Detectives are focusing on the authenticity of the mystery letter alleging a plot to assassinate Deputy President William Ruto, although the DP is yet to record any statement on the matter.
On Tuesday evening, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti said investigations have centred on the source of the letter as the first line of inquiry.
“We are treating that letter seriously and investigators want to ascertain its origin and authenticity. Once we know the source of the letter and how it came to existence, we shall focus on the authenticity of the issues raised,” said Mr Kinoti.
Sources told the Nation that President Uhuru Kenyatta took the report of the alleged assassination plot seriously, and consulted senior security and military chiefs, leading to a decision to have the issue investigated by the Directorate of Criminal investigations.
However, the fact that there is still no complainant so far, owing to the Deputy President’s failure to record a statement, means that investigations might not proceed beyond verification of the letter alleging an assassination plot.
Last night, State House could not confirm whether the letter, addressed to President Kenyatta, was indeed received. “What I can confirm is that the matter is now being handled by detectives. As for authenticity, we have to wait for the investigators to finish their work,” said State House spokesperson Kanze Dena-Mararo.
The mysterious letter, which first appeared on social media, has raised political heat and left open divisions within the Jubilee Party.
Three Cabinet Secretaries named as plotting the assassination of Mr Ruto appeared at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on Monday to record statements. But the three — Mr Peter Munya (Industry), Ms Sicily Kariuki (Health) and Mr Joe Mucheru (ICT) — did not record statements, since there was no formal complaint.
“So far, we have no formal complaint,” said Mr Kinoti. “But it is our work as police officers to investigate any crime about to be committed and which comes to our attention.”
On Monday, the Cabinet Secretaries dismissed the claims as reckless. Mr Munya, Ms Kariuki and Mr Mucheru admitted that they had been holding meetings at Nairobi’s La Mada restaurant but said their discussions focused on Mt Kenya development matters.
The allegations have exposed the underbelly of the Presidency. Some 19 months into his final term, President Kenyatta’s wish for a quiet political moment at State House now appears unfeasible.
While his dalliance with his erstwhile opponent-turned-key ally Raila Odinga silenced the opposition ranks, the race to succeed Mr Kenyatta has caused a political fever within the ruling party — but, ironically, left the President isolated.
In public, Mr Kenyatta appears unhappy, perhaps incensed, unlike during his first term, when State House was full of pomp and Kenyans saw a bubbly President and Deputy President. Not anymore.
Events this week indicated that Jubilee, as a united political party, had crossed the Rubicon, and that Mr Kenyatta’s Cabinet was now a divided house.
At the heart of the accusations and counter-accusations is a deep rift and growing suspicion within Mr Kenyatta’s government over his successor and the role the President is playing in the succession politics.
But what has emerged from political analysts is that Jubilee cannot ignore Mr Ruto and his constituency.
“There can never be building bridges from Kiambu to Kisumu without going through the Rift Valley,” former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo told NTV on Tuesday.
Pundits say the most probable action would be to call an urgent Cabinet and party meeting to thrash out the emerging issues and call to order the rebelling voices.
“I would like to appeal to the President to convene a Jubilee Party Parliamentary Group meeting … it will give members a chance to express themselves and for the President to speak to us too,” said Gilgil MP Martha Wangari.
By Tuesday, the regular Cabinet meeting set for Thursdays was not in the President’s diary — perhaps to wait for the temperatures to cool down.
Additional reporting by Jeremiah Kiplanga’t