Leaders ask Ruto to record statement as Juma is buried

Sunday May 15 2016

The slain businessman Jacob Juma. According to Mr Odinga, the businessman, who he described as an ally, was killed due to the information he possessed over the Eurobond saga and the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal. PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The slain businessman Jacob Juma. According to Mr Odinga, the businessman, who he described as an ally, was killed due to the information he possessed over the Eurobond saga and the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal. PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

EMEKA-MAYAKA GEKARA
By EMEKA-MAYAKA GEKARA
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BARNABAS BII
By BARNABAS BII
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Opposition leaders on Saturday asked Deputy President William Ruto to record a statement with the police over a series of tweets sent out by slain businessman Jacob Juma to the effect that he planned to kill him.

According to the leaders, who addressed a large gathering of mourners at Mr Juma’s Bungoma home, the businessman had named the individuals he believed were plotting his death on his social media platforms.

They asked Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet to use the tweets as leads in the investigation.

The Cord leaders, who included former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula as well as Amani National Congress chief Musalia Mudavadi, pointed fingers at the Jubilee Government over Mr Juma’s killing on May 5 on Nairobi’s Ngong Road by unknown gunmen.

Mr Odinga particularly singled out the dreaded Kwe Kwe squad, saying it was responsible for the assassination and dismissed comments by Mr Ruto that the Opposition was making political capital out of the Juma family’s grief.

According to Mr Odinga, the businessman, who he described as an ally, was killed due to the information he possessed over the Eurobond saga and the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal.

“Mr Ruto should record a statement with the police over the allegations made against him by Mr Juma on his twitter handle before he died. That is where the investigations should start,” said Mr Odinga following similar comments by Mr Cyrus Jirongo and Senator Boni Khalwale of Kakamega.

While Mr Jirongo dared the DP to sue him over comments linking him to the killing of Mr Juma, Mr Ruto has reacted angrily to insinuations that he was behind the killing.

Through his lawyers, the DP said that he has never had any physical contact with Mr Juma and threatened to sue anybody linking him to the murder.

He also challenged Mr Odinga to give any evidence on Mr Juma’s killing to security agencies investigating the incident to facilitate arrest of suspects.

He said it was meaningless for leaders who had lost popularity to exploit the killing of Mr Juma for political mileage.

“I want to ask Cord leaders to record statements with the police on what they know about the murder instead of implicating other leaders who they disagree with,” said Mr Ruto.

SOLVE THE CASE

Mr Odinga said that those behind the elimination of former Mungiki members who had been lined up to testify for the prosecution of the ICC suspects were responsible for Mr Juma’s assassination.

Speaking on Saturday, the Opposition leaders vowed never to record any statements with the police over the murder.

“The Jubilee Government stands indicted over Mr Juma’s killing. We are not going to forget and move on,” said Mr Musyoka.

Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka, who was the only senior pro-Jubilee politician present, excused himself and left after making brief remarks.

Mr Wetang’ula claimed that the country had been held hostage by crooks and asked members of the Luhya community to be united and vote the Jubilee Government out, while Mr Odinga declared that Mr Juma’s blood “must trigger a movement that will liberate the country from tyranny and politics of assassination”.

“Why is it that the Office of the President or that of the Interior minister has not issued any statement over the murder of Mr Juma?

They are playing cheap and directionless politics,” said Mr Wetang’ula. Mr Musyoka and Mr Mudavadi called for the formation of a select committee of Parliament to investigate the killing, saying the government was unlikely to co-operate with independent investigators such as America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation or the UK’s Scotland Yard as had been suggested by the family and some politicians.

The widow, Miriam, mourned her husband as loving and caring. His nine-year-old son John moved the audience when he repeated his famous tribute that “a man will always remain a man even when he is dead”.

“My dad did not fear even the people who killed him. He always fought for the truth,” said the boy.

Other senior politicians present were MPs Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi), Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini), Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza), Rose Nyamunga (Kisumu Women Rep) and Oburu Oginga (nominated).