President William Ruto now says that the opposition is on an expedition to unearth dirt in his administration less than one year after trouncing its chief leader, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, in the August 2022 General Election.
Ruto, while closing the two-day Government officials retreat in Nairobi on Friday, stated that the dossier released by Raila on the government-to-government oil deal was baseless and inconsequential.
According to the head of state, the G2G deal with Saudi Arabia was conducted openly and transparently, contrary to claims fronted by Raila, who accused the current regime of using it to foster corruption.
President William Ruto reiterated that the deal was necessary to ease the pressure on the Dollar. He also argued that pressure on the American Dollar had resulted in an oil shortage in the country, thus the need to purchase oil via the Shilling in a government-to-government approach.
Azimio Leader Raila Odinga speaking during an event in Kitui County on October 14, 2023.
State House, in a statement sent to Kenyans.co.ke stated that the President explained that the Government is not a broker in the deal but a mere guarantor for international oil firms to supply the crucial commodity for six months on credit.
“The international oil companies sell fuel directly to oil marketers in Kenya. The entire process is private sector-driven,” he said.
In the deal with Saudi Arabia, Kenyan Companies, Gulf Energy, Galana Oil Kenya Ltd, and Oryx Energies Kenya Limited were selected to handle local logistics.
However, Raila argued that the government aided the companies in evading paying the 30 per cent corporate tax by purchasing the fuel at a cheaper price and selling it exorbitantly.
”It (the deal) is shrouded in deep secrecy. To date, only two documents have been made public; that is the Master Framework Agreement with petroleum trading entities and the Open Tender System modified agreement with marketers,” Raila alleged on Thursday.
”Nobody knows how Gulf Energy, Galana Oil Kenya Ltd, and Oryx Energies Kenya Limited got nominated to handle local logistics. But the hand-picked distributors are selling oil to us at almost twice the price from bulk suppliers,” Raila added and dared Ruto to publish the details of the oil deal to prove him wrong.
In his response, the head of state argued that he was committed to running a transparent and accountable government devoid of scandals.
“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,” the President stated, as quoted by his handlers.
Nonetheless, he encouraged Kenyans to criticise the government and hold it accountable as it was ready to use meaningful feedback.
He also assured that his administration would not resort to using its foreign currency reserves to prop up the value of the Kenyan Shilling against the dollar, allegedly like his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, who used USD 2 Billion to keep an artificial rate of the local currency.
“This is a liberal market. We will do what we have to do. We will export more, manufacture more to strengthen our shilling,” he said.
Meanwhile, the two-day Government officials retreat, held at the Edge Convention Center in Nairobi, sought to assess the Kenya Kwanza coalition’s one-year progress since Ruto’s inauguration on September 13, last year.
Part of oil refinery in Changamwe, Mombasa county