Detectives investigate Ruto ‘threats’ to Mutua

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019 00:00 |
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua addresses journalists yesterday at Kilimani Police Station, Nairobi after recording a statement with the police, yesterday. Photo/PD/TABITHA MBATIA

Police have launched investigations into claims by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua that Deputy President William Ruto and two high-ranking Jubilee politicians threatened him with unspecified consequences during separate functions at State House, Nairobi.

Dr. Mutua, who yesterday recorded a statement at Kilimani police station, said that Ruto had on the eve of Jamhuri Day on December 11 uttered words which amounted to a threat on the governor, two weeks after the leaders of government business in the National Assembly and the Senate, Aden Duale and Kipchumba Murkomen resspectively, had also threatened him at the same venue.

He said on that day, he was with former Prime Minister and ODM leader Raila Odinga within State House during a function where President Uhuru Kenyatta was hosting Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley when Ruto threatened him.

Mutua claims when he greeted Ruto, the DP held his hands firmly and warned him:”Umekua ukinichapa sana na lazima sasa nikugonge...Nitakugonga.” (You have been attacking me a lot and now I have to hit you. And I will hit you.)

Mutua added in his statement to the police: “He talked in an angry tone and I told former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and four other senior government officials who were around about the threats. I know what he is capable of doing.”

Ruto had not responded to Mutua’s complaints by the time we went to press last evening, but Duale and Murkomen dismissed the governor’s statement, saying he was merely seeking publicity.

“Governor Alfred Mutua is at it again seeking attention with the most fictitious allegations that can only fit in his failed Cobra Squad TV show.

You will not gain relevance by shouting the names of leaders who have achieved more than you can ever do. Focus on Machakos, Mutua,” Duale tweeted.

Also responding through a tweet, Senator Murkomen said: “Mr. Mutua is writing another episode of his Cobra Squad series.

Having failed spectacularly as a leader he turned himself into a Joseph Goebbels of his county govt (sic). He is of no consequence to anyone to deserve any attention, let alone threats.”

A close friend of Adolf Hitler, Goebbels was a German minister of propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945.

Preliminary assessment

Speaking after taking Mutua’s statement yesterday, Kilimani DCI chief Fatuma Hadi said police will record statements from all those mentioned by the governor. 

“If anybody is found culpable, we shall forward the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DCI) for advice,” she said.

Detectives will seek to establish if the threats were real, “and the actual action the DP, Duale and Murkomen threatened to take against Dr Mutua”.

Though the governor insinuated the threats were aimed at his life, preliminary assessment revealed the alleged threats did not meet the requirement of “threat to kill” under Section 223 of the Penal Code.

According to a senior detective who sought anonymity, the section requires that the threat has to be explicit, in writing or verbal, and must be a threat to kill the person.

Contacted on the issue, DCI director George Kinoti said he was yet to be briefed on Mutua’s complaint.

In his statement, the governor said when making the alleged threat Ruto “appeared serious” and Mutua believed the DP was capable of carrying out the threats. As a result, he asked the police to beef up his security.

“Due to Kenya’s history of political assassinations, political violence and intolerance, the seriousness of these threats cannot be gainsaid,” he added.

Potential witness

A city lawyer told People Daily that an investigation on Mutua’s statement cannot be conducted without involving the DP.

 “You cannot prove what is in somebody else’s mind, unless you ask him. But again, he can claim to have been just blowing off steam,” the lawyer said.

Mutua told police that he was with ODM leader Raila, which also makes him a potential witness in the matter. The question is whether Raila would be an impartial witness, given his frosty relationship with Mutua and Ruto.

“That Raila is close to one of them does not affect credibility of his evidence. The evidence should be treated independently,” the lawyer said.

Investigations will seek to establish if the alleged threats were meditated, and whether the DP indeed has the intention to harm Mutua as insinuated.

According to another detective, even if the threats are not clear, no one has lawful excuse to make such threats.

“Anything that looks like a threat should be treated as a threat. The laws should apply to actions, not intent. These threats are not what our Constitution was meant to protect,” he said.

In his statement, Mutua said that on November 25 while at State House during the handing over of the BBI report to the President and Raila, Duale and Murkomen told him that he was fond of attacking their “team”. 

He further said that Duale warned that if the attacks did not cease, he (Duale) would “deal with the 50,000 Kambas living in Garisssa”. 

And after Duale and Murkomen dismissed his statement, Mutua said the two were not responding to the threat claims but were only attacking him. 

“Duale and Murkomen are not denying that they threatened me. Instead they are attacking me and my character. They know that what I am saying is the truth,” he told People Daily

Stance on corruption

Mutua hinted that the threats could have been linked to his stance on corruption and the remarks he had made in the recent past about Ruto and his political allies. 

“I rarely talk about DP Ruto. I have only mentioned him on two occasions,” he said.

Mutua said his 2022 presidential bid and the fact that he had challenged Ruto to tell Kenyans what he would do that he could not do when he was Deputy President for two terms, could have been some of the reasons why the DP and his allies were unhappy with him.

“I have also called for a lifestyle audit and pushed for the corrupt to leave office. This could have infuriated them,” he added.

Asked why he never reported to the detectives immediately after the alleged threats, Mutua said he had been consulting with his family, lawyers, political leaders and senior government officials who advised him not to take the threats lightly.

“I had to consult and made the decision to report after I was advised by senior officials not to take the threats lightly.”  

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