Kenyan and international legal experts are pondering over what is seen as an admission by Deputy President William Ruto that he actually did threaten Dr. Alfred Mutua in State House.
Ruto, in a speech in Budalang’i region in Kenya appears to joke about Mutua’s allegations and even admits to holding Mutua’s hand in a tight and threatening grip.
From his speech, it is clear that Dr Ruto does not deny the allegations of threats and violence leveled against him.
Instead, he compares his threatening grip to that of a boat rider he had greeted during the day’s boat riding event in Budalangi.
This is despite Mutua, who is the Governor of a region called Machakos and the party leader of Maendeleo Chap Chap, reporting the threats to Kenyan police.
“The fact that he compares the two is enough proof that the first one to Dr Mutua did indeed happen, otherwise you can’t compare what is not existent” a criminal legal expert who sought anonymity said.
In his speech, Mr. Ruto jokes that he squeezed Mutua’s hand and Mutua went to report to the police. He then says that if Mutua had been gripped by one of the fishermen who were where he was, he would have reported to The Hague.
This is an interesting angle of Ruto’s statement that has left pundits and especially international observers mulling over Ruto’s reference to The Hague.
The Hague is where the International Criminal Court sits and it is where Willian Ruto was indicted and charged for crimes against humanity for his alleged involvement in murder of Kenyans during the 2007-2008 post-election violence.
The charges against Ruto were dropped after witnesses mysteriously recanted their evidence and others disappeared or were found dead in national parks. For a man who is running to be President of Kenya and one who already has the international community concerned about his history, to just joke about making life and death threats at the official residence of the President of Kenya, says more to the credibility of the allegations by Mutua.
“We expected immediate denial or explanation from Mr. Ruto after the reporting of the incidence by the Governor,” a senior western diplomat said.
“Instead we have witnessed brushing aside and joking about the matter in a callous and trivializing manner, maybe it’s time those concerned are called upon to address the issues. We are watching keenly,” the diplomat added.
During a Kenyan television talk show on Sunday December 22, 2019, Dr. Mutua said that he has faith in the Kenyan police investigations unit and expects the Deputy President to be summoned to write a statement as is the procedure in criminal investigations.