By Kigotho Mwangi and Brian Okoth
Deputy President William Ruto says he had asked the Late Sergeant Kipyegon Kenei to clarify his relationship with former Sports minister Rashid Echesa.
Speaking at the burial service of the Late Kenei at the cop’s parents’ home in Chemasis Village in Rongai Sub-County, Nakuru County on Saturday, March 7, Ruto said he summoned Kenei on Monday, February 17, to ask him why he had allowed Echesa to access the Harambee House Annex.
“I held my last conversation with Kenei on Monday, February 17, before he was found dead three days later. During my meeting with him, I asked him why he had allowed Echesa in my office. He said Echesa was his personal friend, and that he had received a phone call directing him [Kenei] to let Echesa in because the ex-CS had booked an appointment,” said Ruto.
The DP revealed that he summoned Kenei and two other police officers Monday after receiving CCTV recordings, which showed Echesa at the DP’s office four days earlier.
“After informing me about the nature of his relationship with Echesa, I asked Kenei and the two officers to make sure that they had recorded statements with the DCI,” said the deputy president, adding: “That was the last time I talked with Kenei.”
The DP narrated that he was on Thursday, February 20, informed that Kenei, who had been summoned to record a statement with the DCI on February 19, had failed to file the report, and that his cell phone was switched off.
“I, thereafter, instructed Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir to find out where Kenei was. I also directed Labour minister Simon Chelugui, who is related to Kenei, to search for the police officer,” said Ruto.
“It was later, on Thursday evening (February 20), that I was informed that Kenei had been found dead in his house,” said the deputy president.
“I strongly believe that those who killed Kenei will be found, those who murdered Kenei will know no peace unless they surrender. I urge detectives to investigate why Kenei was killed, how his life was ended, and who assassinated him,” said Ruto.
The second-in-command eulogised the Late Kenei as a “dedicated officer, who co-existed well with his workmates”.
“Never had I heard anyone complaining to my office about the conduct of Kenei. No visitor brought a bad report about Kenei to my office,” said Ruto.
Suggesting that his name is being dragged to the Echesa scandal over political reasons, the DP said: “Those targeting me politically, should confront me directly, and not aim at other people, while they clearly know it is me they are after.”
“And those who planned the fake Ksh39 billion firearms deal, they shouldn’t have involved Kenei in their plot, and they shouldn’t have picked my office as the venue for conmanship. Those behind the guns deal should bear the consequences of their actions.
“I believe the Late Kenei has the whole truth about the fake firearms deal. I am aware that political schemers have made an elaborate plan to ruin my reputation by linking me and my office to the mega scandals. Their end in mind, is that I don’t go anywhere politically. I am fully aware of that plan,” said Ruto.
“I want to tell the political schemers that you could be having the system on your side, but I have my God. My message to the DCI [boss George Kinoti], is: stop being a politician, do your work as an investigator. The DCI is being used to destroy me.”
The deputy president said the reputation-damaging scandals that he is being linked to, are all aimed at stopping his 2022 presidential pursuit.
“My office does not work directly with the Department of Defence (DOD), yet it is only the Office of the Deputy President that you are seeing or hearing being linked to the guns scandal. Other parties that took part in the firearms deal are not being mentioned anywhere or being sought after. I want to tell the deep state that unless you kill me, I am not taking my feet of the political accelerator. This Kenya belongs to all of us,” said Ruto.
“I know what is being planned ahead by the political schemers. I want to tell them, I am ready for it. And, I know what I am saying, I am not a mad man, I am the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya!”
Suggesting that his office was being linked to Kenei’s death so as to put him at loggerheads with his Kalenjin community, Ruto said: “I am sorry, you won’t manage.”
Sergeant Kenei was found dead in his Imara Daima house on February 20, with a gunshot wound in his chin.
DCI boss, George Kinoti, has since said the 33-year-old was murdered in cold blood, sentiments echoed by Kenei’s family, who wants justice served.
Kenei leaves behind a wife and two children.