Dennis Itumbi charged over DP Ruto assassination letter

Dennis Itumbi in court. [Archive/Standard]

Dennis Itumbi has been arraigned over the authoring of a letter which purportedly raised an alarm over the planned assassination of Deputy President William Ruto.

Mr Itumbi has been charged with the offence of making a false document without authority contrary to section 357 of the penal code at a Nairobi court.

The charge sheet reads that on June 20, 2019, at an unknown place within the Republic of Kenya, Dennis Njue Itumbi made a document dated May 30, 2019, purporting to be a genuine one made by a cabinet secretary, a fact he knew to be false.

In the second count, Itumbi has been charged with programming mobile phone contrary to the section 84G of the Kenya Information and Communications Act.

The charge sheet further reads: “On the 30th day of June 2019, at an unknown place within the Republic of Kenya intentionally not being a manufacturer of a mobile phone, you interfered with the operation of mobile phone Make Samsung Note 9 Dark grey dual SIM IMEI 352455/10/030/824/6, 352456/10/03824/4.”

On July 3, 2019, he was arrested at City Hall and driven to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters on Kiambu Road for questioning.

He was released a week later on Sh100,000 cash bail.

This was after Senior Magistrate Zainabu Abdul ruled that the police had squandered days given for further investigations.

The prosecution was seeking to detain him for nine more days to allow police time to continue interrogating the 256 Tangatanga WhatsApp group members.

He was alleged to have shared the letter alleging Deputy President William Ruto’s assignation plot in the WhatsApp group.

The letter purported that three cabinet secretaries from Mt Kenya region namely Peter Munya (Trade), Joe Mucheru (ICT), Sicily Kariuki (Health) and James Macharia (Transport) had met at La Mada Hotel along Thika Road to discuss DP’s assassination plans.

After appearing at the DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road, Trade CS Peter Munya said that they could not record any statement because there was no formal complaint from the DP himself penned at the headquarters.

Attempt to get the DP to record statement proved futile as the issue generated political heat between factions allied to him and that allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Itumbi’s arrest came after the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) had given the Directorate of Criminal Investigations preliminary findings on the source of the letter and those who uploaded it on social media platforms including Twitter.