Detectives turn up heat on DP Ruto’s office over assassination plot

Itumbi/File Picture

By Reporter

Detectives have turned the heat on Deputy President William Ruto’s office after a key aide was dramatically arrested in connection with a fake letter on an alleged plot to assassinate the DP.

This could further heighten tension in government. Ruto’s allies are accusing the DCI of bias and seeking to scuttle the murder probe. 

Controversial aide Dennis Itumbi was arrested along Mama Ngina Street Wednesday and locked up overnight at the Muthaiga police station as DCI boss George Kinoti move to unravel the assassination mystery.

Itumbi served as director of digital, innovations and diaspora communication at State House despite controversy over his academic qualifications.

However, together with five other directors of the President’s Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU ), they were kicked out of State House in the middle of last year

Thereafter, they moved to Ruto’s Harambee Annex office and became some of his most ardent supporters.

Detectives believe Itumbi is the author of the fake letter that alleged four CSs alongside other top officials were planning Ruto’s assassination.

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.”

Yesterday Itumbi’s lawyer Moses Chelanga told journalist outside DCI offices on Kiambu Road that he had not been told why Itumbi was arrested.

He said, however, they suspected it could be in connection to the letter about the Hotel La Mada meeting.

“We will wait for the charges to be preferred against him. He will be taken to Muthaiga police station. They have refused to grant him bond or bail pending tomorrow’s appearance. So we will still wait to follow up on that in court tomorrow (Thursday),” he told reporters.

“Whereas the charges are not clear yet, the question which is central to the investigation is alleged fake publication on a plot to assassinate the Deputy President. We think the charges oscillate around that publication but we do not know yet the charges that are being preferred against him,” he added.

The arrest appeared to precipitate an even greater falling out within the Jubilee Party.

Senate Majority Leader and Elgeiyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen criticised the arrest, saying it was a ploy by the detectives to divert attention from the expose that some Cabinet Secretaries have been meeting to harm the Deputy President.

“The arrest of Itumbi is a strategy to divert attention from the La Mada meeting and plan. Was there a meeting? Did the PS in charge of DCI say Ruto must be stopped the Saitoti way? Who complained about assassination? And to whom? Establishing the authenticity of the allegations is more important than a letter,” he said.

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot concurred with Murkomen, saying the letter was fake, “the people who have been attending the meetings have owned up.”

“The DCI should stop these diversionary tactics, the interest of Kenyans is to know why are some people meeting to plan criminal activities. If the letter was fake, would they have summoned the CSs?” Cheruyiot who also is also a Parliamentary Service Commissioner asked.

He added, “Why are they pursuing the whistle-blower? The people who have been holding the secretive meetings have come out in the public to confirm so. The DCI should not be used by some people who have been part of the meetings to divert attention from the serious allegations.”

Itumbi through his lawyer expressed reservations about the independence of police saying they are taking their instructions from Interior PS Karanja Kibicho “who is a complainant”.

“The client himself expressed grave reservations on the independence of the Inspector General of Police and therefore DCI in respect to this investigation because the information in the public domain is that the PS Interior, who is in charge of DCI, is a complainant and therefore his main fear is whether this investigation is going to be independent and objective. He will raise that in court tomorrow (Thursday) but that is the concern he told me to express,” Chelanga said.

Karinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici said investigators should not be used to wage political wars against those who hold different views.

“Itumbi is my constituent and it is unfortunate that he has been arrested. It will amount to a personal vendetta if the DCI will not have solid grounds to charge him,” she told the Star on the phone.

“If they will lock him up just to intimidate him, then Itumbi should sue them. We want to see a professional DCI that cannot be used to settle political scores,” she added.

Activist Boniface Mwangi said Itumbi is being used by politicians who are pursuing their interests. “Itumbi has no problem falsely accusing people of things they haven’t done,”

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