Police have identified the man who entered Deputy President William Ruto’s residence in Uasin Gishu, leading to a 19-hour shootout.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss Ndegwa Muhoro identified the hawker as Mohammed Ibrahim Muhammad from Dandu Village, Mandera East Sub-County.
“The attacker has been doing business in Eldoret Town and we can confirm that he was alone in this raid,” Mr Muhoro said in Eldoret.
“He was neutralised by members of a special unit that came to support those on the ground.”
He said police had taken the fingerprints of Muhammad whose body was lying at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary, to establish if he had a criminal record.
Mr Muhoro maintained that the intruder, who killed a police officer and injured another during the Saturday attack, did not gain access to Mr Ruto’s main house.
He added that investigations into the killing of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ICT chief Chris Msando had been launched.
The police boss assured IEBC officials of their security.
Mr Muhoro cautioned Kenyans against speculation and rumours, insisting that the DCI was a professional agency that would pursue all leads to get to the bottom of the killing.
Meanwhile, police and Eldoret residents yesterday said Muhammad had a cordial relationship with guards at Mr Ruto’s home in Sugoi and frequently sold the officers shoes, watches, clothes and perfume on credit.
“The attacker was a hawker well known to the officer who was injured in the noon attack,” Eldoret West police boss Samuel Mutunga said.
He said the boda boda who dropped the attacker at Mr Ruto’s gate had recorded statements with police and was willing to volunteer more information to investigators.
Area residents interviewed by the Nation said they knew the attacker as ‘Omar’ and that he operated between Turbo and Jua Kali trading centres.
“We do not know much about him but Omar had been here for just two months but made a lot of friends, including among security agents,” said Mr Meshack Tuwei, a resident who was among the first people to arrive at the scene when gunshots rent the air.
Muslim leaders in the North Rift said they had little information about the hawker.
“All we know is that he was a Muslim. We had not interacted with him for long,” said Sheikh Abubakar Bini, North Rift Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya chairman.
Hawkers said Muhammad sold a variety of items but added that they were not sure where he lived.
They described him as a humble person who interacted freely with residents and fellow traders.
“He was a good man, but always sold his items on credit and was not in a rush to demand payment,” said a resident who preferred to remain anonymous.
Police in Turbo and Jua Kali were put on alert on Sunday when some residents began threatening members of the Somali community.
Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Wanyama Musiambo on Monday called on the public to report any suspicious people in their midst.
“Efforts to end insecurity will be fruitless if police officers do not get support from wananchi,” Mr Musiambo said in Eldoret Town.
Security agents and Moi Teaching and MTRH mortuary attendants on Monday said nobody has gone to claim Muhammad’s body, which was in police uniform.
Police said he gained entry into the compound housing General Service Unit officers manning Mr Ruto’s residence by duping one of them that he wanted to have midday prayers at the makeshift mosque.
“He was allowed into the compound when he asked for water and later to have prayers with one of the officers, whom he attacked,” said Mr Mutunga.
Multiple sources say an argument ensued before Muhammad took out a long knife and stabbed the officer in the hand and neck before snatching his gun and attempting to get into the armoury.
This resulted in a shootout, before the lone gunman was felled by GSU officers 19 hours later.
Attackers moved in shortly after Deputy President had left the home.