Senators allege CS Kithure Kindiki plans to manipulate Shakahola inquiry

Kithure Kindiki

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya senators have raised a red flag over attempts by the government to manipulate the outcome of the ongoing Senate investigations into the Shakahola killings.

The Senate’s ad hoc committee chaired by Tana River Senator Danson Mungatana is investigating the killings.

Yesterday, the Azimio Senators Richard Onyonka (Kisii) and Godfrey Osotsi (Vihiga) vowed to resist any move to hide the truth from Kenyans. The two senators specifically took issue with the decision by the committee to allow Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to appear before the committee and speak on behalf of the officers who were on the ground at the time of the killings and whom the committee had invited.

“I believe that the CS is trying to be careful by managing who can speak because the people summoned are too many. But it looks like he wants to sanitise what will come out. My opinion is, he should have allowed all these invitees to speak for themselves,” said Mr Onyonka, a member of the committee.  “If he tries to sanitise the hearings, then I will have no choice but to give a different opinion from his.”

Mr Osotsi said that it was clear from the start that the government was not interested in the outcome of the probe.

“The actions by the CS are a clear indication that something is cooking. They don’t want Kenyans to know who did what by commission or omission,” said Mr Osotsi. “Kindiki even transferred the security officers on the ground immediately the ad hoc committee was inaugurated.”

On July 7,  the committee was set to interrogate the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss Amin Mohamed and national government security officials who served in Kilifi County at the time of the killings and who were later transferred by Prof Kindiki. They include the County DCI head, County National Intelligence Service boss, county police commander and the officer in charge of Lango Baya Police Station under whose jurisdiction Shakahola forest falls. Others are the county commissioner, his deputy, assistant county commissioner, chiefs and their assistants.

However, Prof Kindiki, in a letter to the Senate, said that he would speak on behalf of the officials despite having had his time with the committee.

“The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and National Administration, has committed to appear before the Ad hoc committee on behalf of the officers listed in the referenced letter on the date that you will communicate,” the July 4 letter reads.

According to Mr Osotsi, the move is an attempt by the CS to manipulate the outcome of the investigations and that it defeats Article 125 of the constitution that gives Parliament and its committees powers to “summon any person to appear before it for the purpose of giving evidence or providing information.”

The Nation has also learnt that Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor was expected before the committee today but did not manage. It was later established that Dr Oduor was instructed by mandarins at the Interior ministry to be in Kilifi with Prof Kindiki.

Mr Onyonka, who is the Kisii senator, said that Kenyans will accept nothing but the truth to inform the government of the required security measures.

“We must have the truth come out about the Shakahola matter. Other than this, we may refuse to make that report as unanimously passed by the committee. This is a matter that is too important for Kenyans,” he said.