By Blamuel Njururi, Kenya Confidential Editor-in-Chief – Nairobi, July 29, 2018
When President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed former Director of Public Prosecutions one boisterously self-centered lawyer Keriako Tobiko, to his Cabinet, he probably did not know the burden of guilt he was placing upon a man who deliberately aided in the grabbing of Kenya’s major water tower Mau Forest plateau – the epicenter of the current Kalenjin and Maasai communities unprecedented land altercation.
Tobiko left the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions in a very similar manner as he entered it. The Ksh 360-million-worth Maasai lawyer, according to the conservative figure he gave the Parliamentary vetting committee, became Director of Public Prosecutions courtesy of President Mwai Kibaki kitchen cabinet.
Kibaki was faced by a monstrous scandal called #AngloLeasing which initially had been conceived in the final years of Dictator Daniel arap Moi, whose Goldenberg notorious economic looting refuses to die almost two decades since he left office.
Kibaki did know what AngloLeasing was all about and sought assistance from his late nephew Alex Muriithi when he realised those he trusted at State House, Kitchen Cabinet and Office of the President, NIS and CID were not ready to reveal truth about the scheme to loot public funds to him.
Alex, with whom I had worked to breath some life in National Alliance Party of Kenya (NAK) before Kanu defectors led by Raila Amolo Odinga came running for shelter when Moi named Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta as his chosen successor, asked me to investigate what AngloLeasing was all about.
The assignment took me two weeks non stop investigation and what I found shocked me more than Goldenberg that led to 1989 ban of Financial Review by Dictator Daniel arap Moi regime or KenRen phantom Fertilizer factory that I exposed in 1975 during President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta Government. All AngloLeasing projects agreements were endorsed by then Attorney General Amos Wako, now a Senator.
I advised that my report should not be shown to Kibaki’s Personal Assistant because he was the bridge used by Deepak Kamani to reach Kibaki’s Kitchen cabinet led by Chris Murungaru for politicians and Francis Muthaura for civil servants. However, the report was leaked and when Kibaki summoned those who were driving it, they had been forewarned and went with backdated letters purporting to have cancelled the same projects President Uhuru Kenyatta has in recent years paid billions of shillings for.
But, Kibaki was determined to pursue the matter but was aware of the conspiracies between investigations, prosecution and judiciary and decided to appoint a new Public Prosecutions Director in the name of Phillip Murgor. When Murgor showed his claws as he went for the AngloLeasing culprits jugular, it became a priority for Kibaki’s Kitchen Cabinet to remove him.
One afternoon as Kibaki was having what had become routine afternoon nap, the Kitchen Cabinet called an emergency meeting to replace Murgor. They did not appear to have a candidate in waiting but as Kiraitu Murungi, my pro bono lawyer during Moi repressive era I deeply respect, was shuffling through his pending files, he found a letter from Keriako Tobiko asking him to remember him after Bomas Constitutional talks not to leave him tarmacking. “Quod Erat Demonstrandum”, he might have exclaimed as they all settled on Tobiko.
The rest is history as all prosecutions to do with AngloLeasing saga came to a halted suddenly and efforts to move them in any directed was scuttled as you read this. Corruption cases became a cash cow many of the victims having to pay Ksh 10 million to stop prosecutions or KILL them.
A senior personality of Equity Bank (name withheld) was nabbed in the wide net over National Oil petroleum importation and he too parted with Ksh 10 million, on Nairobi Club Golf fields, to escape the extortionist’s cartel’s loop. Some victims died of High Blood Pressure and related stress ailments. Golf Clubs are ideal places to pass on bribes far from the glare of CCTV cameras and inquisitive eyes of prowling cops.
I personally underwent strenuous malicious prosecutions beginning with one engineered by the Head of Civil Service Muthaura, who one Friday Morning on the eve my daughter’s wedding sent Terrorist and Serious Crimes police squad to arrest me at 6 a.m.
The cops were kind enough, one of them, who later became Divisional Criminal Investigations Officer (DCIO) in my neighbourhood in Buru Buru, having arrested me over six times during the Moi regime, and allowed me to inform my Kibaki era pro bono advocate Mutula Kilonzo, before they took me to the CID headquarters. Police early morning weekend arrests did not start with Kelenjins as Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter would like Kenyans to believe.
Many of us would be taken to Court after 5.00 pm where prosecutor Benhard Chunga would be waiting with Chief Magistrate after official working hours to try and sentence people at night. One time I was transported on Friday night from Industrial Area prison to Kamiti Maximum Prison where my wife and lawyer Paul Muite found me on a Sunday after they had been told by Industrial Area Prison officer-in-charge he did not know where I had been taken.
In Muthaura case police came for me at Kilimani Police Station where I was remanded at 4.30 and rushed me to the High Court so that I could be committed to industrial Area Remand Home and miss my daughter’s wedding. The Gods were not in Muthaura’s favour because they found the Chief Magistrate had left and they had to return me back to the police station.
That is how sordid-hearted, cruel, mischievous and corrupt government officers can be. I had no sympathy for him when he was paraded to the world by International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity. The exposure was worth the experience of the receiving end of the law.
I gave my daughter away straight from Kilimani Police Station after I was bonded in the morning following concerted efforts by then Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua and Kenya Union of Journalists Hezekiel Mutua and lawyer Mutula Kilonzo junior intervention. I had asked Hezekiel to inform the media that we would conduct the wedding at the police station at 11.00 am and Alfred asked CID Director Kamau what example they were setting to the world if weddings would be taking place at police stations. To them I will always be grateful.
