DP sues activist for linking him to Jacob Juma’s killing
Ruto says an injurious tweet by Boniface Mwangi, posted on September 28, was malicious, scandalous and subjected him to public ridicule
Deputy President William Ruto yesterday made good his threats and launched a legal battle against activist Boniface Mwangi for linking him to the assassination of businessman Jacob Juma.
Ruto says in court documents he is a devout Christian whose feelings have been deeply hurt. He is seeking unspecified millions of shillings as compensation from the activist.
Through his lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, the DP says claims by Mwangi on his Twitter account that he was involved in Juma’s killing have not only embarrassed him, but also left him at great pains to explain himself.
Juma was a fierce crtic of the government. The businessman was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on May 5. His body was found in his car near Lenana School.
Ruto said the injurious tweet by Mwangi, posted on September 28, was malicious, scandalous and has also brought his name to public ridicule.“I started receiving calls from colleagues in the government, friends and family expressing their surprise and bewilderment at the scathing and adverse references made to me and my possible involvement in the alleged killing of Jacob Juma,” he says in an affidavit.
The DP says his close friends and family have been greatly hurt and anguished at the “malicious and adverse references made to me”.
“I was extremely embarrassed and at great pain to explain to my close friends and associates that the contents of the tweet posted by Mwangi were a pack of lies and falsehoods, and that indeed I had absolutely not involved whatsoever in the killing of Juma,” he said.
Ruto said his reputation as a national leader has been gravely undermined by the tweet and right thinking people in society will see him as a killer and corrupt leader.
Ruto said the tweet and a response by Mwangi through his lawyer Gitobu Imanyara were meant to depict him as a thief, a person of questionable integrity, and a leader who is planning to kill him.
He said by the time he wrote a demand letter, the malicious tweet had been re-tweeted 882 times and attracted 898 likes. Ruto said the tweet has caused permanent damage and he wants the court to bar the activist from ever linking him with Juma’s killing.
Police are yet to find the killers of Juma, a one-time close ally of the DP who later became his critic. His bullet-riddled vehicle was found in a ditch. Though Ruto will have to wait for the court to decide his award if he succeeds in his lawsuit, he wants the court to award him general, aggravated, punitive and exemplary damages.
The DP also wants the court to compel Mwangi to publicly retract and delete the tweet. He also seeks an order directing Mwangi to publish a suitably worded apology and give it prominence in social, print and electronic media.
The suit comes just a few days after Kilukumi demanded Mwangi acknowledges the libelous statement and offers an immediate apology.
In a series of tweets since December last year, Juma claimed Ruto was planning his assassination. Ruto said Juma was best placed to respond to his own accusations.
“We lost Jacob Juma, he would be best placed to respond to your question,” Ruto told Citizen TV’s Hussein Mohamed on ‘The Big Question’ show where he was guest.
Activist Boniface Mwangi leads protesters on State House Road on February 13, 2014