Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mutula links death threats to ICC

By MWAKERA MWAJEFA [email protected]

Education minister Mutula Kilonzo has attributed the threatening text messages sent to him and members of his family to his stand on a number of politically sensitive issues.

In an interview with the Sunday Nation, Mr Kilonzo, the former Justice minister, cited his outspoken stand on Kenyan cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC), free education funds and constitutional reforms as possible reasons he was being targeted with death threats.

He spoke on the sidelines of the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association meeting in Mombasa on Thursday.

Last week, the minister told Parliament that he had received two messages from unknown people, threatening to kill him, on Tuesday.

Mr Kilonzo said that his wife and daughter had also received similar messages.

“I am not like Martha [Karua] who bowed out of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs under pressure. I am a hard nut to crack. That is why they removed me from the ministry because of my stand on ICC trials,” he said.

“I am the first sitting Cabinet minister to receive such messages in the history of this nation.”

Mr Kilonzo vowed to get on with his life, saying that conceding to the threats would hand the people behind the messages a leeway to control him.

“Fear is the key that is used to control the human will and resolve. Brave people die only once but cowards die very many times,” he said.

“Their messages are horrifying for a soft heart because they threatened to rape my wife and daughter before killing me in cold blood.”

Mr Kilonzo said he received the first message at his Jogoo House office in Nairobi on his way to Parliament but ignored it. The second message followed at 4.20 p.m. while he was in the House.

“This time round I could not keep it to myself so I shared the two messages with my Cabinet colleagues and Speaker Kenneth Marende,” he said.

The sender, who did not identify himself or herself, claimed to be working under the instructions of a ‘boss’ he named and who works at a firm on State House Road.

The boss, according to the sender, has connections to the Al-Shabaab terror group.

The sender alleged involvement in the recent kidnapping of Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara, the bombing of Assanands House and the explosion at a church in Ngara, Nairobi.

The minister recorded statements with the police, the CID director and the National Security Intelligence Services (NSIS) on Wednesday after consultations with close associates.

While at the Justice ministry, Mr Kilonzo was outspoken for his firm stand on the ICC trials and repeatedly advised Kenyans facing charges to cooperate with the court.

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