All the govt agencies demanding a pound of Matiang’i’s flesh

Fred Matiang'i

From a “Super CS” to a man living on the edge: Dr Fred Matiang'i's transformation from an all-powerful minster in the Uhuru Kenyatta government to a besieged citizen living at the mercy of a court’s anticipatory bail is unfolding right before Kenyans’ eyes.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Being a hunted man is not exactly how any senior government official would want to spend their retirement days after years of service to Kenyans.

But this is the nightmare that former Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has to live with.

From a “Super CS” to a man living on the edge: Dr Fred Matiang'i's transformation from an all-powerful minster in the Uhuru Kenyatta government to a besieged citizen living at the mercy of a court’s anticipatory bail is unfolding right before Kenyans’ eyes.

For now, he remains a wanted man with several security agencies seeking a pound of his flesh.

On the night of February 8, an alarm was raised by Dr Matiang’i via his lawyer, Danstan Omari, and a contingent of politicians led by former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, that an elite squad of police officers from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission wanted to raid his Karen Home.

The EACC denied involvement in the nocturnal operation only to resurface three weeks later seeking certified information on Dr Matiang’i’s declared wealth.

This was in a letter dated February 27 where EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak said the commission was conducting investigations touching on Dr Matiang'i. What the investigations entail, no one knows yet.

"Pursuant to Section 30(1) (4) (b) of the Public Officers Ethics Act, the commission wishes to request for certified copies of Declaration of Income, Assets and Liabilities forms for years 2012 to 2022, including the initial and final declarations," part of the letter said.

Two detectives, Mr Abdul Low and Mr Paul Mugwe were to collect the documents from Mr Koskei's office at Harambee House.

Days later, the DCI summoned the former minister to their headquarters on Kiambu Road.

Assist its sleuths

The DCI explained that Dr Matiang’i was to assist its sleuths in investigations of an alleged invasion and raid of Dr Matiang’i’s residence that supposedly happened on the night of February 8 to the early morning hours of February 9.

The government, through Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, denied any involvement in the raid but said the police are investigating the matter.

However, police raided his house later, breaking into every room as they sought CCTV camera footage.

While reiterating what CS Kindiki said, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said it was probing several cases touching on the former Cabinet Secretary and that they are still at the preliminary stages.

“For the record, I can confirm that the DCI is indeed investigating several cases. But I can confirm that none of the cases under investigation so far have reached the stage, which requires the assistance or attendance of Dr Matiang’i,” said DCI Mohamed Amin

Two weeks later, DCI summoned the besieged CS to its headquarters saying they needed his assistance in their investigations over claims that his home had been raided on February 8.

The former CS did not honour the summons though, with his lawyer Mr Omari saying the summons was questionable and wondered why they only issued it at almost 6pm when the courts had been closed.

It later emerged that Dr Matiang’i had flown out of the country on February 19, a whole five days before the DCI summoned him.

This was even after the DCI wrote to the State Department of Citizen Services seeking details on the former Interior Cabinet Secretary’s travel history, a development that showed Dr Matiang’i’s departure from the country caught even the State by surprise.

Left the country

In its response, the State Department revealed that the former senior public servant had indeed left the country via a KLM flight destined for Amsterdam with details emerging that he is currently in London, UK.

Not to be misconstrued, Dr Matiang’i’ through his lawyers issued a statement clarifying that he was not “fleeing” from the EACC and DCI who are hot on his heels but he was dealing with a family emergency.

Dr Matiang’i said he notified senior government officials in the security sector of his travel plans due to his position in the former regime.

“Owing to his immediate role in the security sector and his status, I have instructions that my client informally notified senior security sector and diplomatic officials about his two-week trip to the UK. It is, therefore, unfair to cast aspersions on his movement,” said Mr Omari.

The Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji also vowed to sue Dr Matiang’i over claims he orchestrated the police ‘raid’ at his home.

 “He has alleged that I and the President met on the sidelines of the (Prosecutor’s) Conference (in Mombasa on January 30) to plan against him, that in itself is perjury and I will take him to task,” Haji said.

“It is unacceptable, let him table that evidence that we did that. I have evidence that nothing like that happened.”

President Kenyatta’s regime

At the height of President Kenyatta’s regime, Dr Matiang’i was the formidable force that many believed to be the unofficial spokesperson of the Head of State.

Having been the face of the former administration that opposed the ascension of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance to power, operatives in the government of President William Ruto have allegedly vowed to teach him a lesson.