SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS

Uhuru ordered DCI to probe Ruto assassination plot

Kinoti confirms Ruto had made claim but said they will commence investigations once he records a statement

In Summary

• CSs Munya, Kariuki and Mucheru deny plot to eliminate Ruto

• DCI Kinoti says a special team has been set up to investigate 

Cabinet Secretaries Peter Munya (Industrialization), Cecily Kariuki (Health), James Gicheru (ICT) and Permanent Secretaries Joseph Njoroge (Energy) and Jerome Ochieng (ICT) leave DCI headquarters in Nairobi on Monday.
CLAIMS OF PLOT: Cabinet Secretaries Peter Munya (Industrialization), Cecily Kariuki (Health), James Gicheru (ICT) and Permanent Secretaries Joseph Njoroge (Energy) and Jerome Ochieng (ICT) leave DCI headquarters in Nairobi on Monday.
Image: GEORGE OWITI

President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered DCI George Kinoti to investigate claims of a plan to assassinate Deputy Presiden William Ruto.

According to multiple sources in Ruto's office, the DP complained to the President that some Cabinet Secretaries and senior state officials had been conducting meetings to plan how to eliminate him. 

"The President then instructed DCI George Kinoti to investigate the matter and arraign those involved, if indeed there was such a plot," a source said.

 

Kinoti confirmed that Ruto made the claim but said they will commence investigations once he records a statement.

"This is a very serious allegation and we will treat it as such," he said.

There was a flurry of activity over the weekend in State House after Ruto complained.

The Star learnt that on Saturday, a security meeting was called at State House to discuss the issue prompting the summoning of the Cabinet Secretaries by DCI on Monday.

"As we speak, the DP's security has been beefed up until it is established that there is no threat to him," a source aware of the meetings said.

On Monday, CS Munya said that the DCI had informed them that it was the DP who complained about their meeting and an alleged letter to the President.

But sources close to the DP and the investigations said that the DP complained to the President who in turn called on DCI boss Kinoti to investigate the matter.

 
 

The Star was also informed that the President has said the meetings that the CSs and other technocrats were holding at La Mada Hotel on Thika Road should be stopped.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Industrialisation CS Peter Munya said the claims were baseless, despite confirming the meetings happened.

"They (DCI) have confirmed to us that DP Ruto made a call and complained that some CSs together with other senior government officers have been meeting at La Mada. He gave us specific dates of 14th May 2019," Munya said.

The CS added that they have the freedom of association and their meetings arose from complaints by Mt Kenya MPs that the government had neglected the region.                      

The latest developments have brought to the fore divisions ripping apart the Jubilee administration with ministers allied to President  Kenyatta openly taking on Ruto.

On Monday, Munya accused Ruto of being “reckless and irresponsible” in what is likely to heighten the infighting in government.

Flanked by ICT CS Joe Mucheru, Health CS Sicily Kariuki and a host of principal secretaries, Munya threatened legal action against Ruto for portraying them as criminals.

“These are very serious allegations, especially coming from the person of the stature of the Deputy President occupying an extremely powerful and important office in this land,” an agitated Munya said after visiting DCI headquarters.

“I would expect somebody in that office to do proper investigations. There are machineries to do that before making unsubstantiated allegations of that nature.”

A redacted letter whose authenticity is in question and allegedly written to Uhuru by a disgruntled CS from Mt Kenya claims Interior PS Karanja Kibicho said Ruto must be stopped by all means, including death, from becoming President.

“The PS told the meeting that DP must be stopped but more worrying was the allusion to the late Cabinet Minister and former Vice President George Saitoti’s plane crash. The PS went on to say even Saitoti, who was planning to run for the presidency, was stopped. Who does this one think he is?” the letter reads in part.

According to the document that is the subject of investigations by DCI cybercrime unit, Kibicho had called for a meeting at Hotel La Mada specifically to plot against Ruto, plan for a referendum and shore up support for Uhuru.

 

But it has emerged that Ruto did not want the complaint made public and was last evening reportedly complaining Kinoti had “betrayed” him.

