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.
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.