Police investigate an ‘assassination attempt’ against DP Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto

By Mkarimu Media

IN SUMMARY

  • Detectives investigating the matter are said to be getting increasingly frustrated by the fact that the DP is yet to record a statement despite complaining informally
  • According to The Sunday Nation, since the incident there is a groundswell of tension in the executive arm of government with two camps fast emerging among ministers; those sympathetic to the DP whom they say is unfairly being targeted against those known to only take orders from the head of state

Kenya’s Police are investigating an alleged “assassination plot” targeting the country’s Deputy President William Ruto.

Authorities have narrowed down to two aides suspected to have generated and circulated a fake letter that has created a storm in the last week after four Cabinet secretaries were summoned at the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) on Monday.

Investigators are now convinced that the duo from the communications department were behind the document.

There had been strong indications Friday that the pair from Dr Ruto’s office, whose phones were off throughout the weekend, would be questioned by detectives but this is yet to be done as investigators follow crucial leads. This came as questions linger over the intention of releasing the letter and a subsequent audio clip that appeared to “confirm” such a meeting took place.

On Saturday, DCI boss George Kinoti remained tight-lipped on whether there would be arrests as his officers confided that investigations so far had absolved senior government officials who were alleged to have been in a meeting to plot the murder”.

“Investigations are still ongoing. I can’t say anything that can jeopardise them,” Mr Kinoti told the Sunday Nation.

A high-ranking official at the Interior ministry conversant with the matter told Sunday Nation that detectives had been instructed to adopt a wait-and-see approach before making any move on those suspected to have drafted the letter.

The fear of spending the weekend in the cells had seen one of the two aides to the DP move out of Nairobi as the other switched off his phones.
“Those who wrote the letter are now well-known. Whatever they had in mind has backfired,” said the official.

Content

The letter is believed to have been drafted and printed in a cybercafe on Lang’ata Road with the intention of disrupting meetings held by senior Mount Kenya officials to apparently counter Dr Ruto’s inroads in the region.

Dated May 30, 2019, the letter claims that a meeting was convened at Hotel La Mada behind the National Intelligence Service (NIS) headquarters to discuss how to “shore up support for the President in Mt Kenya and its diaspora” and the issue of Mr Ruto’s “assassination”.

So far, investigations into the letter’s contents has left more questions than answers on whether there was such a plot in the first place.

However, the issue has continued to generate heat across the country.

On Saturday, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang demanded a thorough probe into the matter at a function attended by Mr Ruto.

“We want everyone who has been mentioned to record statements. It should not be treated lightly.”
And speaking in Kirinyaga County, ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi accused Dr Ruto of recklessness, warning that the assassination claims could easily plunge the country into anarchy.

Propaganda

Detectives investigating the matter are said to be getting increasingly frustrated by the fact that the DP is yet to record a statement despite complaining informally.

But a source at the DP’s office maintained that the DCI ought to proceed with investigations without necessarily having him record a statement. He, however, revealed there was anxiety that the heat was being turned on Dr Ruto’s aides.

An employee based at his offices told Sunday Nation, “The risk of political backlash in central Kenya is real. Let’s wait and see what happens. But trust me, if it comes out that the letter was from Harambee Annex, I know the DP will crack the whip,” said the official.

Another official revealed that the individuals behind the letter may have probably intended it to circulate on social media as part of a propaganda game only and never expected that Dr Ruto would pick up the claims with the President, resulting in full-scale investigations.

Investigative agencies have washed their hands off the matter by announcing they had invited the American Federal of Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in a well calculated move, leaving the ball in the Ruto camp to prove the assassination claims.

“We have been accused before of being biased in our work. We decided to bring an independent body to carry out investigations and identify the people who authored the suspicious letter and the origin of the allegations,” Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji told MPs on Thursday.

Spurious

Lingering questions include why Mr Kinoti assigned Mr Michael Sang, the head of the Economic Crimes Unit to deal with the matter and not his counterpart at the Serious Crimes Unit, Joseph Kariuki.

Mr Sang has been in charge of several investigations in the past which have led to arrests of government officials suspected of corruption.

It has also emerged that the Cabinet secretaries who went to the DCI headquarters on Kiambu road on Monday only hovered around the Economic Crimes wing for about an hour before coming out to waiting journalists without being questioned. They did not record any statements and have not been summoned again.

Sunday Nation has established that the CSs, Sicily Kariuki, Joe Mucheru, James Macharia and Peter Munya had last weekend got wind that the DP had complained about the alleged assassination plot and in order to pre-empt it, they decided to show up on Kiambu Road.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho who has been adversely mentioned in the said letter has termed the allegations spurious and unworthy of his time.

“It is utter nonsense,” Dr Kibicho told the Nation on Friday. “There are people out there hawking falsehoods and they will be embarrassed.”

Poisoned

And in the face of wide speculation that poisoned environment would make it hard for the Cabinet to convene, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Thursday took to Twitter to inform the public of a meeting he and Education CS George Magoha, his Environment counterpart Keriako Tobiko and ICT minister Joe Mucheru had with leaders from Nyanza.

“I held a meeting with Nyanza leadership where we agreed to take various steps to expedite the execution of national government projects in the region,” he wrote.

The Sunday Nation has learnt that since the incident, there is a groundswell of tension in the executive arm of government with two camps fast emerging among ministers; those sympathetic to the DP whom they say is unfairly being targeted against those known to only take orders from the head of state.

Succession wars have taken centre stage in government with some senior civil servants in the Office of the President not spared in what threatens service delivery as supporters of DP Ruto demand action against the alleged architects of the heinous conspiracy, if at all any.

The President may urgently need to intervene to stable the ship lest it runs aground before 2022 polls as allies of the DP accuse him of going back on his promise to back him in the next polls.

In what smacks of a battle of wits, a leading Jubilee politician yesterday claimed that the letter was to scuttle a pending reorganisation in government by the president which would have seen some allies of one camp sent packing.

Source: Sunday Nation

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