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Activist Mwangi arrested over ‘defamatory’ tweet at Deputy President Ruto

Activist Boniface Mwangi has dared Deputy President William Ruto to sue him over an alleged defamatory tweet.

Through his lawyer Gitobu Imanyara, Mwangi declined to retract the tweet he had allegedly published on September 28, 2016.

The tweet read: “I hope Deputy President has no plans of killing me the way he killed his old friend, Jacob Juma, a fellow thief who became a whistle blower.”

According a letter written by Imanyara to Ruto’s lawyer, Kioko Kilukumi, Mwangi will “not retract, correct, withdraw or apologise for the said tweet.”

He further argues that Ruto is the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, a State Office, to which he is accountable to the people of Kenya.

“As long as he holds that office, he must accept that he will attract and continue to attract not only praise when it is due but also most robust criticism for any conduct or behavior that falls below the requirements of the Leadership and Integrity provisions set out in Chapter VI of the Constitution,” read the letter in part.

In the tweet, Mwangi had linked the DP to the death of businessman Jacob Juma, who was assassinated in May, 2016.

Mwangi further claimed that Ruto had singled him out because of ‘his consistent defence of the public interest.’

“The Tweet your client is complaining of simply expresses his fears. This is a matter of public interest and concern – a fear to be killed. The public have a right to know the sources of such threats and thus our client could not keep to himself gagged and wait for death,” further read the letter.

The letter further posed questions among them: “Is it not true that Jacob Juma was killed? Is it not true that Hon Cyrus Jirongo, a close friend at one time of both Jacob Juma and your client pointed fingers at your client in connection with Jacob Juma’s death? Is it not true that prior to his death, Jacob Juma publicly disclosed that William Ruto was planning to kill him?”

Imanyara stated that Mwangi has ‘real and compelling’ reasons for fearing that Ruto might want to kill him.

“The burden of proof will rest squarely upon your client to show up in court and clearly demonstrate that the fear by our client is not well founded,” stated Imanyara.

Ruto had written to Mwangi demanding that he retracts the said tweet failure to which he would take the appropriate legal action.

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