Nakuru businessman Maina Wakabura grilled over anti-William Ruto protests


Police officers look on as anti-Finance Bill protesters demonstrate on the streets of Nakuru on June 25, 2024.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Nakuru-based businessman and philanthropist, Maina Wakabura, has been grilled by detectives at the Rift Valley Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters in Nakuru, over the countrywide anti-tax protests.

The businessman was summoned and presented himself at the DCI offices on Tuesday evening in the company of his lawyer, where he was questioned by the detectives for about an hour.

Mr Wakabura confirmed that he was summoned by the Nakuru East Sub-County Criminal Investigations Officer, Mr Samuel Ngeiywo, to share details related to investigations on the ongoing countrywide demonstrations.

His lawyer, Mr Collins Odungo, said his client was honouring summons issued to him by the detectives, requiring him to present himself at the headquarters to record statements.

He said his client was summoned to shed light after detectives received information on allegations that he was funding protestors in Nakuru.

“We recorded statements as required, and so far nothing has happened, no charges preferred against him. We are just waiting for communication from the officer regarding the findings against my client," said the lawyer.

He regretted that the summons were instigated by politicians, who thought that his client was gaining mileage by interacting with residents, hence using government agencies to silence him.

Mr Wakaburu said that he received a phone call from Mr Ngeiywo on Tuesday morning requiring him to present himself in his office.

He said that the officer alleged that they had received information that he had met and paid youths to burn and vandalise prominent politicians’ homes and business premises.

“I did not fund any protest and l did not meet any youth over protests. I respect my area member of parliament and any other politician. If one makes a mistake they should listen to their electorate, not using security agencies to silence people,” he said.

On his part, Mr Ngeiywo said that they summoned him, after receiving an intelligence report that he was mobilising youths and goons to conduct criminal activities of destroying properties of prominent persons within Nakuru East.

Summoned him

He said that he summoned him to confirm if the allegations were true.

On Tuesday, Nakuru was among places rocked by protests, which saw two people shot and injured by security officers.

The grilling happened as Interior Cabinet Secretary, Prof Kithure Kindiki, revealed that six politicians, a businessman, and two NGOs are on the radar of State intelligence and security agencies following suspicion of funding and planning protests.

Kindiki in a statement said the government is determined to stop the “dangerous criminal gangs at whatever cost”.

“The organisers of orgies of violence in parts of Nairobi, Mombasa, and several other parts of the country are reportedly planning to repeat their anarchic chaos and cruel plunder on Thursday and Sunday this week, and perhaps much more frequently in the future,” he said.

“The government is determined to stop criminals aiming to terrorise the public and harm Kenya, notwithstanding attempts to politicise crime,” he added.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations has also released facial images of 38 individuals suspected of engaging in acts of lawlessness during the anti-Finance Bill protests.

The civil disobedience was initially peaceful but degenerated into anarchy after suspected goons infiltrated the Gen Z protests and went on a vandalism and looting spree.

Shops, supermarkets, restaurants, and business stalls have borne the brunt of the criminal acts perpetrated by marauding gangs of individuals disguised as demonstrators.

The protests held on Tuesday, June 25, and July 2, witnessed the worst acts of vandalism, muggings, and torching of business premises and vehicles in major towns like Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisii.