By Onyinkwa Onyakundi via Facebook
Anyone that doesnâ€™t think that there is more to this Yebei murder story than meets the eye either has no eye, or hasnâ€™t heard the story. Sample this sequence of events that followed the revelation of his death.
1. Following speculation that he had been a prosecution witness at the ICC, The Office of The Prosecutor (OTP) comes out to deny that he was one, but admits to having offered him protective custody abroad, an offer he turned down and stayed in Kenya. Now, that is a tad odd. Donâ€™t you agree?
2. Ruto demands answers ~ without specifying from whom ~ about the murder of Yeibei, whom he claims to have been his witness. Okay, I know I may have lost you here, but Iâ€™ll clarify. Yes! It is Ruto the DP. It is the Ruto that was head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces of Kenya not too long ago ~ albeit just for hours ~ that is demanding answers!
3. Yebeiâ€™s family deny he was ever anyoneâ€™s witness at the ICC. They tell Ruto off insisting that the late Yebei and Ruto have never seen eye to eye politically for as long as they can remember, only stopping short of bluntly telling him that there is no way Yebei could possibly have been his witness.
4. Ken Wafula the Eldoret based human rights activist who has been assisting the ICC on the witness protection component of the trials throws yet another spanner into the works by claiming that the OTP had indeed initially lined Yebei up as a prosecution witness, but that he had pulled out on being approached by Rutoâ€™s team with a hefty bribe, whose promise to pay, Rutoâ€™s team had reneged on upon securing Yeibei withdrawal from the OTP side.
5. It gets even more thrilling this thriller! One Aden Duale calls a press conference which he in the company of a few Jubilee MPs addresses on the matter. Frothing in the mouth, gesticulating furiously and almost yelling in his â€˜painful to listen toâ€™ voice, Aden Duale calls for the arrest and prosecution of Ken Wafula for the murder of Yebei.
The foregoing sufficiently illustrates that there is more to this story than is meeting the eye. But what is that? To unearth what went down, and reveal who might have been behind the death of Yebei, the cacophony of accusations, counter accusations, denials and demands provide useful pointers.
Ken Wafulaâ€™s claim that Yeibei was initially a prosecution witness who later pulled out on being promised cash by Rutoâ€™s team makes loads of sense because even if the OTP denies Yeibei was their witness, it does not explain why it had offered him protective custody abroad. This little inconsistency in their narrative corroborates Wafulaâ€™s story sufficiently. Having established this, we must figure out what happened after the promised cash ~ or at least part of it ~ wasnâ€™t forthcoming.
It is possible that on being hit by the realization that he had been â€˜playedâ€™ into withdrawing without any sign of ever getting the monetary reward promised, he threatened ~ or intended ~ to take up his place in the witness box on the side of the prosecution, prompting the defence team to eliminate him. It is even possible he was already talking to the OTP.
If he wasnâ€™t already talking to the OTP about retaking his place on their side, how else would anyone explain the text message that purportedly came from Uganda, explaining to his mother that he was talking to Bensoudaâ€™s people? In the text message, these two â€˜Bensoudaâ€™s peopleâ€™ are mentioned on first name basis, suggesting that they were both known by the family, and whoever concocted the text message was well aware of this fact.
Doesnâ€™t that then explain the contempt with which the family members responded to Rutoâ€™s claim that Yebei was his defence witness? Of course even they are not revealing everything they know about their kin’s death, but the tone, body language and content of their TV interviews leaves little doubt that they are actually saying even what they are leaving unsaid. It is as if they want the public to know what they are pretending to conceal, without really antagonizing anyone really powerful.
Rutoâ€™s tears ~ not those he sheds every time he sees a church, but those he is shedding for Yeibei ~ could therefore be those of the crocodile variety. Or maybe not. What if ~ just if ~ those tears he is shedding are real human tears much like those that well in his eyes every time he sets foot inside a church? What if Yebei was indeed a defence witness and Ruto is indeed an aggrieved party here? That is what the second instalment of this two part series will delve into shortly. Keep it here.