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Police on the spot over death of Jacob Juma and shoddy probe

Opposition leaders have claimed that a police death squad responsible for past extra-judicial executions killed businessman Jacob Juma.

CORD leader Raila Odinga claimed the killing of Juma fit into a disturbing pattern in the aftermath of the 2008 post-election violence, in which “a chain of would-be witnesses were systematically eliminated through extra-judicial killing.” Raila named the 10 whose deaths in the last four years echoed past political assassinations that had stalked the country since independence and over which “no one has been held to account.”

Juma, Raila said, was the 11th victim after the killing of Charles Ndungu Wagacha, Maina Diambo, Naftali Irungu and Anthony Mwenje. Others are Njoroge Gichere, Timothy Mburu, George Njoroge, Meshack Yebei and John Kituyi.

“We must unite and say no to political assassinations,” he said.

He said Kenya was experiencing a system that believes in murder and assassinations and dismissed calls by police chief Joseph Boinnet for them to provide information on the murder.

“He knows those who killed Juma and the orders came from the Pariah. We cannot live in a country of murderers and thieves,” he said.

“Boinnet and CID Director Ndegwa Muhoro know who killed Juma. They know the culprits but because the order to kill Juma came from the Pariah, they are hiding behind investigations,” Raila alleged.

The leaders said as is the trend in such killings, the investigations are shoddy and in the end no one is ever held liable.

Meanwhile pressure continued to pile on police over their handling of the investigations after Juma’s widow revealed investigators had not visited her home or sought a statement from her.

Miriam Wairimu, the widow, said authorities had not even informed her how her husband died and demanded that the Government finds his killers.

“There’s no police officer who has come to me or to my house to question me or anyone. I don’t know if there’s any investigation going on,” she said.

Miriam said when Juma failed to return home last Thursday, she tried calling him but there was no answer. The following day, she drove her children to school where she learnt of the death from other parents.

OFFICIAL COVER-UP

“We are not going to rest until we know who killed Jacob. It is the duty of the Government to tell us,” she said.

Speakers during the requiem mass at All Saints Cathedral yesterday also pressed the Government to probe persons named by the late Juma on social media accounts days before his death.

At an emotional ceremony presided by outgoing Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Opposition leaders alleged official cover-up, citing lacklustre efforts by the Government to find Juma’s killers.

Raila, Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang’ula, Musalia Mudavadi, Cyrus Jirongo, Boni Khalwale and Martha Karua said Juma had mentioned people he claimed wanted to kill him on his Twitter account, but police were yet to question any of them.

The politicians demanded a Parliamentary Select Committee to thoroughly investigate the murder.

Raila urged Kenyans to say no more to assassinations, adding that Juma’s should be the last execution in the country.

Kalonzo said Juma had met US ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec a day before he was killed but he did not know what the two discussed.

He said Juma had been branded controversial to cover-up the killing and advised Wetang’ula and anyone who may be summoned by police not to write their statements.

“This is a State-sponsored killing. There is no room for political assassinations under the African Union. Let us get out of our comfort zone and fight this regime,” he said.

Wetang’ula, who is also Bungoma senator, reiterated he would not record a statement with the police as requested, saying Juma had mentioned those who had threatened to kill him in his tweets.

“The IG is in wrong business if he wants us to record statement. Let him be advised that tweets in realm of criminal law can be used as evidence to pursue killers,” said Wetang’ula.

Mudavadi, who is the Amani party leader, called for the formation of a commission of inquiry to investigate Juma’s death.

“Lack of confidence in the investigative agencies even by the facility calls for a select committee of Parliament modelled on the JM Kariuki one. The committee will have powers to summon anyone and ensure there is no conspiracy to hide the truth as it seems the order today. Clearly, the agencies seem afraid to confront those Juma accused of plotting to kill him and instead have turned their frustration on those Juma merely confided in,” Mudavadi said.

He criticised the police for wasting time instead of following leads from Juma’s social media posts.

“Government should not be obsessed with those recounting what Juma told them. That is a sure way of obscuring truth. They are saying nothing new that Juma hadn’t said on social media. Whatever else Juma was should not obscure the fact that a Kenyan was killed and justice must be done,” Mudavadi said.

Assassinations Back

Khalwale, Kakamega senator, said police have “their work cut out for them” in the investigations as Juma had posted on his social media accounts those who wanted him dead.

“We cannot keep quiet because it’s Jacob,” he said.

Narc leader Martha Karua said Juma had mentioned those who wanted to kill him and claimed that political assassinations are back.

Raila described Juma as a man whose struggle was inspired by justice for himself and society; a man who used his connections to build his business and for the good of society.

“All his pursuits for justice have been stopped by his death. We shall never know the cause of his death. Kenya has a long history of unexplained deaths. Pio Gama Pinto, Alexander Muge, Dr Robert Ouko and many others have died this way but to date, we don’t know who killed them,” Raila said.

He claimed that Juma was killed due to his knowledge about the National Youth Service (NYS) and Eurobond financial scandals.

“Juma knew a lot on corruption. He knew where the Eurobond was and that is why they assassinated him. But he saw it coming and that is why he wrote in the social media that he was ready to die for exposing corruption in Government and that freedom is expensive,” the CORD leader said.

Businessman Jimmi Wanjigi was the master of ceremonies at the event.

Wabukala called for the end of assassinations in the country.

“I began hearing about assassinations when I was in Form Three. We have witnessed many as a nation. This must end. Let us master our anger, evil and hatred and love each other,” Wabukala said.

Seed of Reconciliation

The archbishop, who retires next month, described Juma as a dedicated member of his church and a man who was close to him.

“He always sat on the front row of this church and would congratulate us when we gave good sermons. He recently came to me and shared a lot with me. I prayed for him but it is sad that he is dead. Let his blood plant a seed of reconciliation in the country,” Wabukala said.

He urged politicians to unite Kenyans.

“Families, Government and politicians should do what God intends them to do. Let us love each other, do politics with love and create opportunities for all,” the archbishop said.

The body of Juma was found in his car last Thursday night after he had been killed by unknown gunmen.

He had gun wounds in the chest and neck which indicated he was shot at close range. Two of the bullets were directed at the chest and five in the neck, a post-mortem examination report showed.

He also had a badly injured right hand.

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