Embu County Speaker Justus Kariuki Mate was attempting to get a fake certificate of good conduct when he disappeared. Mate resurfaced yesterday after walking out of a meeting at Utalii Hotel on Tuesday and disappearing.
Mate had asked Corporal Nicholas Muriuki Kangani of CID headquarters to help him get the document. Muriuki yesterday wrote a statement claiming that Mate feared he could not get it through the normal channels.
In March 2008 investigators from Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission arrested Mate over an alleged attempt to solicit for a bribe for Halima Hassan to be nominated to the Nairobi City Council.
Mate was then an aide to the then Local Government minister, Uhuru Kenyatta. Mate was caught red handed on camera receiving Sh140,000 in treated cash. He was arraigned in court and charged with fraud.
Muriuki said that Mate told him that he needed to put his records in order because of the infighting that led to the impeachment of Embu Governor Martin Wambora.
In his statement Muriuki said that he did not go to Utalii Hotel where Mate and other Embu County leaders were meeting. However he confirmed that he had called Mate on his phone to discuss the certificate of good conduct.
“Mate had said that he could not get the certificate because he had been charged. Criminal Records Office still have the record. He wanted someone to delete the record. I told him to come to CID headquarters with the court proceedings that cleared him so that I can take him to the relevant office,” the CID officer said in his statement.”He texted me to meet him at Parliament. I told him I was busy and would see him later. At around 2.40pm he said he had gone to Utalii Hotel and that I could meet him there. I am told he disappeared from the hotel at around 4pm to 4.15pm. I called him at around 5.40pm as I was on Thika Road not knowing that he had gone missing and left his phones,” said Muriuki.
“His phone was not picked when I called but I later learned that his personal assistant saw my name on the screen and told the other concerned parties that it must be me that kidnapped him,” the officer said in his statement.
Corporal Muriuki has been charged over the abduction of Mate and was released on Sh100,000 cash bail by a Nairobi court after he denied the charges.
Mate yesterday reappeared in Limuru. He flagged down a lorry ferrying foodstuffs to Nairobi from Nyahururu and asked the driver to take him to Gigiri police station. The officers at Gigiri then took him to Aga Khan Hospital where he was treated and discharged.
Mate claimed that he was kidnapped by people who forced him to consume a substance that made him dizzy. He said he left the meeting for a short call. He was then kidnapped when he walked to the parking lot to see if the CID officer had arrived.
He said his abductors were armed with a pistol and beat him up to the point that he soiled his clothes. The Speaker said that he was abandoned at Kabuku area in Limuru on Thursday night after three days of “captivity”.
However senior police officers in Nairobi yesterday said they are investigating whether the kidnap was stage managed. They asked why Mate did not raise the alarm immediately.
Starehe CID officers yesterday questioned a security guard at Utalii Hotel who said that Mate walked out of the hotel gate alone looking for somebody whom he claimed had driven into the hotel to meet him. The guard said he did not see Mate walk back.
Yesterday CID chief Ndegwa Muhoro, Nairobi county CID chief Ireri Kamwende and Speaker of National Assembly Justin Muturi visited Mate in hospital.
Mate is expected in court soon for allegedly violating High Court orders that barred him from proceeding with the first impeachment of Wambora.