. I was taken aback when I heard the deputy president William Ruto stating that some “powerful forces in the system” are plotting to scuttle his 2022 presidential bid. He claimed these forces were determined to use all means at their disposal to have their way.
With due respect to DP, it was hard to believe this. This is because he did not reveal the names of those behind the plot and how it is being hatched.
Again, he first made these remarks during the burial of Sergeant Kipyegon Kenei, a police officer who was the head of security at his Harambee House Annex. As we all know, two days earlier the head of DCI had updated the country on the progress of investigations and linked the cold blood murder to arms deal.
The CCTV footage he released showed the images of Kenei receiving the former Sports CS Rashid Echesa, two foreigners and the purported military general and ushering them to the office of the DP. Reports indicated the agenda of this meeting was to sign a fake Sh40 billion military equipment deal. The two foreigners, who run a Poland based company, would have been conned.
The DP was not in the office at the time but, in a tweet, he confirmed Echesa group visited his office. They only stayed there for 23 minutes and then left. This time was not enough to plan on how to con these foreigners. But according to DCI, the group stayed there for one hour and 21 minutes.
On that day, detectives, who were investigating the fraudsters’ activities, thwarted an attempt to con the investors. They laid an ambush and arrested Echesa, the fake general and two of their accomplices. They were later arraigned and the court released them on bail.
The Kenyan laws are very clear. No person, no matter his or her status, is allowed to comment on a criminal matter that is under investigation or before the court. Therefore, one would have the DP to respect these provisions. This would apply even in situations where, in one’s opinion, he thinks the DCI is ‘playing politics’. You have to wait for the detectives to conclude the investigations and then challenge the evidence they present in court.
The lifeless body of Kenei was found in his house a few days after going missing. No signal of a missing police officer had been sent out and no report of a missing person had been entered in Occurrence Book at any police station. This is bound to raise more questions but we will track down those behind this heinous crime, the DCI assured.
Besides CCTV footage, Kinoti would demonstrate how a bullet fired from a Jericho pistol moves and where the cartridge would fall. In doing this, he wanted Kenyans to know that Kenei was murdered; contrary to the impression created he had committed suicide,
Therefore, I was taken by surprise when I heard MP Benjamen Washiali, a Ruto ally, criticising Kinoti for undertaking that demonstration. He said he will move a motion in parliament to send him packing. What wrongs did he commit? Time has come for politicians to stop playing politics on grave matter of death.
At this juncture, allow me to explain why I would not have expected to hear the DP saying the ‘system’ is plotting to scuttle his presidential ambitions. As the second in command, he is a key pillar of the ruling Jubilee government. Apart from sitting in the National Security Council, he chairs it when the president is not present.
Given this scenario, my considered view is that the DP has realized that the opposition leaders led by Raila Odinga poses a real threat to his presidential ambitions. That is why he is now playing this card. Seemingly, he knows that he does not have a good track record and he would not want Kenyans to interrogate his past. So, come the election, he want them to vote for him on account of sympathy but not a vision.
Joseph Mutua Ndonga is a Political Analyst and Blogger