Deputy President William Ruto has denied reports on social media that he distributed harmful relief food to Kikuyu residents last week.
Kenyans woke on Monday to reports that several residents of the constituents had developed stomach complications with others being hospitalised after consuming the food items packed in bags labelled William Ruto Foundation and Member of Parliament Kimani Ichung’wah.
The DP’s critics accused him of donating poisonous food.
But Ruto, in a statement through his Communications Secretary David Mugonyi, distanced himself from the distribution of the food saying his political opponents were out to soil his name.
Terming the distribution of the harmful food using his name as “political thuggery”, the DP said his foundation only delivers relief packages through churches, mosques and with the participation of local leaders.
“Reports from locals indicate that the strange food donations in question were hurriedly thrown from moving vehicles to unsuspecting public with fake branding, that is not from the Foundation,” the statement reads in part.
“The William Ruto Foundation has been donating food in Nairobi and its environs for months now without any incident. It is clear those behind the distribution of the contaminated food are engaging in political thuggery for other reasons.”
The DP said it’s evil for his foes to endanger lives of Kenyans while trying to stop him politically.
“We sympathize with those who have been affected and pray for their speedy and full recovery. We shall follow up with the local leadership to assist them with medical care as is appropriate in consultation with Health officials,” he added.
“It is revolting, despicable, callous and cruel to play with the health and lives of innocent human beings to score political points. Human life and dignity are higher than any political agenda. Those behind this incident are irresponsible, barbaric savages who have no place in civilized society.”
Earlier, Kikuyu MP Ichungwa warned residents to be cautious when accepting donations amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a Facebook post, the legislator said that a family in Gikambura area was treated at a local hospital after consuming sugar branded “William Ruto Foundation”.
He said the donation did not come from Ruto’s team.
“These are not our foodstuffs and we are not distributing anything openly and on vehicles on roads or stadiums and even the fake branding and items are not anything close to what we are distributing,” he wrote.
Last Wednesday Ruto and Ichungwa distributed foodstuff to over 600 vulnerable families in Nachu Ward, Kiambu.
The DP said he was targeting at least 3,600 households affected by the negative effects of Covid-19 on the economy.