Fresh claims emerged over the brutal killing of businessman Jacob Juma as CORD co-principal Raila Odinga told mourners in Bungoma County yesterday that a police hit squad code named “Kwekwe” was responsible.
The former Prime Minister and other leaders who attended Juma’s burial called for an inquest to be conducted by credible private investigators and dismissed the ongoing probe by police which they described as a cover up.
Raila told mourners that investigations could not be going on when no police officer had spoken to Juma’s widow, Miriam, or even visited the deceased’s home.
“Up to today, they are saying they are investigating . . . Kwekwe Squad assassinated Juma and that is why they are not interested in carrying on with any investigation,” said Raila.
But police reacted swiftly and denied the existence of the Kwekwe Squad.
“There is no unit or squad in the National Police Service known as the Kwekwe Squad. It doesn’t exist,” National Police Service spokesman George Kinoti told The Standard on Sunday.
Raila further asked Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett to stop asking opposition leaders to provide information when police were dragging their feet in the investigation.
The ODM leader dismissed claims by Deputy President William Ruto that he was using Juma’s death for political capital.
“The deceased has been my close friend since 2003. He has been investigating corruption in the Jubilee government and had asked me to help him unravel reports on graft. It is strange for him (the DP) to say I want to get political mileage,” said Raila.
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Raila said Juma was killed elsewhere and his body taken to Karen Police Station before it was transferred to City Mortuary and later to Lee Funeral Home where a postmortem was conducted.
“Kenyans are tired of political assassinations and we are praying that Juma’s blood will not be shed in vain. It will trigger a movement to save this country,” he said.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula went short of naming the people behind the killing of the businessman. He had earlier vowed to name the killers whom he claimed had been identifed by the deceased.
Wetang’ula instead invited Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale to read the tweets that Juma had posted on December 16 last year at 12:34pm, naming top government officials.
“I know my assassination was discussed on Thursday,” read one of the tweets.
Speaking at Mungore Primary School in Bumula Constituency where the burial was held, the Ford Kenya Party leader said: “If police want me to record a statement about the killers, they should start by arresting those he (Juma) mentioned.”
Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka advised the family to hire a private investigator to probe the killing. The Wiper leader said there is no need of inviting FBI or Scotland Yard investigators as this should be done by the government.
He said Juma had details about some of the financial scandals such as the Eurobond, NYS and land grabs by those in power.
Former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo said he would not apologise to the Deputy President over allegations he made during the requiem mass in Nairobi about the killing.
“I’m not going to be threatened by Ruto, the tweets by the late Juma indicated that the meeting that planned to assassinate him was funded by the person I mentioned. He should carry his cross instead of threatening other people,” he said.
But speaking in Iten yesterday, the Deputy President and a section of Jubilee leaders criticised the opposition for using unorthodox means to revive their dwindling political popularity.
Ruto termed as irresponsible the opposition’s use of funerals to politic and said they should instead offer alternative solutions to develop Kenya without disrespecting other citizens.
He said the current political tactics by CORD will make them lose heavily in the 2017 General Election.
“The opposition is focusing its energies on baseless and archaic issues instead of presenting their agenda to the citizens of Kenya. This will cost them another contest in 2017 because Jubilee is busy implementing its development agenda and is ready for next year’s elections,” he said. At the burial, Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi claimed he understands the Jubilee government better than any other politician.
“Jubilee leaders are very corrupt and they are looting resources with impunity,” he said.
Mudavadi called for the opposition leaders to unite and remove from power the Jubilee administration for mismanaging and looting the country’s resources.
Khalwale said Juma died fighting corruption.
“He was very vocal in fighting graft through social media. He highlighted the Weston Hotel Saga, National Youth Service embezzlement, Eurobond and free school computers without fear because he had evidence at his fingertips,” said Khalwale.
Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka said Juma’s death should be thoroughly investigated and the killers brought to book.
“The death of JJ is meant to unite all Luhya leaders and make us speak in one voice. It is a better cause for this region which has experienced political misunderstanding for a long time,” he said.
He said the wishes of Juma’s widow to have independent investigators take over the probe must be respected.