Kenyan minister falls prey to thugs

July 6, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6 – Armed thugs raided the home of Assistant Justice Minister William Cheptumo on Sunday night and robbed him and his family of over Sh300,000 and other valuables.

Mr Cheptumo had arrived from Geneva in the morning and was watching the evening news when five armed men walked in and held him and his family hostage for two hours at Langata’s Rubia estate.

Up to eight family members including his three children were at home when the robbery incident occurred.

Family members and his workers told Capital News that the thugs used neck ties to restrain the assistant minister as they ransacked the house for money and other valuables.

“They were not in a hurry because they took a lot of time tying us with ties and other pieces of cloth. Others were busy upstairs,” Christine Misikho, a worker said. “They (thugs) kept telling the assistant minister to give them money because he had just arrived from abroad.”

Mr Cheptumo had traveled to Geneva as part of a delegation that met International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo to ask for more time to establish a local tribunal for the post election violence suspects.

It is Ms Misikho who first encountered the thugs as she closed the gate.

“I was in the kitchen and realised the main gate was open. When I went to close it, they forced me back while holding their guns. That was the beginning of everything because they forced me to lie down in the sitting room where the assistant minister was watching the 7pm news,” she said.

“Everybody was tied with neckties. We were so terrified because they threatened to kill us,” she added.

“Even the children who were doing their homework in their rooms upstairs were forced to come down where they were tied,” she said and showed this reporter pieces of the neckties which were used to tie them.

The domestic worker said Sh200,000 in local and foreign currency was stolen from the Mr Cheptumo.

“He was even forced to remove his gold ring,” she said.

Mr Cheptumo’s wife who was away at the time arrived to find the gangsters on the mission and was equally forced to surrender her ring and Sh80,000, according to workers at the home.

The assistant minister’s cousin Stephen Chamase told Capital News he was hit several times on the head during the ordeal.

“They kept beating me as they demanded to know who I was,” he said.

Other items stolen from the home include electronic goods and the assistant minister’s four-wheel drive vehicle which the gangsters later abandoned in Mathare slums.

Lang’ata divisional police Chief Patrick Mang’oli said no suspect had been arrested in connection with the robbery.


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