Tuesday, and Kenya’s second-in-command just fell short of saying he would not reveal the extent of his wealth.
In a wide-ranging conversation with BBC’s Stephen Sackur, who hosts the HARDtalk show, Mr Ruto also defended the Jubilee government’s efforts to fight corruption.
But it is the question on wealth that was the most heated, with Mr Ruto accusing his host of not doing his homework. Below is the excerpt.
SACKUR: Why have you not followed the President’s instruction in what he calls a lifestyle audit to actually go public with all your wealth and assets, itemise all of it and show it to the Kenyan public. You haven’t done it, have you?
RUTO: For the record, I’m the only politician in Kenya who has been subjected to a lifestyle audit. No other politician has.
SACKUR: Can we now see the audit? Have you made it public?
RUTO: The audit was done by the media. It is in public domain. In fact, what has happened is that there is … at the moment, we are all working on getting a legal framework where a lifestyle audit can be conducted on every public servant, starting from the president.
SACKUR: This has nothing to do with the media. This is a form that all public officials are supposed to file, giving all of their assets and their sources. I would like to see it.
RUTO: For you information, Sackur, you are behind the news on that matter. Every public figure, by law, is supposed to submit a list of assets and liabilities to the speaker of the National Assembly. That I have done. The media has gone further to carry a lifestyle audit on William Ruto, the only politician who has been subjected to lifestyle audit by the media.
SACKUR: When you did the sums and you categorised all of your assets, how much were you worth?
That information is available in the public domain.
SACKUR: Great. Tell…
RUTO: You should have done some research before you came.
SACKUR: But if it’s in the public domain, it’s not a secret. So, tell me how much are you worth?
RUTO: It is in public domain. I encourage you to google and find out what William Ruto owns.
SACKUR: Will you or will you not tell me, given that you’ve been completely open and public with it and that every Kenyan knows this figure, according to you. Share it with me.
RUTO: I encourage you, Sackur, to go to the website on Parliament and get that information
SACKUR: So, you are not prepared to tell me how much you are worth.
RUTO: I am prepared to tell you where to find the information, Sackur.
SACKUR: Do you think that position you are taking with me makes any sense?
RUTO: Of course, it does. It doesn’t make sense to you?