Imanyara says 'willing to die' after night ordeal

Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara has recounted to a shocked Parliament chilling details of a night ordeal where he says he was accosted by four thugs.

Mr Imanyara said the goons forced him to pledge support to a leading presidential aspirant during the 11.30pm incident, which happened on State House Crescent Tuesday night.

According to the Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) MP, he slowed down after spotting a car which appeared stalled in the middle of the road.

Three men alighted and one of them approached his car asking him to confirm his identity.

“He asked me: “wewe ndio Imanyara?” (are you Imanyara?) and I said yes I am. Then he told the fourth man, a gang leader, who was in their car in Kikuyu, he is the one,” he said.

The MP claimed the fourth man also alighted and he was then ordered out of the car and asked to hand over his gun which he didn't have.

He told stunned MPs that he was coerced into saying "Uhuru tuko pamoja" (Uhuru we are together) three times and told to swear facing Mount Kenya.

“I have said many times and a repeat, in the face of the new Constitution, I am willing to die but I will not accept a situation where anyone, no matter how senior or mighty directs me on whom I should support.

"I won't be party to any compartmentalisation of this country into regions and let those who think they can intimidate others know that we cannot be cowed,” he said.

The slogan is the rallying cry of supporters belonging to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who has indicated his intention to succeed President Kibaki as Kenya's fourth president.

In Parliament, Mr Imanyara said the thugs also asked him not to attend the controversial Limuru 2B rally, whose organisers say was aimed at bringing together Kenyans from all regions to champion non-tribal alliances ahead of the General Election.

Police cancelled the meeting on grounds that youth planned to cause mayhem.

The gang also instructed him not to accompany Prime Minister Raila Odinga to Meru.

The MP claimed that the group's leader then slapped him and threatened to have him killed if he didn't comply.

“He told me I you don't do what we have told you we shall chop off your head and those of your two sons and take them to your wife.”

His narration sent a chill through the House, throwing MPs in panic over their security. Members demanded to interrogate police commissioner Mathew Iteere on the incident and their security accusing him of treating such incidents lightly.

The claims by Mr Imanyara came barely a fortnight after similar claims by government chief whip Jakoyo Midiwo that there were plans to assassinate Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The MP claimed it was not the first time he has been threatened, saying a meeting held by certain politicians at the Landmark Hotel two weeks ago had identified a number of people who were 'not toeing the line' to be eliminated.

“I demand investigations and measures to protect those of us who were subject of discussions at Landmark after the Limuru Gema meeting,” he said.

Deputy House Speaker Farah Maalim demanded a statement from the Minister for Internal Security by next Wednesday directing that he treats the matter seriously.

“This not humour and the chair takes this seriously and expects the Minister to move fast,” he said as he directed the MP to proceed and record a statement with the Criminal Investigations Department.

Mr Maalim said MPs should not be intimidated at any point and should enjoy their constitutional freedoms.

The legislators scoffed at assistant minister Orwa Ojode when in response, said MPs should always use their bodyguards. Mr Ojode directed the Police Commissioner to move with speed and investigate the matter and said he can only issue a statement after this is done.

“In the meantime, I appeal to my colleagues, I have done what I can by providing each one of them with two security officers, use your bodyguards because they will come and report to me when such an incident happen.

"In their absence it becomes very difficult because anything can happen to my colleagues, otherwise with bodyguards I want to say we are safe,” he stated.

MPs, however, raised complains on the choice of body-guards, some expressing fears that some could be spies and a threat to their security.

Mr Imanyara said one of the bodyguards, who was assigned to him had mental problems and had been admitted to the Mathari Mental Hospital.

Gichugu MP and presidential hopeful Martha Karua, however, said the minister's statement was in bad state since it implies Kenyans who are not privileged to have bodyguards cannot be assured of security.

Turkana Central MP Ekwe Ethuro said the choice of bodyguards was wanting and that their role is more of reporting about MPs than protecting them.

Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba said it was obvious the country is facing a security threat with a proliferation of criminal elements and that police officers have been involved in some cases.

Nominated MPs Rachael Shebesh, Millie Odhiambo condemned tribal groupings and use of force by police and demanded that the Police Commissioner be questioned.

“We want to know whether the Police Commissioner is affiliated to one side...we don't want to speak too late and lose Kenyans and even political leaders and we want the role of tribal groupings in inciting Kenyans looked into,” said Ms Shebesh.

Other legislators who raised concerns were Gwassi MP John Mbadi, Rongai MP Luka Kigen, Lari MP David Njuguna, Garsen MP Danson Mungatana, Embakasi MP and assistant minister Ferdinand Waititu and Nyatike MP Edick Anyanga.

Mr Anyanga said he has not seen his bodyguard for the last one year and demanded response from the Minister for Internal security.