Vihiga county ‘illegally’ paid Rufftone for performance at fertiliser event

By: JOSEPH JAMENYA

Vihiga County Assembly is questioning gospel singer Rufftone’s receipt of Sh180,000 for entertaining at a fertiliser distribution event in March.

A committee found the singer, whose real name is Roy Mwatia, received the cash in different denominations yet signatures appended against his name vary.

“Rufftone signed for a lot of money on a foolscap for different amounts but the signatures are not the same. Someone may have forged his signatures to swindle the money in his name,” read the committee’s report.

The ad hoc team is chaired by Muhudu ward representative Jackson Musoga.

The report submitted last week says Rufftone received Sh140,000 on March 3, Sh20,000 on March 6 and another Sh20,000 on March 7.

The committee called for further investigations and verification of the signatures to ascertain whether the musician signed for the money.

Agribusinesses director Lucus Makhaniah is quoted in the report as saying it is not known how the entertainer was sourced.

Makhaniah confirmed that “Rufftone was paid some monies”.

County Agriculture minister Halima Abdi could not specify the exact amount paid to the musician, saying she does not handle the department’s finances.

Agriculture chief officer Moses Andagalu said Rufftone approached him and requested to offer entertainment services for the county during the launch of the fertiliser distribution initiative.

Andagalu said Rufftone asked to be paid from the proceeds of the fertiliser sales.

In a phone call with the Star, Rufftone said he was invited to perform at the event but distanced himself from claims of irregular payment.

“I am a popular gospel musician. I don’t want my name to be dragged into Vihiga county issues; they only fueled my car,” he said.

The musician threatened to sue any media house which reports he received the money as it would affect his “future bargaining power in other functions”.

The amount is “too little for a one-week performance”, he said.