I would later be discharged, by Magistrate Peter Mugo, when Muthaura failed to show up in court knowing I had investigated theft of Mercedes Benz cars from State House when Kibaki took over and all fingers pointed at him.Why an officer at his rank as Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet would be involved in such illegal and shameful activity puzzled me.
Muthaura before the ICC
I had sent Muthaura a pre-publication questionnaire to explain why he had given two private investigators money and a government Peugeot 504 in private registration to recover three Mercedes Cars with fake number plates in Western Kenya destined for Uganda. He did not respond to my questionnaire and telephoned me early in the morning at home to threaten me that he would report me to police.
Indeed, CID called me later and asked me to report to their offices, which I did. I asked them if he had given answers to my questionnaire and they said he had not. They asked me where the vehicles and I gave them a map pin-pointing the private home where the vehicles were hidden. Why a senior officer of his rank would be engaged in such activity puzzled me but theft of cars and household articles is common during the change of guard at State House.
After three weeks I decided to publish the information in Kenya Confidential in which was an advertisement of my daughter’s weeding on a Saturday. Muthaura waited until Friday and sent the cops at 6 a.m. The other casualty was the CID officer who failed to stop me from publishing the story. He was transferred to remote station in Hola after which he resigned from the Police Force.
Tobiko’s turn came in 2013 to put me through a 4-year malicious trial over malicious damage to a gate I never knew where it was nor touched it. When I wrote him a letter over the case, he remembered an article I had published in Kenya Confidential in 2006 implicating him in Maasai Mara Forest grabbing of 4,000 acres land by a client of his who also grabbed another 4,000 acres of Maasai Mara National Reserve.
He never responded to my numerous letters and emails even when the OCS Buru Buru Police Station Johnstone Matoke refused to forward my case file and a report of investigation conducted before my arrest and prosecution from November 2013 to November 2017. I have notified the Attorney General of my intention to sue the Kenya Government because of abuse of office, negligence of duty and integrity issues by Tobiko, former Inspector of Police General David Kimaiyo and Matoke.
I confronted Tobiko at State House grounds where I was invited for the Corruption and Governance Presidential Summit and asked him why he was subjecting me to a malicious prosecution and in haste he said, “Oh Blamuel I am aware of your case”. He then gave me a mobile number to call him on. When I called the number, a woman, who on the third occasion shouted, answered it; “Stop bothering me I am not Tobiko.”
His reception never allowed me to go anywhere near his office. His secretary could never put me through whenever I called. She used to tell me to book an appointment through a letter or email.
My numerous letters and emails seeking an appointment to see him were never responded to over a span of four years. One day his personal secretary’s phone was defective and my call went through and he said “Tobiko”, but, when I introduce myself, he banged the telephone.
He maligned me to his friends saying he was paying me back for having been used by the late Justice Moije ole Keiuwa to implicate him in the Maasai Mau Forest and the world famous Maasai Mara land grabbing. Today the 8,000 acres of land grabbed by one of his client, Livingstone Kunini ole Ntutu is on the Mau Forest crisis menu.
Both Maasai and Kalenjin politicians are now demanding that Tobiko declares his interest over Mau. A matter he failed to disclose during his vetting by a Parliamentary committee last February. When I petitioned his rejection by Parliamentary vetting committee in February, citing his involvement in Mau forest land grabbing, the Speaker, Justin Muturi, hid my petition dated February 7th and the Clerk rejected an earlier on I submitted on February 5th in a letter dated February 6th – a day before the deadline expired.
When I petitioned Parliament in June for his sacking on the basis of dishonesty and integrity for failing to disclose to the vetting committee that he had intimate relations with Mau Forest land grabbers, the Clerk’s office responded, “Only a Member of Parliament can petition removal of a Cabinet Secretary”. I am in the process of challenging that decision in Court as unconstitutional because it violates the Constitutional provision that clearly states every person’s right to Petition Parliament as provided by Article119. Right to petition Parliament.
His departure from ODPP like his appointment came by courtesy of Uhuru’s kitchen cabinet who could not explain why corruption cases were being taken to court to be lost. According to reliable sources, he was summoned to Uhuru’s office and asked to resign. He said he had no letterhead and a letter of his resignation was placed before him to sign, which he did.
Now Kalenjin Parliamentarians led by Hilary Kosgey are challenging Tobiko to declare his interest in the Mau Forest issue, which he has yet to state. His community, the Maasai, is also on his neck questioning his silence over the on-going evictions as the minister in charge of Mau forest whose degradation has adversely affected the environment.
Tobiko was not an ignorant Maasai youth of a Moran when he aided the massive grabbing of Maasai Mau and Maasai Mara National Reserve land from which he financially benefited immensely. If he did not give a damn for his community’s future generations forest and wildlife endowment, whose land can he care for? Why does he have to be rigged into top jobs as Kibaki kitchen cabinet and Parliament did?
Tobiko is unlikely to tell Kenyans how he made his first million from Mau Forest land grabbing transactions as a lawyer. The Ndung’u Report on illegally and irregularly acquired land cites lawyers as partners in cartels through which massive public land and forests were indiscriminately grabbed.
Tobiko as Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary is like a mortician pretending he can revive a patient he killed. No wonder he is roasting under monstrous brimstone of a self-inflicted community and national burden. Read: http://kenyaconfidential.com/2018/05/09/why-tobiko-should-be-sacked-from-cabinet/
Tobiko’s major problem is how he will evict the same people he aided in grabbing Forest land or dare touch on former President Moi whose former forest land straddles over 9,000 acres. Kenyans are anxiously waiting to hear if President Uhuru broached the matter to Moi when he met him in the presence of his son Senator Gideon Moi. Moi’s exit would be the biggest achievement in the restoration of the Mau Forest water tower plateau.