- Musalia Mudavadi (Prime Cabinet Secretary) – Sh4 billion
- Justin Muturi (Attorney-General) – Sh700 million
- Aden Duale – (Defence ministry) – Sh851 million
- Dr. Alfred Mutua (Foreign Affairs ministry) – Sh420 million
- Alice Wahome (Water ministry) – Sh218 million
- Prof. Kithure Kindiki (Interior ministry) – Sh544 million
- Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u (Treasury ministry) – Sh950 million
- Aisha Jumwa (Public Service and Gender ministry) Sh100 million
- Davis Chirchir – Energy and Petroleum – Ksh 482 million
- Moses Kuria (Trade ministry) – Sh750 million
- Kipchumba Murkomen (Transport ministry) – Sh550 million
- Roselinda Soipan Tuya (Environment ministry) – Sh156 million
- Peninah Malonza (Tourism ministry) – Sh300 million
Their total net worth is Sh10.02 billion.
The Ruto “Hustler Fund” manenos and promises are still floating furiously in the air except in no specific direction. That means the stuff is everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
It is like Putin in Ukraine who is all over the place and going nowhere in particular. That is never good and for the real hustlers waiting for that money to go into serious business, it does not bond well.
Ruto in all the years he has been screaming about hustlers and their development fund had made it clear this will be an interest-free loan to small businesses enterprises to be able to produce goods and services Kenyans need and make a living that way. That was before the elections.
Now all of a sudden William Ruto himself is saying the fund will offer a loan, first it was at less than 10% interest and now it is at between 10%-20% interest. Nobody knows what that interest rate will be when the fund finally shows up as promised by December 1, 2022.
For those eagerly waiting for this loan to make a living the real issue is where will William Ruto get that money from. From the Treasury? No chance. There is no money there. The DP Gachagua even went to Central Bank of Kenya thinking there are sacks of billions of US dollars lying in gunias on the floor there. Nothing was found and Gachagua was crying that they cannot buy fuel for the country.
The Treasurer Mr. Yatani gently informed Gachagua that the Treasury does not store money at the CBK and fuel is not bought by the government but by oil companies. Simply put there is no money anywhere to be grabbed by the government to do this or that.
The only time the Treasury would have money to spend is after the budget and see if there is a surplus in the national expense and revenue accounts. In Kenya that has not happened in decades and is not going to happen during the entire Ruto government.
Yatani informed the Ruto boys that every month Treasury gets money from the CBK in terms of Revenue and every time that money is used to pay interest on the national debt the country owes and to pay salaries of state employees then after that there is zero left. I mean minus zero. This means the government has to go out there and ask for loans just to stay living as a government.
You would think Ruto knows that, after all, he has been the DP for ten years. Does he even know how the government works? First, you need money.
The only other way for Ruto to get any money for his pet promise is to come up with a cooked-up budget for 3 months ending December 31, 2022. In there he can squeak in some things and grab money from other state projects like infrastructure and road buildings or even cut budgets in key ministries like health and agriculture to set up his hustler fund.
That is not going to happen because Kenyans will not put up with it and the finances of Kenya are so screwed up that nobody in government wants to look at it. It is like opening a box full of rotten poo knowing exactly what you will be looking at. You don’t want that do you?
So here is the deal for Ruto to launch his fund with a plomb and bravado as we have never seen in Kenya. Ruto should ask his billionaires in cabinet members to put together the billions in their net worth towards setting up a Hustler Fund.
Already we have Shs. 10 billion in the assets declared and that is halfway. By the time it is all done it could be Shs. 30 billion. Ruto himself has more than ten times that much so Ruto can donate more than Shs. 100 billion to the fund.
Added together, Ruto and his “hustlers” mainly thieves who have been stealing relentlessly from the government can set up Shs. 500 billion Hustler Fund from their own money and that is the cash stored in Kenya.
That would be really grand and the good news for them is that the fund is not money thrown to the hyenas to rig elections. It will be a loan available to their less fortunate hustler Kenyans and therefore the money is safe, in fact, they will earn some profit on it and by 2027 the Fund would have doubled in value and the Ruto mobsters can just take their money back, and leave the Hustler Fund running safe and sound.
This will give Ruto and his group the greatest applause and admiration from Kenyans. Take stolen money put in a fund for all Kenyans let them make money out of it and you get all your money back with interest. Can anyone in the Ruto camp come up with a better plan than that? Kenyans would love them and bless all the robbing that has happened to make that money available. That way everybody goes to heaven. What is wrong with it?
The alternative is pretty grim for the Hustler Fund. There is no money anywhere, period. And judging by past experiments William Ruto himself has tried in these funding programs it has been an abysmal failure everywhere.
Ruto was at the center of both the Youth Enterprise Fund and the Uwezo Fund. These were his stepping stones. They both collapsed under his watchful eyes. That is a clear first warning about William Ruto setting up development funds.
The Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Uwezo Fund, and all sorts of others mostly established since the 2012 elections were supposed to fulfill the dream of providing livelihoods to youth and women in our country who were economically marginalized.
All of them are complete failures and that is why Kenyans never hear the politicians like Ruto who established them talking about those grand schemes. Uwezo fund in 2014 had close to Shs. 7 billion in its budget. The money just disappeared and nobody can tell you where it went or who benefitted from it.
And the funds followed the same line as the CDF with constituencies and MPs being heavily involved and siphoning to the money to their friends through proxy groups working for them. That has never been new in Kenya. Every time there is money the MPs will figure out how it goes to their pockets.
By 2015 the Youth Enterprise Development Fund had a budget of Shs. 14.5 billion. That all went to some people without a trace. Essentially these are thieving dens for the friends of political leaders who will run them to the ground in no time. The same fate awaits the Hustler Fund if it ever gets off the ground.
In some of these funds, they invented all sorts of tricks to get the money even before it reaches the lenders.
With the Youth Fund, the interest rate was 1.5% but the lender had to pay 6.5% upfront before getting the money. That worked very well for the people distributing the loans. They get paid upfront and for them the bigger the loan the better because they get more money.
The way these things were structured nobody bothered to pay back the loans. At one time, Uwezo fund in 2014 had a loan repayment of 39% and that was considered phenomenon because in the other funds there were no repayments.
In 2020 Auditor General Nancy Gathungu reported that Uwezo fund had lost Shs. 4 billion of money given to them by the government without a trace. Of course, nothing was ever done about that because the thieves were highly protected people by the same politicians trying to set up the same things today.
In her audit report on the much-heralded Uwezo Fund, Nancy Githungu stated some scary facts how these funds run with public money are run by people who just steal everything. Here is what she wrote in her report.
“The presumed bank balances are unsupported. Further, there were no debtors’ ledgers detailing loans issued by the Fund since inception and repayments made over the years on account of loan recoveries. There were no comprehensive loan listings or aging analysis in support of the outstanding loans. Consequently, the accuracy and completeness of the reported loans to groups balances of Ksh4,111,156,213 as at June 30, 2020 could not be confirmed,” noted the auditor’s report.
As for the Hustler Fund, they are still talking about it as if it is a campaign soundbite, not a real program ready to be launched. If that were the case Ruto would have at least set up a team to look into it and work out the basics instead of endless announcements.
I know Ruto is desperate to figure out how Kibaki did things. If this was Kibaki he would have a team working in the logistics of the plan and looking at the realistic possibilities of where to get the money. Not with Ruto and his chaps. For them talk, talk and talk is just good enough. Maybe for now. But you are going to need a whole lot more than that.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada