Wajir Woman Representative Fatuma Gedi has in the past levelled a number of accusations against Deputy President William Ruto, including land grabbing. The lawmaker claimed that the second in command had grabbed several pieces of land across the country, and promised to produce evidence linking the DP to the said accusations.
However, after arriving in parliament with a suitcase full of so-called evidence, the lawmaker apparently failed to substantiate her allegations, prompting National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to cut short her presentation. This is after it emerged that the documents she had were typed and all of them concluded with the phrase “in whose hands are you safe?” The documents raised questions of authenticity and therefore, Speaker Muturi dismissed them, saying the attack against the DP was sponsored by the Azimio la Umoja coalition.
However, among the pieces of land owned by DP Ruto and brought into question was the 900-acre ranch in Narok.
WoK takes a look at how the second in command acquired the property which neighbours Maasai Mara, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 1000-acre land, and Narok Governor Samuel Tunai’s home.
According to reports, DP Ruto bought the 900-acre land located in Trans Mara Sub-County and borders the Maasai Mara Game Reserve about seven years ago. The ranch was reportedly owned by former Vice President Joseph Murumbi.
After Murumbi’s death in 1990, the ranch was left dilapidated until the second in command acquired it and transformed it.
DP Ruto bought hundreds of beef cattle and stocked the ranch. He is said to visit the ranch often to check on its progress.
The deputy president was at the center of a scandal involving the property in 2019 after the Trusted Society of Human Rights wrote to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) asking the agency to probe how the DP acquired the land.
According to reports, Murumbi had defaulted on a Ksh8.9 million loan from the Agriculture Finance Corporation (AFC) and the agency repossessed the property. DP Ruto is then said to have bought the land from AFC.
On the land rests a palatial home. The 35-roomed mansion had been left dilapidated when Murumbi and his wife died. The two did not have any children.
Next to the house whose doors and windows had been removed was a swimming pool that was infested with Algae.
Murumbi was known for his love of arts with collections covering the walls of his magnificent house, a tradition he had carried till his death.
DP Ruto has since renovated the place.
The area where the ranch is located is dubbed “VIP Nest”, this is because of the number of high profile individuals with homes in the area.
President Kenyatta’s ranch in Oloolmongi, Lolgorian Ward, is speculated to be his retirement home after he leaves office in August 2022. He bought the ranch from Olerien and Kengani group in 2020. The Head of State is also said to have bought another parcel of land where he intends to set up a tourist lodge.
With DP Ruto, President Kenyatta, and Governor Tunai, among other high profile individuals living in the area, several amenities including hospitals and schools are expected to be set up in the area.