Shock over alleged assassination plot on DP Ruto

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. 

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


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