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

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - CA­ROLE MAINA @MainaCa­role

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.

EM­BAR­RASSED

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.

898 LIKES

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.

DE­MANDS APOL­OGY

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.

/ FILE

Ac­tivist Boni­face Mwangi leads pro­test­ers on State House Road on Fe­bru­ary 13, 2014

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