, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 25 – Former Justice Minister Martha Karua is demanding thorough investigations into death threats against her and several other MPs thought to be government critics.
She wants the government to probe whether the chilling death-threat letter tabled in Parliament last week by Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara was genuine.
She has also criticised Internal Security Minister George Saitoti for rushing to dismiss the letter as the work of a psychopath.
“It also is a chilling message to Kenyans that we need to raise our voices and push the government to do what is their duty. I am demanding that investigations into the matter commence forthwith,” Ms Karua told a news conference at Parliament Buildings on Thursday.
She said she will be presenting the Minister with a statement of complaint on the matter.
“The minister should treat the letter I have written to him as my statement into the issue. I am simply not going to go to any police station to record any statement,” she said.
“If the police are the perpetrators, who do you report to? Let the government figure out how it is going to investigate.”
Ms Karua said she still believes her life is in danger.
“If indeed this letter is supposed to intimidate me, then that is an uphill task,” she said.
“I am totally unmoved; I’m going to take issues of security seriously but I’m going to continue with all my duties as a national leader. Change is unstoppable and the opaque ways of this government shall not succeed.”
At the same time, the Gichugu MP accused the government of lacking the commitment to reform the police force.
“The government is totally unwilling to institute police reforms and other reforms. Instead, it is using diversionary tactics by forming task forces to investigate what is already known,” she said.
Ms Karua said that the lack of commitment is further demonstrated by the government keeping intact the provincial administration in Kirinyaga Central districts where there have been killings between members of the Mungiki sect and vigilantes.
“All these factors indicate to me that some elements in government want to deliberately fuel insecurity to give cover to their evil schemes to eliminate political opponents,” the MP said.
Last Thursday, a letter containing chilling details of an alleged assassination plot targeting eight prominent people, among them Ms Karua and MPs Gitobu Imanyara, Dr Bonny Khalwale and Ferdinand Waititu was tabled in Parliament.
Dated June 10, 2008, the two-page letter allegedly written by a member of the police Kwekwe squad also names former MPs Paul Muite, political activist Mary Wambui and a Charles Kamau as others on the list of people marked for elimination.
The writer, who signed himself as Wilfred Njenga, claimed the squad had been ordered to eliminate Mr Muite by Police Commissioner Major Gen Hussein Ali.
Police dismissed the claims as “cheap political propaganda” and asked Mr Imanyara to surrender the letter to them or any international forensic expert for investigations.