Opposition leaders Thursday accused the State of being behind the killing of controversial businessman Jacob Juma and named top State officials that they said should be questioned.
Speaking at a funeral service for the businessman at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, the politicians, including Cord leader Raila Odinga, said police must start by investigating senior State officials instead of summoning Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula.
“Those we pay to protect us are the hit men,” Mr Wetang’ula told the mourners. He said Mr Juma knew the people who wanted to kill him and had named them on his Twitter page.
“I want to tell the IG (Inspector-General of Police) for free that the recent tweets of Jacob Juma can be taken as dying declarations and can be used as irrefutable evidence,” the senator said.
“If he wants us to record statements, he is in the wrong business.”
He said there was a deliberate and systematic diversion in the investigations into the killing after Mr Juma’s widow, Miriam, said no police officer had contacted her since her husband was shot dead on Thursday night.
“We will not accept and move on,” Mr Wetang’ula said.
Cord leader Raila Odinga also put the State on the spot over the shooting of Mr Juma.
“The inspector-general knows who killed Jacob Juma,” he said. This was a hit squad and it is known.”
According to Mr Odinga, Mr Juma, from time to time, stumbled on evidence of massive corruption.
“Whenever he did, he raised the alarm. He spoke when his connections led him to evidence of massive theft at the National Youth Service and when they led him to Eurobond theft,” he said.
However, former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo made the most sensational claim, saying that Police Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet should narrow his investigations to a senior figure in the Jubilee administration, who he said had had an altercation with Mr Juma prior to his death.
“The IG knows exactly who killed Juma,” he said. “The people who strangled Meshack Yebei are the same people who killed Jacob Juma. You cannot ask the killers to investigate themselves. The only solution is to kick out this government,” he said.
Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi called for the formation of a select committee of Parliament to investigate the businessman’s murder.
“Lack of confidence in the investigative agencies calls for a Select Committee of Parliament modelled on the JM Kariuki one. The committee will have powers to summon anyone and ensure there is no conspiracy to hide the truth as it seems the order today.”
According to Mr Mudavadi, investigative agencies seem afraid to confront those Mr Juma accused of plotting to kill him and instead had turned their frustration on those in whom he merely confided.
Mr Mudavadi has been an ally of Jubilee leaders. On Thursday, however, Wiper Democratic Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka challenged him to renounce the alliance and join the Opposition.
He also said that the shooting of Mr Juma was “a State-sponsored killing”.
“Any country that believes in political assassinations has no place in the African Union,” Mr Musyoka.
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said Mr Juma had repeatedly tweeted that a top government official was planning to kill him in the days leading to his death.
“Follow the lead and tell us who killed Juma,” he said.
On Thursday evening, Deputy President William Ruto’s legal adviser, Korir Sing’Oei, sent a statement to newsrooms saying Mr Ruto had noted with concern the comments attributed particularly to Cyrus Jirongo.
“Mr Jirongo made two statements of concern: First, he stated that the killers of Meshack Yebei, a prospective defence witness at the just concluded trial of the Deputy President at the International Criminal Court, were the same persons who killed Jacob Juma.
“Second, he stated, ‘Juma slapped Ruto. That is where the problem started and investigations should start there’. Taken together, Hon Jirongo’s statements carry the patent insinuation that Mr Ruto was involved in the deaths of both Mr Yebei and Mr Juma”.
He described the claims as “false, unfounded, malicious, mischievous and without basis in fact” and warned that anyone who circulates such information will be liable to legal action.
During the memorial service, Mr Juma’s widow told mourners that the police investigating the killing of her husband were yet to take statements from her or contact her in any way.
She said no police officer had been to her Karen home to share information.
“Nobody came to inform me (about the killing). Not even the police, even though my house is not far from the Karen Police Station,” she said amid tears.
She said she only learnt of her husband’s death on Friday morning when she took their two children to school.
“Nobody has come to my house to talk to me about the killing, so when I hear there is an investigation, I wonder which investigation is this?”
Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro has said in a statement that detectives had taken statements from the widow and from the late Juma’s housekeeper.