“He simply wanted the DCI to clandestinely investigate the assassination plot. Kinoti went public and the DP is not happy,” a highly placed source in government told the Star.

Even after tearing into Ruto’s character, the DP’s office remained uncharacteristically tight-lipped and declined to respond to the CS.

Just two months ago, Ruto and his allies ran a massive campaign against Kinoti and accused him of being used to put roadblocks on Ruto’s path to the presidency in 2022

On Monday, political observers said Jubilee was staring at a nasty split and warned that service delivery, especially President Uhuru’s legacy projects, would be dealt a staggering blow.

“The Cabinet is not reading from the same script. I am shocked by how low we have sunk,” Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria told the Star.

It has since emerged that Ruto remains in control of about six CSs only in the 21- member Cabinet.

These are Farida Karoney (Lands), Simon Chelugui (Water), Mwangi Kiunjuri (Agriculture), Henry Rotich (Finance), Adan Mohammed (EAC) and Charles Keter (Energy).

On Monday, a confident Munya said the alleged meetings were indeed true and had the blessings of none other than President  Kenyatta.

“ Indeed, we had a meeting at La Mada Hotel and we will continue having meetings because, under the Constitution of Kenya, there is freedom of association and that of expression,” said Munya

He said the genesis of the meeting was a meeting of Central Kenya MPs in Naivasha, followed by another in Nyeri where they complained that the government was not fast-tracking development programs in the region and that State officers were inaccessible to them.

 “In that meeting, the President instructed me to get those issues from the MPs and then coordinate from the government’s side so as to have the issues sorted since the President is busy and also to call the ministers for a meeting on the complaints. In fact, we have another meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) to continue sorting out issues that affect residents from Mt Kenya region,” Munya disclosed

 “There is nothing sinister, unusual for people from any particular part of this country to meet to discuss issues that affect them. Those meetings were geared towards finding solutions to socio-economic challenges experienced by the locals, not to assassinate the DP,” Munya added.

Also summoned to record a statement at the DCI headquarters on Monday was Transport CS James Macharia and parastatal chiefs from the Mt Kenya region.

Present during Munya's press briefing were Permanent Secretaries Joseph Njoroge (Energy) and his Information Communication Technology counterpart Jerome Ochieng.

Munya disclosed that they were grilled by DCI detective Michael Sang over the allegations but failed to record statements since the Deputy President had not made any official complaint about the assassination claims.

Munya said he mobilized his colleagues to report to the DCI headquarters on Monday morning after he was summoned to do so by Sang.

“On Sunday, I received a text message from a CID officer that there were senior government officers who have been having meetings to harm somebody. He summoned me to report together with my colleagues to the institution at exactly 9.00am today. That I am the one who has been chairing the meetings,” said Munya.

“We have gone through the allegations. There is nothing recorded in the OB. No written complaint or report. What they have is a purported letter that has been circulating on social media,” he added.

He said they were shown the letter but the DCI could not authenticate it.

“If they authenticate it, then we are ready to respond to it if we are called upon since we are law-abiding Kenyans,” he stated.

The CS said detective Sang confirmed to them that Ruto made a phone call to the DCI complaining that some government officials have been meeting to hatch a plot on his assassination.

 “That is why the DCI thought that the allegations were serious. We have not recorded any statements. We have told those who claim received the calls to put them in writing so that we respond.”

Munya said they had come to a conclusion with the detectives that they cannot record any statement until the complainant records an official statement with the investigating authority.

He revealed that they had made it clear that as government officials from Central region, there is no time they have ever met to plan on killing Ruto or any other person.

The CS said Ruto has never raised such claims of a plot to assassinate him in any formal government meetings.

“He has never raised these issues formally in any of the government meetings or any formal forum.”

Munya said they would take legal action against the DP.

“We are waiting for the DCI to complete their investigations so as to take legal action either individually or as a team,” he said.

He however noted that as leaders from Mt Kenya, they will continue working with Ruto as the Deputy President of Kenya.