Is Fred Matiang’i now a marked man?
Once considered the most powerful person in the country only after former president Uhuru Kenyatta, former powerful Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mr Fred Matiang’i appears to be a marked man under President William Ruto’s administration.
In his prime, and that was just a few months ago, Matiang’i had all police officers and county bosses in the country on stand-by and awaiting his instructions.
He walked with a swagger and spoke with authority while defending former president Uhuru Kenyatta while at it.
And he stepped on a number of toes along the way, with several politicians accusing him of instigating their arrests on Friday, in an operation dubbed Kamata Kamata Friday’ and having them locked up during the weekend.
Fast forward to March 7, 2023, and Matiang’i, also a former ICT and Education Cabinet Secretary, incidentally found himself honoring a summons at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters in Nairobi.
He has been accused of raising a false alarm indicating police officers had raided his Nairobi home.
The alarm, police now say, caused unnecessary panic and tension in the country considering his standing in society.
But this is just part of the story.
Police actually raided Mr Matiang’i’s home later on, and reportedly broke the padlock at the gate in a bid to prove they did not raid his house earlier as he’d claimed.
Matiang’i’s lawyers say the confirmed police raid was done despite a court order against the exercise.
“I can confirm to every Kenyan in this country that the life of Matiang’i is at risk. We don’t know the intention of wanting to invade Matiang’i home at this time of the night. We don’t know why they want to arrest him and where they want to take him,” he claimed.
Matiang’i was then summoned to appear before the DCI but did not, because he was out of the country at the time.
He jetted back to the country on Saturday, March 5, 2023, after a two-week private tour of the United Kingdom.
Upon return, he presented himself before the DCI two days later and was grilled for the better part of the day.
Matiangi is also under investigation by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commision (EACC) which has requested the Head of Publis Service to share his wealth declaration forms dating back to 2013.
In his tribulations which analysts believe have a political touch, Matiang’i has been able to count on Azimio leader Raila Odinga and his former cabinet colleague Eugene Wamalwa, who have not only publicly defended him but also offered him a human shield more or less.
Pundits say Matiang’i fell out with President Ruto after former president Uhuru Kenyatta overlooked his then-deputy and handed him the role of supervising all ministries.
Matiang’i has also had his controversial moments including his role in the arrest and deportation of controversial politician Miguna Miguna.