Forget about victims, I am Kinoti’s target, claims Ruto
Mercy Mwai and Roy Lumbe
Deputy President William Ruto yesterday reacted furiously to the government’s decision to investigate the 2007/08 post-election violence, saying the move was targeting him.
In his now all-too-common modus operandi, Ruto, in a tweet, termed the decision to investigate up to 118 cases relating to the post-election chaos a “provocative incitement” aimed at his 2022 presidential ambitions.
“The provocative incitement to ethnic hate/division intended by the resurrection of PEV is an evil attempt to resuscitate the tribe project destroyed by the hustler movements’ realisation that poverty and unemployment deliberately bred by poor leadership is our problem not our tribes,” read the tweet.
The tweet was a direct reaction to Monday’s announcement by the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti that a team of detectives was investigating 118 cases relating to the violence with a view to prosecuting those found culpable.
Yesterday, Kinoti clarified that the ongoing investigations do not target old cases that have already been investigated and closed, but rather, new cases, which had never been investigated before.
“My address yesterday was, therefore, in no way intended to mean that we are going to open completed cases, which were investigated and closed.
It was an acknowledgment of concerns raised by Kenyans, to assure the public of the commitment of the DCI to investigate all reported threats to security and to sensitise the public on the need for peaceful co-existence,” he said in a statement.
In his tweet, Ruto takes a dig at the Jubilee government where he is the second in command over its alleged “poor leadership”, which had bred poverty and unemployment and which his hustlers’ movement sought to address.
To scuttle his hustler movement, those behind the decision to revisit the post-election violence cases intended to resuscitate the “tribe movement,” Ruto alluded.
He has been meeting delegations at his Karen home in Nairobi and conducting tours in various parts of the country during which he donates assorted items to youths in a bid to empower them.
Ruto had first alluded to a plot to revive the post-election violence cases in order to scuttle his presidential ambitions in a television interview in February.
Then, he maintained that he had engaged the Director of National Intelligence Service (NIS) in a “detailed conversation” and was sure that certain individuals had been sent to the country to explore all ways of reviving the case.
“I had a conversation with NIS director last year and as we speak, some characters have sent people to Kenya to revive ICC cases.
But I want to categorically tell them they will not succeed. In fact, it will be a big surprise to them,” Ruto said.
Speaking on Monday, Kinoti, who addressed some of the victims in Nairobi, warned detectives were determined to ensure there will not be a repeat of violence.
“I would urge you all not to worry. It happened but I can assure you it will not happen again.
The core mandate of the police is to prevent, deter and disrupt. We will not just speak but will act before damage is caused,” he said
One of the victims from Chapakundi in Olenguruone Nakuru county told People Daily that his expectant wife died due to shock after learning that their home had been attacked.
He recounted how, while taking his wife to hospital in Nakuru, he was turned back at Olenguruone and told as violence had erupted at home. “She got worried of the little children we had left back at home.
She just collapsed and died in my arms,” he said. Only identified as DK, he said he had never recorded any statement with the police since then.
“I am glad that finally I have been given an opportunity to narrate what I went through and how I lost my five acres of land. I have not healed but at least I am happy,” he told People Daily.
Yesterday, Ruto’s political allies also waded into the matter, claiming the revival of the cases was a desperate attempt by the State to derail their man’s presidential ambitions.
Speaking at Parliament buildings, about 45 MPs allied to Ruto said the government was employing its “last card” in the anti-DP plot after all their previous attempts failed.
They included Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and his Elgeyo-Marakwet Kipchumba Murkomen and MPs Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Alice Wahome (Kandara), Mohammed Ali (Nyali), David Sankok (Nominated) and Joseph Limo (Kipkellion East).
They all accused Kinoti of being used by individuals whose aim was to settle political scores and demanded that President Uhuru Kenyatta sacks him.
Legislators accused Kinoti of inciting violence between communities living in the Rift Valley.
“Kinoti and his masters are back in town once more. This time round with the announcement of opening of investigations into the post-election violence which took place between late 2007 and early 2008.
In doing so, they conveniently and selectively focused their attention on some incidents, areas and victims,” said Kihika who read the statement on behalf of the MPs.
“Yesterday’s public statement by DCI George Kinoti is yet another instalment of the zealous antics staged purely for cheap publicity to anchor partisan political narratives and fuel divisive agendas,” added Kihika.
MPs claimed Kinoti was deployed by his masters to announce the commencement of investigations and the assembling of evidence as the basis for prosecuting leaders for various trumped-up offences.
They alleged Kinoti’s statement amounted to incitement and provocation of otherwise peaceful citizens in order to force them to vote for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) by instilling fear in them.
“In this spirit of revisiting, we also ask the President to address the Nation on the fate of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Report as well as the recommendations of all past commissions of inquiry.
This will forestall political hirelings from weaponising such reports in future for divisive political agendas, the way DCI Kinoti is now abusing victims of PEV for political sport,” added Kihika.
Murkomen on his part said the re-opening of the cases was aimed at scuttling Ruto’s political ambitions and the hustler movement, which has been embraced by all Kenyans.