The driver of Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula has recanted an earlier statement that gunmen shot at the politician on Thursday last week, according to a police report.
The report seen by the Nation says the driver recorded a “further” statement that supported findings by investigators that Mr Wetang’ula’s vehicle hit part of a billboard on the roadside as he was being driven on Mbagathi Way, Nairobi.
The senator together with his driver and a bodyguard on Thursday night reported to officers at Kilimani police station that they had been shot at near the City Mortuary roundabout, minutes before 11pm.
“Preliminary observations indicate the vehicle was hit by a low lying banner structure or at the same time of crossing the banner the wire connecting the two poles must have disconnected. The driver has recorded a further statement where he concurs with the above observation,” reads part of the report.
Detectives on Saturday forwarded samples collected at the scene to the government chemist for analysis and the results are expected Tuesday.
NO SPENT CARTRIDGES FOUND
No spent cartridges were found at the scene. Neither were there any bullet holes in Mr Wetang’ula’s car.
The report, which is a brief to Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo, and authored by Nairobi’s head of Criminal Investigations Nicholas Kamwende, indicated that blood stains were found at the scene, on the side facing the City Mortuary.
The report says the matter is being investigated by scene of crime analysts, the CID, ballistic experts and government chemist officers.
On the state of the senator’s car, investigators said: “It had scratches on the driver’s side. A piece of the cover of the roof rails on top of the driver’s seat was missing and a dent above the windscreen was observed.”
Regarding the crime scene, the report said: “Black pieces of the car rail cover were recovered on the mortuary side. Blood stains were seen on the mortuary side and samples were collected. There was a framework for hanging banners. There was a piece of half inch metal pipe hanging on the pole towards city mortuary with aluminium wire inside.”
And reacting to the way the Jubilee administration had downplayed the case, Cord leader Raila Odinga warned they that if anything happened to the senator, they would act decisively.
“They cannot say we are seeking cheap publicity because I visited the scene myself and what I witnessed cannot be dismissed the way the government has done,” he said.
On Saturday, police spokesperson Gatiria Mboroki said the senator’s vehicle might have probably hit the piping of the banner.
“It was scratched by the wire connecting the lower part of the structure holding the banner. The dent on the top of the windscreen could have been caused by the impact on the edge of the metal pipe which also has a dent. The huge bang was probably the result of the collusion with the banner structure.”
According to her, the Leader of Minority in the Senate had mistaken the bang for gunshots.
Speaking in Kitale at the weekend, the senator claimed that a senior police officer had called his driver and instructed him to say that the vehicle had hit a billboard.
An officer privy to the investigations told the Nation that the senator’s driver and bodyguard were taken to the crime scene before they made further statements.
RUTO CALLS FOR CAUTION
On Sunday, Deputy President William Ruto called for caution over the incident.
Speaking in Turbo at a thanksgiving ceremony organised by 21 religious institutions and a local media house, Mr Ruto said claims of assassination attempts could divide the country along ethnic lines. He asked politicians to tread carefully on the case.
And Lugari MP Ayub Savula accused the police of sweeping the matter under the carpet instead of carrying out thorough investigations to verify whether Mr Wetang’ula was targeted.
Addressing mourners at Koromait village in Lugari at the weekend, Mr Savula said Kenyans have a right to be told the truth regarding the incident.
Mr Savula said residents of western Kenya would not entertain a situation where their leaders get intimidated whenever they happen to execute the mandate bestowed upon them by the electorate.