There is no way Deputy President William Ruto was in the dark over the fake letter that said he was the target of an assassination plot. These were the sentiments of some Jubilee leaders who want Mr Ruto investigated on claims of being a murder target.
Twenty MPs drawn from Jubilee Party and the Orange Democratic Movement have challenged the DP to take responsibility for the fabrication, apologise and resign from office.
The MPs, mostly allied to President Kenyatta and Mr Raila Odinga, also want the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to launch investigations with a view to ascertaining what the DP knew about the fake letter that has been circulating on social media.
At a press briefing at Parliament Buildings Thursday afternoon, the MPs, commonly referred to as Kieleweke, accused the DP of compromising national security and demanded that he resign for sabotaging the government from within.
“The country is dealing with a very dangerous situation brought about by Ruto himself. He has unleashed a dangerous card and the DCI should stop at nothing including arresting him because no one is above the law in Kenya,” Tiaty MP William Kamket said.
The MPs spoke just a day after the arrest of Mr Ruto’s aide Dennis Itumbi and hours after he was arraigned in regard to the letter that contained details of an alleged meeting in which claims to assassinate the DP were discussed by senior government officials from Mt Kenya region.
In a bare-knuckle attack, the MPs declared that Mr Itumbi was a mere decoy in the whole scheme, which they said was hatched by senior state officials in the DP’s office with Mr Ruto’s blessing.
“The arrest should not just stop at the dog. We want the owner of the dog to be taken in for questioning now that it is clear that the whole affair came from his office. If it is true, the DP should resign because he has no moral authority to lead the country,” Mr Kamket said.
He added that the DP should be held politically and criminally liable for the claims. The claim has split the executive over the highly charged 2022 succession. Four Cabinet secretaries from the Mount Kenya region were summoned by the DCI over the alleged plot.
Ms Sicily Kariuki (Health), Mr Joe Mucheru (ICT) and Mr Peter Munya (Industry, Trade and Cooperatives) were questioned at DCI headquarters over meetings they had been holding, allegedly to plan how to assassinate the DP.
Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka insisted that the DCI should have the courage to summon the DP over the claims, which could polarise the country as was the case in 2007/2008 post-election violence.
Kilifi South Ken Chonga described the murder claims as a ruse to mask the financial scandals the DP has been implicated in the last six years.
“Dr Ruto made the strange allegations, but it’s turning out to be that his staff and strategists have been arrested in connection with the letter. Let him take full responsibility of the fake assassination claims,” Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said.
This presents a new headache for Mr Ruto whose hopes of assuming power is hinged on the populous Kikuyu vote.
The anti-Ruto brigade led by Mr Wambugu also cast doubts on why the DP failed to record the statement with the detectives over the murder claims, saying, the allegations were grave.
“Could it be that the Deputy President knew what he was doing when he failed to record the statement with the detectives?” Mr Wambugu posed.
Gatanga MP Nduati Ngugi said the DP should apologise to the people and leaders of Central Kenya.
Score political points
Senate Deputy Chief Whip Irungu Kangata called for impartiality and fairness in the investigations and urged leaders not to politicise the matter.
“This is an issue I urge leaders to tone down on and avoid trying to score political points because it touches on a sensitive office and comes at a time when we are in the middle of a succession tussle which, if not handled well, might result in problems. Kenya has a chequered history on such matters,” he told the Nation.
Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege said the issue would not stop Mt Kenya leaders from meeting. She noted that they were patiently waiting for the law to take its course, but “would continue meeting during the day and during the night.”