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Matiang'i: Why they want to arrest me

 Interior CS Fred Matiang'i addressing the press during a past event. [Silas Otieno,Standard]

Former Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has moved to the High Court seeking anticipatory bail over an alleged looming arrest.

Matiang'i, in his application, argues that the Monday night raid of his Karen home is a political witch-hunt by President William Ruto's government.

[The Inspector-General of Police Japheth Kooome says no such raid happened.]

According to Dr Matiang'i, confidential sources have informed him that he is to be arrested by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and will be charged with abuse of office.

"Through a confidential source, I was reliably informed that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission had also received instructions between February 6-9, 2023 to open a criminal file and charge me with trumped-up charges of abuse of office," Matiang'i avers.

Matiang'i, who was a powerful Cabinet Secretary in President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration, laments that the current government first withdrew his security before a contingent of police officers raided the home.

He claims that the officers attached to him were withdrawn a day after he spoke at Prof George Magoha's home.

"The second respondent (Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome) has already demonstrated malicious intent and a clear disregard for the rule of law by abusing due process as evidenced by the reduction and withdrawal of the security officers assigned to the Applicant, thereby exposing him to harm despite the sensitive nature of his last post as cabinet secretary," states Dr Matiang'i.

According to him, the timing of the raid and alleged looming arrest is meant to ensure that he does not attend his former colleague's funeral.

"The applicant is aware that his woes got worse when he gave a speech at the home of the late Prof Magoha where he shared the lessons on public service that he had learned from the deceased. His security was withdrawn the next day and the impending arrest is part of the scheme to harass and silence him forever," Matiangi's application filed by lawyer Danstan Omari reads in part.

In his supporting affidavit, Matiang'i swears that during his tenure as a cabinet secretary, he has never had any unanswered audit queries.

"I have never been arrested or charged in any court for any offence in relation to the exercise of my duties in the various dockets that I headed," he claims.

According to Matiang'i, this is out of ulterior political motives on trumped-up charges.

He alleges that the plot to arrest him was discussed and formulated on January 30, 2023, at the sidelines of the 16th Annual General Meeting of the Africa Prosecutors' Association (APA) held at Mombasa.

Matiang'i claims that the police abandoned the idea when the media showed up.

He continues: " True to their words, on the afternoon of the 9th February 2023, my family home in Karen was raided, surrounded, and cordoned off by police officers who were seeking to arrest me. The police officers barricaded the entry to my house and only retreated after the media and my Advocates arrived and the story of my impending arrest went viral on social media platforms."

The former CS claims that informers have told him that the Police Ward Commander for Karen Police station had been given express instructions to provide support to the team that had been sent to arrest him.

At the same time, he states that he has never been summoned or a warrant of arrest issued against him.

"I am of the firm belief that the powers of arrest of the respondents and the Kenya Police are being abused and maliciously misused to harass, intimidate and oppress me and my former cabinet colleagues and His Excellency, the former president; so as to achieve extraneous political purposes unconnected with upholding the law," he says.

Matiang'I has sued Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss Amin Mohamed, Koome, Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji, Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC), Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) and National Police Service Commission (NPSC).

He has roped in Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHCR) and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).

Matiang'i is the immediate former Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior, and Coordination of the National Government.

He has also served as the CS for Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Lands and Physical Planning, and the Ministry of Education.

At the same time, he was also the Chairperson of the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee.

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