Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga have clashed over investigations into the killing of a policeman who worked at the DP’s office.
While Mr Ruto and his allies accuse Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti of bungling investigations and engaging in media drama, ODM leader Raila Odinga says the revelations that Sergeant Kipyegon Kenei was killed over a fake arms deal that was negotiated at the DP’s office were embarrassing to the Presidency.
“Those who live by the sword shall also die by the same. What you do at night will be revealed in daytime,” Mr Odinga said.
Leading the calls for detectives to step up investigations into the two matters was Siaya Senator James Orengo, who told Mr Kinoti to fully take charge of the office. He suggested that the DP’s wing should be thoroughly cleared and properly sealed as a crime scene by the forensic investigators.
His sentiments were echoed by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, who supported the DCI boss and asked detectives to record statements even from Deputy President William Ruto.
“Everyone, and I mean everyone, who works at the office of the Deputy President, starting with DP William Ruto to the person who cleans the toilets, should be probed. This way, a lead will be found and the real culprit arrested and charged,” said Mr Mutua.
“If, going by the police analysis, Sgt Kenei was murdered because he received telephone instructions to facilitate a corrupt deal, it means this is a high-stakes affair and Kenyans should not rest until the truth is out for all to see.”
ODM leaders backed the DCI and urged Mr Kinoti to declare Mr Ruto office’s a crime scene and have it sealed off by forensic investigators to ensure investigations relating to the Sh39 billion arms scam and the death of Sgt Kenei are not bungled.
Hours after Mr Kinoti said the killing of Sgt Kenei was connected to the tender scandal planned at the DP’s office complex, Mr Ruto took to Twitter and fired back, curtly telling him to stop the drama and bring to book the killers.
“The truth must be found on why, how, and who killed Mr Kenei,” Mr Ruto tweeted on Friday morning. “The family, ODP (Office of Deputy President) and Kenyans want the truth and justice and culprits held to account. The drama, distortions, convenient half-truths and smear campaigns in sponsored headlines amount to a criminal cover-up.”
The DP’s comments came hours after the DCI chief provided a blow-by-blow account of Kenei’s last moments at Harambee House Annex during a media briefing at his office on Thursday.
And, at a rally in Murang’a on Friday, Mr Ruto found support from Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, who also hit out at the DCI, accusing the agency of showbiz and drama instead of concentrating on investigations.
“I was arrested the other day but when I went to court the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) could not prefer charges against me. Mr Kinoti is only interested in showbiz and media stunts instead of concentrating on his work. That’s what he is currently doing with the Kenei and corruption cases,” Mr Nyoro said.
Similar allegations were made by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, who, in a series of tweets, claimed that Mr Kinoti had attempted to transfer the head of the ballistics department at DCI and challenged him to explain why.
“What is he hiding?” posed Mr Murkomen. “Was there an attempt to transfer the head of the ballistics department at DCI? If so, why? Kenyans want to know the truth.”
Accusing the DCI of a cover-up, Mr Murkomen, who is also the Elgeyo-Marakwet senator, asked the DCI to reveal the identities of the two foreigners who accompanied former Sports minister Rashid Echesa when they visited Mr Ruto’s office.
Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot described the Kenei as a good man whom he knew quite well and regretted the way he had met his death.
“If he was killed, may his killers never know peace. Same goes for those who see, in his death, an opportunity to play little political games,” he tweeted.
In the footage released by the DCI, Kenei was spotted guiding into the VIP lift one of the suspects, who had posed as a Kenyan military general during negotiations with the foreign arms dealers.
He on the phone as they exited the lift on the second floor. He later handed the phone to Daniel Otieno Omondi, aka General Juma, suggesting the person on the other end of the line discussed a matter known to the two.
Additional reporting by Dickens Wasonga and Kitavi Mutua.