By J. O Bonnie [Eyewitness]
By now, you all know that blogger Dikembe Disembe (born Seth Odongo) has two cases over hate-speech both generated by a complict nexus between the national cohesion and integration commission and a group of middle aged Jubilee regime bloggers whose public faces are Dennis Itumbias (official) and Mugo wa Wairimu (unofficial).
The better known case [on Mpeketoni] has been subject of social media and mainstream media debate for eons now. It has three counts; hate-speech, ethnic contempt and incitement to violence against the kikuyu community. That is how the counts are framed. Funny?
Dikembe has now attended mentions for this case four times. Hearing begins late November. At this point, it is instructive to note that the accuser/complainant in this case is Mugo wa Wairimu (James Ndichu Mugo) a 38 year-old father of two who, on social media, brags to be a first cousin Â of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Now, those who know Mugo on Facebook, where he stalked Dikembe and roped in the whole Jubilee regime internal security and legal machinery may be yawning with bewilderment. Yes, we are better off without hatemongers but when a character like Mugo is the sole driver of ethnic cohesion Â then there lies the problem – the ethnic problem.
You also need to know that the second accuser/complainant, who was enjoined in the case by Mugo, one Kelvin Onyancha, is alleged to be related to the investigator of the case, a police officer attached to the hatespeech commission.
The second case, a very ludicrous case, is based on a joke about the theft of President Uhuru’s limo sometime ago. The limo was reported to have been stolen in Ruai, a place allegedly dominated by Kenyans of Kikuyu origin.
Of course everyone made jokes about the car theft and many on social media pointed an accusing finger at ‘residents’ of that area. Somehow, the vehicle was traced to Uganda and found abandoned somewhere in Tororo. To date, the real thief has not been found. All those who’ve been charged are threeÂ clearing and forwarding agents Andrew Young Otieno, Godfrey Ouma Simon and Robert Mande Ochan (Ugandan). Otieno and Ouma were based at the Busia border, where the vehicle was said to have crossed over to Uganda.
Others are mason Nelson Topicho Mulati and mechanic Aggrey Odhiambo.
Aggrey Odhiambo, whose only sin was to attend to clients who pulled the vehicle in his Nakuru yard for ‘repairs’ would be the first person to be charged, days before joining the others in a fresh charge.
As the case progressed, his lawyer, Cliff Ombetta, would later argue his case out, making the prosecution (government) to turn him into a witness rather than the accused.
To date, whoever stole the car has not been found. The police officer, Mr David Machui, who recklessly parked the car in his estate has resumed his duties. No traffic police officer who manned the long road between Nairobi and Busia border has been charged, or reprimanded, for negligence. No CID officers along that route have faced any disciplinary measure.
In short, those who were charged with safeguarding the vehicle have been charged, or punished, at least the public isn’t aware.
So how did Dikembe entangle himself in the case? Well, he ‘alleged’, as being claimed by the hatespeech commission, that the vehicle was stolen by Kikuyus!
Of course, Dikembe didn’t mention Kikuyus. However, in the conclusion of the hatespeech commission, that’s what he meant.
I had accompanied him to pick statements for his first case when, all over sudden, he was detained, and, forced to admit that he hated on Kikuyus.
On the fateful day, Dikembe had gone, voluntarily, to the headquarters of the hate-speech commission located somewhere in Upperhill. In the office, she got to engage one of his classmates – a lady – whom he found working for the commission. Interestingly, as I observed the two, you couldn’t realize one was being charged hating on the ‘tribe’ of another. The lady was a Kikuyu.
Then entered the investigating officer, an overzealous man who appeared to be on a script to nab Dikembe more than anything else. The man had his own predetermined mindset of what hatespeech is, and, what it is not. As he begun to ‘talk nicely’ to Dikembe, I realized the man was setting him up. I told Dikembe to stop talking to the fellow, pick his the evidentiary documents he came to pick so that we leave.
In my mind, I was convinced that the officer was interrogating Dikembe without telling him. Dikembe, with his famed ‘intellectual’ mindset, decided to engage in an ideological war with the man.
Both sides were getting agitated. The police officer felt Dikembe was belittling his work, poking holes on his knowledge of ethnocentrism. Dikembe, on the other hand, appeared underwhelmed by the ‘legal superiority’ mien that the officer had assumed. Worse, his Luo righteous anger had begun to take over his faculties, as he now increasingly clicked at every insinuation of the man.
They didn’t agree. The police officer walked out and ordered another officer to detain Dikembe. Earlier, as they interlocution deteriorated, I had prevailed upon Dikembe to call his lawyer.
When the lawyer arrived, he too did not make things simple.
He felt offended that his client had been detained extrajudicially – which the police officer, now joined by a Mr. Gitonga, the commission’s lawyer, vehemently denied. Feeling outraged, Dikembe would point at the exit of the boardroom he had been quarantined in and yell, ”what the hell is that man and that gun doing there!”
Despite his voluntary cooperation with the commission (he had cut short a fellowship trip in the US to come appear even before being summoned, he never got the summons letter and, privately, believed that the commission wanted to ambush him with a sealed warrant of arrest) the events of that day convinced us that his case was a clear indication of the extent of abuse of NCIC by an axis that involves commission officials, DPP office, IG office and jubilee regime bloggers – the so called Jubilee social media cabinet; a loose network of social media jubilee bloggers allegedly under Itumbias’s payroll. Itumbi is the Director of Digital and Online communication of President Uhuru. As to whether the President is aware of this outfit is a matter of conjecture.
Well, he was finally ‘released’ but that was before he asked why of all the people the commission has charged with hate-speech, including Moses Kuria, it was only his case, conspicuously and single, that they posted on their Facebook page!
We knew they would charge him again. The police officer investigating his case had appeared to us as a person holding a personal vendetta on the blogger, or, he may have been promised a promotion when he successfully prosecutes Dikembe behind bars. How, really, can you explain the coincidence that apart from Mugo – whose hatred for Luos in general and Dikembe (and Dikembe’s god Raila Odinga) in particular, are well documented – the other accuser of Dikembe is a friend of Mugo believed to share the village with this officer? Was there a conspiracy? Will there be justice?
Also, which tribe should the judge come from? I ask this question considering that hate-speech touches on people’s ethnic biases and tribalism is an elite problem in Kenya. Dikembe, a luo, appearing before Ndung’u, a kikuyu, charged by prosecutorÂ Maingi on a case processed by Gitonga with a complainant Mugo. . .does this arrangement embody fairness in appearance?
Whatever it is, Dikembe’s case reveals ‘witness coaching’ is indeed real and as the case progresses, his lawyers, from hindsight, are ready to prove the intricacies in this case.
Already, they recently tabled a revised list of prosecution documents not yet provided to them, including email exchanged between Mugo wa Wairimu and several independent offices, including the DPP’s office and the IG’s office as well as with top officials of the hate-speech commission.