By Boniface Mwangi
I have known Itumbi for about 10 years. After I left The Standard Group in 2008, Itumbi and I would freelance as journalists for the people he now falsely refers to as ‘evil society.’ That was before Twitter — and we would only argue about politics on Facebook.
In May 2012, Itumbi was accused of hacking the International Criminal Court (ICC) website. He was arrested. I called him to warn him to be careful when working for politicians. I could tell he was a pawn in a bigger scheme. In 2013, when Uhuru Kenyatta was elected president, I met Itumbi after he was appointed Digital Director at State House — although he had not yet been confirmed. He confided in me that his appointment was being contested by certain career civil servants. To these lads, Itumbi was unqualified for the position.
I advised Itumbi to stay strong — and recommended books for him to read. I also advised him to keep a journal so that he could write a memoir afterwards. Looking back over the past five years, I now believe that those senior civil servants were right. Itumbi had a front row seat in President Uhuru’s election and has gone on to become the most rabid abuser and creator of hashtags aimed at discrediting anyone he thought was opposed to the President.
Itumbi’s arguments are not based on law, facts or logic, but emotions and hype. October 24, 2013, I was being interviewed by Jeff Koinange, and the topic of political assassinations came up. I said that Bogonko Bosire, who had disappeared a month earlier, was missing. Jeff Koinange insisted he wasn’t, and that Itumbi knew where he was. At the time Itumbi was accused of hacking the ICC websites, the names of witnesses who were to testify against President Uhuru and his Deputy, William Ruto, would surface on a website called Jackal News, run by Bogonko. Word is, Bogonko was to be arrested, but because he knew too much and he was also an alcoholic, there was a risk that he could flip, and so he had to be dealt with.
Five years later, Bogonko is still missing. Meanwhile, Itumbi was compensated for “illegal arrest and detention” in the 2012 arrest. Albert Muriuki, who worked at State House, also disappeared three months after Bogonko went missing. Muriuki had worked as an intern at the International Criminal Court (ICC) before being appointed to State House. Whereas Bogonko and Muriuki were “disappeared”, low level people who were supposed to testify at the ICC were hunted by a police squad called Kwekwe and shot dead.
ICC witnesses were systemically targeted for killing.Many witnesses recanted their testimonies, while others were paid off. And if you’re wondering how ICC suspects knew who to kill or target, two employees from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) sold the ICC report for millions, leading to people being targeted.
In matters lying, in 2014 Itumbi went on national TV and accused me of teargassing Lang’ata Primary School children. A big lie. Teargas is only imported by the State and civilian possession of it is a crime. If his lie had been based on facts, I would have been arrested and charged. I wasn’t. So Dennis Itumbi is a proven liar.
Itumbi reminds me of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s chief of propaganda. Itumbi has no problem falsely accusing people of things they haven’t done. He has been leading in labeling judges and activists as an “axis of evil”. He is doing that with the sole aim to destroy people’s reputations. He knows it’s not true, because it’s the same courts that released him when he was arrested back in 2012 and then recently awarded him KSh5 million in damages for illegal arrest and detention. When Itumbi isn’t insulting judges and activists online, you will find him on Twitter pushing drives to raise money for a patient in India, when his boss, Uhuru Kenyatta, has KSh54.9 billion in the health budget.
And Itumbi’s silly narrative that activists are paid by the west is pure hogwash. Just because he is paid with our taxes doesn’t mean that we have to be paid by foreigners to ask government to be accountable. Why does he forget that our government is donor funded? The Judiciary, Kenya Police, public education and even the free condoms you use for sex, are all funded by external donors.
To Kenyans in the diaspora, Dennis Itumbi supposedly works for you. Our hard-earned taxes pay his salary. Yet he has done nothing for you. He hasn’t fought for your right to vote. He hasn’t made it easier for you to get your passports. You still can’t invest easily in Kenya without fearing that you will be swindled. It’s time you asked President Uhuru to appoint some brains to represent you. Remember Itumbi supported Miguna’s deportation; at the very least he should have remained quiet. So, if you’re a dual citizen, know that the Senior Director of Innovation, Digital and Diaspora Communication in the Office of the President doesn’t care about you.
Itumbi’s gamble to sell his soul paid off, but for how long? The evil we do catches up with us
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