I have received Matiang’i’s alleged home raid file – DPP Haji

Written by on 9 March 2023

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordina Haji has received a file on an alleged raid on former Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang’i’s home in Karen last month.

In a statement, the DPP said he was perusing the file before taking the next steps.

“The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has today the 8th of March, 2023, received the duplicate file relating to the allegations that police officers visited and cordoned off the residence of Former Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government, Dr. Fred Matiang’i with the intention of arresting him on the night of 8th of February, 2023 for undisclosed offence(s).

“The duplicate file herein will be reviewed, and a decision thereof shall be made in due course, based on the evidence, facts, the law, and the Decision to Charge Guidelines, 2019.

“The Office reiterates its commitment to upholding the rule of law and respect to the fair trial to all persons,” Haji said.

On June 13 last year, former powerful Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i visited the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters to welcome President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of the Sh4 billion ultra-modern National Forensic Laboratory.

An elaborate and choreographed quarter guard was mounted at the gate of the DCI headquarters in his honour, under tight security. That was the last time he visited the institution in his capacity as security minister.

Yesterday, the once influential CS was escorted to the DCI by a battery of lawyers as a suspect under investigation.

He arrived at around 8.30am and was told to wait at the gate as the officers consulted. 

At 8.47am he was allowed in accompanied by Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni, former Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and lawyer Danstan Omari.

Others were lawyer Ishmael Nyaribo and West Mugirango MP Steve Mogaka, who is also a member of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee in Parliament.

Over 50 police officers, under the command of the Starehe Sub-County police commander, were deployed outside the DCI headquarters while heavily armed officers from the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) were deployed within the compound.

Matiang’i’s home raid

Matiang’i had been summoned in relation to the February 8 alleged raid at his Karen residence but advocate Amolo said they were shocked when they started asking him about his life, property, residence and farms.

“They appeared to be on a fishing expedition. What they were asking is not what they summoned him for,” Otiende said.

Matiang’i did not respond to any of the questions as per Article 49 of the Constitution, where a person has the right to remain silent.

The stalemate lasted for hours after Matiang’i refused to record a statement after invoking the right to remain silent and declared he had nothing to say.

One of his lawyers, Mogaka, said the investigators framed their two areas of interest to which Matiang’i, on advice of his legal team, declined to record a statement.

“The investigation team which appeared to be receiving orders from elsewhere threatened to arrest the CS. The legal team reminded the investigators that there is a court order restraining any such intended arrest,” said Mogaka. 

He added the frustrated investigators retreated to ‘ consult’. They then said they wanted to get his finger prints and left, leaving the former CS and his team in the boardroom.  When he arrived at the DCI headquarters, Matiang’i was directed to the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau (CRIB) offices where he was received by four senior officers.

The investigating officer Chief Inspector Maurice Shiraho attached to the DCI’s Serious Crime Unit (SCU), in his Charge and Cautionary statement, stated that they were inquiring and intended to charge Matiang’i with publication of false information contrary to Section 23 of the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act.

If convicted, he is liable to a fine not exceeding Sh5 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

The second charge was conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to Section 393 of the Penal Code. The particulars of the offence are that he, jointly with others, published in the media that his house had been raided by a ‘Battalion’ and or ‘garrison’ of police officers intending to arrest him, a fact he knew to be false.

“Between February 8 and February 9 at Karen Ngong View estate within Nairobi County in the Republic of Kenya with intent to cause panic, chaos or violence among citizens of the Republic of Kenya jointly with another published in the media that your house had been raided by a Battalion and or garrison of police officers intending to arrest you a fact you knew to be false,” the statement read.

His legal team became impatient and around 1pm, Otiende tweeted: “interesting times, with former Interior CS Fred Matiang’i at DCI Kiambu, 5 hours later, still held in abeyance after only 15 minutes engagement. This, despite a High Court order! This is no investigation, pure vendetta and witch-hunt. Sad indeed!”

Opposition chief Raila Odinga also went to the DCI headquarters but was denied entry. “This is a public office and I have the right to go inside. What law is that? You want me to order these people to open the gate?” A bitter Raila retorted after being told that the DCI boss Mohammed Amin had directed that he should not be allowed inside.

Shortly thereafter, lawyer Omari came out and talked to him before he left. One of the lawyers said they had assured Raila that Matiang’i would be released.

O’mogeni said the alleged probe was just political persecution and warned President Ruto that it could be counterproductive.

“That is not how to run a country. No former CS or minister has ever been subjected to something like this. We urge the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to remain professional and true to the oath of office,” he said.

Since the day of the alleged raid, Matiang’i has never spoken in public about the issue. Even yesterday, he never spoke.

Supporters, mainly boda boda riders camped at the gate for several hours and escorted him on Kiambu Road as he left the headquarters.

Matiang’i had been summoned by the head of SCU Michael Sang, who says he believes that Matiang’i could either be connected to the offence or could give information that could assist in investigation.

Returned to the country

Matiang’i jetted back into the country on Saturday night after being in the United Kingdom for two weeks. 

The CS left the country on February 19, a few days before being summoned by the DCI.

In one of the probes launched by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the agency wrote to the Head of the Public Service Commission Felix Koskei requesting the former Cabinet Secretary’s wealth declaration documents.

The DCI and the EACC have not publicly disclosed the specific allegations under investigation, but last Friday, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua sensationally claimed, without evidence, that officials from former President Uhuru’s administration stole over Sh16 billion in the period preceding the handover to President William Ruto’s government.

“Two days before the elections, they stole Sh16 billion and pretended to sell some shares from Telkom. When there was a case before the Supreme Court of Kenya they stole another Sh10 billion purportedly to pay some contractors,” Gachagua was quoted saying.

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