Serious claims

Was the Ruto assassination plot letter fake?

Revelations of secret night meetings by Cabinet Secretaries and some top government technocrats have raised hard questions over their real end game.

In Summary

• The decision by some CSs to hold meetings to reportedly plan for development programmes for their native regions that has triggered a storm.

Deputy President William Ruto. / FILE
Deputy President William Ruto. / FILE

DCI officers investigating a letter by an unknown cabinet secretary were last night exploring the theory that the alleged assassination plot against DP William Ruto could be a hoax.

The officers told the Star that they had traced the source of the letter and were about to summon those they suspect authored it.

"We are pretty confident that we are about to find those behind the letter. All we can tell you is that no cabinet secretary wrote the letter," one of the officers said.

 

The investigations have, however, been slowed down by the fact that Deputy President William Ruto who claimed there is a plot to kill him is yet to record a statement.

Ruto is reported to have raised the matter with President Uhuru Kenyatta who then asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Director George Kinoti to investigate the claims.

"We are waiting to record the DP's statement and that will give us a chance to properly investigate this serious matter which we hope to conclude within the shortest time possible," Kinoti said.

The letter is at the centre of the drama that has hit President Uhuru Kenyatta's cabinet.

The alleged letter which has been circulating online for a week now,  led to the summoning of three CSs by the DCI on Monday.

The letter dated May 30 claims that a meeting had been convened at Hotel La Mada to discuss how to "shore up support for the President in Mt. Kenya and its diaspora."

Also on the agenda was a "proposed referendum" and a plan to"go on the offensive against Ruto.

 
 

On Monday, Industrialisation CS Peter Munya confirmed that the letter was the basis on which they were summoned by the DCI.

 "The DP has not recorded any statement. Standard procedure is that if someone makes an allegation of that nature then that person is required by law to record a statement," Munya said on behalf of his five colleagues.

Top technocrats from Central, including cabinet secretaries, have openly admitted to having frequent meetings to spearhead development projects in the region.

However, questions are now being asked as to what the role of the powerful National Development Implementation and Communication Committee headed by Interior CS Fred Matiangi is.

Under Matiangi is an equally influential National Development Implementation Technical Committee headed by PS Karanja Kibicho with a huge network of the provincial administration officials across the country.

The organs created in January this year were meant to coordinate and supervise the execution of all government projects.

"Cabinet secretaries cannot meet to discuss issues of Mt Kenya region because they were not appointed to represent Mt Kenya alone.

"They are public servants and technocrats using resources from the exchequer to map out development for the whole country," University don Edward Kisiangani protested.

The 2010 Constitution was enacted to cure concerns that ministers who were hitherto elected MPs used their positions in the cabinet to skew allocations of national development.

President Kenyatta's cabinet comprises of 22 cabinet secretaries, the majority of whom hail from the country's giant tribes.

Former Vice President Musalia Mudavadi asked that the assassination claims and reports of secret night meetings be probed thoroughly.

"That is why we are saying the meetings should be investigated. What has come out of it? What is the validity of it? We say that investigate it thoroughly so that it is laid to rest and nipped in the bud," Mudavadi said.

Mudavadi warned that the government could be grounded to a halt because of "high levels of mistrust and animosity in the cabinet" following the storm brought by the assassination claims.

On Tuesday Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said he was the one who initiated meetings at Hotel La Mada but said the focus was on development.

“This whole meeting of La Mada including the choice of the hotel, I’m the one who initiated it because I am the coordinator of development in our region. Let us believe the investigative agencies are going to tell us the truth. Once they give us the truth it’ll be a turning point for this country,” Kuria said.

In an interview with a local TV station, the Gatundu South lawmaker, however, said he did not attend the particular meeting cited by Ruto.

ODM chairman John Mbadi appeared to laugh off Ruto's assassination claims but cautiously warned that the matter should not be used to stir "unnecessary tensions and emotions".

He said there was nothing wrong for people to meet over development since such issues involve lobbying.

"CSs can meet political leaders and I don't think there is anything wrong with that," he said.

Mbadi, however, said the assassination claims presented an interesting development where something close to a rally could be "called to plan how to assassinate even a junior person leave alone the Deputy President."

"Whether it makes sense or it doesn't, whether it is flimsy or not, let investigations be done," the National Assembly Minority leader said.

Political analyst Mark Bichachi said it was unfortunate that some CSs were holding meetings to discuss development matters for a certain region when they should be discussing development for the whole country.

"There is nothing wrong with people meeting. The only problem is when they say they met to discuss development in that region of the country. Why would they have such a meeting when they have full cabinet meetings," he said.

Butere MP Tindi Mwale asked the DP to record a formal statement with the DCI if he is serious about his claims.

"Kenyans can only take the Deputy President seriously if he records a statement," he said.