Activist Boniface Mwangi demands Deputy President William Ruto's tax and wealth records in suit

Human rights activist Boniface Mwangi. He has demanded that Deputy President William Ruto’s wealth be disclosed. (PHOTO: COURTESY)
 Human rights activist Boniface Mwangi has demanded that Deputy President William Ruto’s wealth be disclosed.

In two separate demands written by his lawyer Gitobu Imanyara to the Kenya Revenue Authority and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission yesterday, Mr Mwangi wants Mr Ruto’s wealth declaration forms from 2013 when he was elected as the second in command to date to be disclosed.

The activist wants KRA to disclose all the companies where  the DP has been listed as a shareholder or director and also men and women who have been registered as co-owners of those companies.

Wealth declaration

“The purpose of this letter is to request for information on wealth declaration returns of the plaintiff (Ruto) for the period he has been the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya,” said Mr Imanyara.

The former journalist also wants to know how much the DP has been paid in terms of dividends from the companies that he has interest in.

The letter addressed to electoral agency CEO Ezra Chiloba has an ultimatum of two days. Imanyara noted a quick response to his client’s prayers would enable him argue the defamation case filed by Ruto against Mr Mwangi.

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“Our request is founded on Article 35(1) a and b of the Constitution and other relevant laws. We require you to provide to us information as soon as possible but not later than Thursday, November 1, 2016 to enable our client to fully exercise his constitutional right to a fair hearing in the above case,” the letter read.

Mr Mwangi has made the demand in relation to a defamation case filed by Ruto over the twitter claim touching on the death of businessman Jacob Juma.

According to Ruto, the tweets linked him to the murder of businessman Jacob Juma, corruption and land grabbing, which tarnished his good reputation.

Through lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, Ruto moved to court under a certificate of urgency, seeking orders compelling Mwangi to retract the tweets.

“We want Mwangi to be compelled to retract and delete the said tweet and apologise in all print and electronic media,” said Mr Kilukumi.

Ruto is also seeking orders to have Mwangi restrained from tweeting any defamatory materials against him.

Paid damages

He also wants to be paid damages for libel. Kilukumi claimed that on September 28, Mwangi through twitter falsely and maliciously posted a tweet concerning Ruto.

But in a counter-claim, Mwangi said his posts were fair comment and justified.

He argued the DP ought to absorb public scrutiny since he was a public officer and that he had been mentioned in matters that raised doubts about his reputation.

Court papers by the former journalist contended that DP had no reputation to claim.

In the reply, the activist stated that DP had been adversely mentioned in relation to corrupt dealings, among them alleged land grabbing.

“He publicly admitted he owns Weston Hotel which is built on public land and is in the flight path to Wilson airport,” stated Mwangi.

He also took on the DP over comments allegedly made in an interview alleging Mwangi was a drunkard, saying he was defamed.

Mwangi said the comment by the DP also portrayed him as alcohol-dependent, one with irresponsible moralities and incompetent to hold office yet he had earned more than 20 honours from 2004 for his works.

“As a consequence of the publication of the Deputy President’s remarks, his reputation has been seriously damaged, he has suffered distress and embarrassment,” said Mr Imanyara.

He also alleged Ruto was linked to crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and had not been cleared yet.

Mwangi insisted the ICC was only stopped due to witness coercion and intrusion, among other reasons, leading to his clearance.

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Boniface MwangicorruptionWilliam Ruto