Ruto allies point accusing finger at State over Itumbi’s abduction, torture

Dennis Itumbi at a Nairobi Hospital. [David Itumbi, Twitter]

Deputy President William Ruto’s allies yesterday condemned the abduction and torture of the DP’s Digital Strategist, Dennis Itumbi, as police announced that they had started investigations into the incident.

Mr Itumbi was released on Thursday night after a harrowing ordeal at the hands of alleged kidnappers who seized him as he left a barbershop in Thindigua, Kiambu County. 

While he was being treated at a city hospital, MPs allied to Ruto accused a covert division of the police of planning and executing the abduction. They also called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to rein in the security apparatus.

“We ask the president to call his security apparatus to order and desist from the temptation to indulge in bloodthirsty and repressive violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” said Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, who read the statement.

“As an essential characteristic of his legacy, the president must strive to live by his Oath of Office to defend, protect and observe the Constitution and do justice to all Kenyans without fear, favour, malice or ill will,” the legislators said.

They claimed that Itumbi was kidnapped for holding powerful officials to account through his blogging. They claimed the country was sliding back to long gone days of the horrors of autocracy. “It is important to note that abductions, arbitrary detention, torture and other forms of State-sponsored terror and harassment have made their big come-back. We condemn this policy of backsliding into retrogressive, savage and intolerable political and administrative measures,” their statement said. 

Although none of them witnessed the incident, the MPs gave an account of how Itumbi was abducted. They said witnesses reported that three men violently accosted him and forced him into a Toyota Premio.

Kihika said they got a tip off indicating that Itumbi had been arrested and taken to Parklands Police Station, but it turned out to be false.

“The triangulation of Itumbi’s mobile phone signal tracked it to Kigwa in Ridgeways, but he was not found there,” she said. 

After missing for nearly nine hours, Itumbi was finally found at Lucky Summer, near Kasarani Stadium, when a boda boda rider called Itumbi’s brother after recognising him.

“Itumbi was severely injured and in great pain, having been tortured at length as his abductors drove him around the city. He was eventually thrown out of the car into a thicket and left for dead,” said Kihika.

“He managed to crawl to the nearest road, where he sought help from boda boda riders and this is where the rider recognised him and offered to help,” read the statement.

He was taken to Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital in Kasarani for first aid and later transferred to Nairobi West Hospital, where he was admitted for further treatment.

The statement said Itumbi was pummeled in his arms and legs and sustained  fractures and soft tissue injuries.

The leaders claimed that Itumbi’s abductors informed him that the torture was revenge for his social media posts on top State officials.

Kihika said the abductors allegedly questioned him about a post regarding a State parastatal made on Saturday 18 on formation of a team to harass business people associated with Ruto. 

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said what was happening to Itumbi was not any different to what happened to others in the run up to the 2017 polls.

“It does not serve any good. Anything that was wrong yesterday is wrong today,” said Murkomen.

He said ODM had forgotten what happened in 2017 and “suddenly now are the greatest cheerleaders for harassment and the political machinations that are taking place.”

Earlier, the National Police Service said they were investigating the case.

In a statement, NPS Spokesperson Bruno Shioso, said the abduction of Itumbi was reported at Thindigua Police Post vide OB 10/23/12/2021 at 3.40pm on Thursday. 

He urged Kenyans to desist from speculation over the incident. 

“We appeal to members of the public who may have information regarding the incident to volunteer and report to any police station or through our hotline numbers 99, 112 or 0800 722 203,” he said.

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