Dennis Kapchok Ruto, popularly known by the sobriquet Mulumulwas, has gone missing.
Mulumulwas was allegedly “abducted” at 2pm on Friday, October 23 from his Kapenguria home in West Pokot County by persons who introduced themselves as DCI detectives.
It is alleged that Mulumulwas landed in trouble after insulting the Senate Majority Leader-cum-West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio on social media.
The whereabouts of Mulumulwas remains unknown, his family and Pokot South MP, David Pkosing, say.
“I spoke with West Pokot County Police Commander, Jackson Tumwet, who told me that Mulumulwas was not booked at the Kapenguria Police Station,” Pkosing told K24 Digital Saturday.
“Many people, who have been critical of government officials and persons in positions of power, have often been abducted and found dead a few days later. We hope Mulumulwas’ case won’t end in such a manner,” added the lawmaker.
“Just last year, a resident of my constituency was kidnapped by people who claimed they were investigative officers, only for the victim to be found dead days later,” added Pkosing.
The legislator’s house borders Mulumulwas’s in Kapenguria. The parliamentarian says government should move fast to either release the activist unconditionally, or locate his whereabouts “before it is too late”.
“Tension is rising at Mulumulwas’s home and the neighbourhood. The anxiety should be managed. His family is already distressed,” said Pkosing.
Mulumulwas’s lawyer, Philip Magal, said he was also unaware of his client’s whereabouts.
“I spoke with him (Mulumulwas) on phone yesterday (Friday, October 23), and he told me he was being driven to the capital, Nairobi. His phone was unreachable, thereafter,” Magal told K24 Digital.
The lawyer said he reached a DCI officer, identified as James Kariuki, who confirmed that Mulumulwas was being taken to Nairobi for interrogation. The subject of the probe, Magal said, Kariuki did not disclose.
Dennis Kapchok Ruto became an online sensation in March 2019 after West Pokot Governor, Prof. John Lonyangapuo, described Kapchok as a “short and plump man, whose waist was not visible to the naked eye”.
“Kijana fupi, amenona, round; huwezi jua tumbo ni wapi na mgongo ni wapi… Hana kazi, hana kazi…” were the words Governor Lonyangapuo used to describe Kapchok, a former MCA aspirant who questioned the county chief on why he settled on a deputy who lives and works as medical expert in the US.
The governor’s phrase became a massive hit on social media.
In March 2019, Kapchok came out to vehemently deny Governor Lonyangapuo’s claim that he [Kapchok] was jobless.
“I do advocacy work, I do research and I am a consultant in resource mobilization,” he told NTV on March 29, 2019.
Kapchok, who ran for MCA seat on a KANU ticket in the August 8, 2017 general election, said he was offended at first when he heard the governor describe him as plump and round.
“When I heard the governor describing me using such words, I felt bad at first because that is body-shaming and it is not right. Anyway, at the end of the day, I laughed it off,” Kapchok told NTV.
The ward politician said he often asked people if they could visually separate his back from the stomach, and the respondents always answered him in the affirmative.
“I tell them: Can you see my stomach, they say ‘yes’; can you see my back, they say ‘yes’. So, what is the problem?” posed Kapchok.
The married man said his children also knew about the “kijana fupi, round” tag, but were unaware that the governor used those words to describe him.
“When I went home, I found my little boy and girl telling me: ‘Baba, umeskia [governor akisema] kijana fupi, amenona, round’? They did not know who was who,” Kapchok told the TV outlet.
Governor Lonyangapuo summarised Kapchok’s physical appearance with the word “Mulumulwas”.
Kapchok told NTV: “Mulumulwas means something that is round like a ball. The governor used that word to describe me. I do not know whether I am round as he describes, but it was just an exaggeration.”
The ex-MCA hopeful said he would continue opposing the governor along ideological lines.
“We have started what we are calling Mulumulwas Movement that will roll him out of office if he is not careful,” said Kapchok.
Kapchok said despite that “derogatory” tag, “I do not have any issue with the governor in person.”
After being described as jobless, Deputy President William Ruto said in June 2019, that he would employ Mulumulwas only if he (Mulumulwas) would stop “opposing Governor Lonyangapuo unnecessarily”.
Speaking in West Pokot during his tour of the region on June 14, 2019, Ruto said Mulumulwas “must stop opposing the county government’s development work” if he really wants the job.
The deputy president, however, did not reveal the specific nature or position he would give to Mulumulwas.
“I heard your governor complaining about one Mulumulwas, who hails from your neighbourhood here. The governor said Mulumulwas is unemployed. I want to say this, I’ll get Mulumulwas employment. He, however, must stop opposing the [county] government in its bid to bring development in the area. He must refrain. His work shouldn’t entail stopping the construction of a sewerage system somewhere within the county. That is not work; that is stupidity. If he wants [to do something meaningful], he should look for a job, and I am ready to help him get a job. Opposing the government, shouldn’t be Mulumulwas’s priority. Actually, he should really watch his step,” said the deputy president to much applause by the West Pokot crowd.
A day after Ruto’s remarks, Mulumulwas said he did not want to be employed by the DP.
Speaking to the Daily Nation as quoted by Nairobi News on June 15, Kapchok said he “doubted” if he would take up the job the DP had promised him.
“I did not apply for any job. I appreciate the offer, but I doubt if I will take the job. My fight against fundamental issues on impunity, corruption and misuse of resources in the county cannot be reduced to job. The sewage project has a lot of interest,” Kapchok said, insisting he was pushing for leadership reforms which would benefit the county residents.
On the deputy president’s claim that he [Kapchok] was opposed to West Pokot County Government putting up a sewerage system, Kapchok said: “The DP was misled because we are not rejecting the water sewage project, but the due process should be followed. There was no public participation.”