By Edwin Nyarangi and Eric Abuga for Std News
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga yesterday opened up on the fake gold scam, claiming he was the one who outed the cons to the Dubai-based complainants.
Speaking for the first time since his name was dropped in a video clip that went viral, Raila absolved the other person mentioned in the clip — Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i — describing him a victim of a witch-hunt.
At the Kisii burial of Dr David Ombati, the African Special Envoy on Infrastructure Development, said he flushed out the cons himself through a meeting with the conned businessmen.
“I was the whistle-blower in the fake gold syndicate when I discovered some people were using senior government officials’ names to con businessmen,” he said.
“I told the businessmen that whoever they were told would clear their gold was not Matiang’i after I was handed over a phone after one of them said he had spoken to Matiang’i. I clearly identified the voice on the other end as being of a different person altogether,” said Raila.
Dr Ombati was Jaramogo Oginga Odinga’s doctor.
He revealed that the fake Matiang’i’s role was to clear the gold which was to leave the country through Wajir airport. He claimed he knew the real Matiang’i since the time he worked in his office when he served as a Prime Minister.
Raila also alluded that the video in which his name and Matiang’i’s were dropped might have been fake.
“Matiang’i is as white as cotton and we will not allow anybody to taint his name or the image of any hardworking government officer. Those faking video clips or voices should be ready to face the law,” said Raila without elaborating.
Before yesterday, Raila had maintained a studious silence on the matter as it turned political and threatened to implode the remaining strands of Jubilee unity.
A day after the video leaked, Deputy President William Ruto linked the scam to Raila’s political camp, claiming they had thrived in false promises before. His allies however directly attacked Matiang’i and asked him to quit.
With talk of move to impeach Matiang’i swirling in the air, and Raila as well as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s names being roped in through the video, Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji urged caution in the debate.
Yesterday, Raila said he will not retract his decision to support the fight against corruption, unite Kenyans and ensure economic stability.