Jimi Wanjigi comes out of hiding after 72 hours

Controversial businessman Jimi Wanjigi on Wednesday revealed his close ties with top leaders across the political divide when he re-surfaced  after 72 hours of a police siege at his palatial home in Muthaiga, Nairobi.

He accused the police of harassing his family because of his support for Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

He said this decision did not sit well with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, whom he supported in the 2013 elections.

In a revelation that was hitherto unknown to many Kenyans, Mr Wanjigi revealed that the current regime was formed in his home and that it was the same compound that President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga shook hands as a sign of peace after the disputed 2013 polls.

PERSECUTION

The visibly shaken businessman wondered why a government that he helped form was now out to persecute him despite his house playing host to top leaders in the current government.

“The current regime was actually formed in my home, they have visited and even eaten with me. After the 2013 elections it is in my home where Baba (Raila Odinga) and the President came to and shook hands after the Supreme Court decision,” he said.

This sentiment was corroborated by Mr Odinga who admitted to having been there before.

“Jimi is no stranger to the President. We have been hosted here before, so Uhuru knows what he is doing,” said Mr Odinga.

Mr Wanjigi spoke to press flanked by Nasa leaders outside his home, with his wife holding him.

DESTRUCTION

The main entrance to the house bears witness to the events of the past three days — broken glass, the broken casing of a security camera — evidence of the struggle by police officers to reach the businessman.

Inside the house, a trail of destruction was visible, with Mr Odinga claiming that the police cut electricity wires and interfered with electronics.

Mr Wanjigi denied any links with the found in a house in Malindi alleged to be his, saying all the firearms found in his house were licensed.

However, questions still linger over the licensing of weapons, in particular, an M4 (a military-grade rifle), which were found in his Muthaiga home.

FIVE PISTOLS

Police said they found the M4, five pistols and a shotgun at Mr Wanjigi’s Muthaiga home in Nairobi. They said they were hoping to find documents with information on importation and use of the weapons.

“The siege on my house was unjustified. My family need not have gone through it. I am innocent. What the police are saying is total fabrication. The guns found in a house in Malindi are a mystery to us, we don’t know what they are talking about,” he said.

 Mr Odinga alleged that the weapons found in the Malindi house were placed there by police.

“Those weapons were caught in the hands of other people in 2012. Check your archives and you will notice that those weapons were put there,” he said.

The raid was conducted by officers from the General Service Unit, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Special Crimes Prevention Unit.

He said that one of the police officers who raided his house assaulted his wife when she tried to record what they were doing.

ROGUE

The opposition leader accused the State of having gone rogue and wanting to take the country back to a dark time.

Nasa leaders said that they were moving to court to file a case of contempt of court against the Inspector General of police and the Director of Public Prosecutions for failing to stop the raid after a court order was obtained to stop the search on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, there was still little activity at two other premises belonging to Mr Wanjigi, with police presence high.

The Caramel Lounge and Restaurant and Kwacha House, both in Westlands, have remained restricted with the media not allowed access them, as General Service Unit officers are in command of the premises.

A spot check by the Nation at Kwacha House revealed it is highly guarded, with both detectives and GSU officers in the compound and many cars present at the house located on the dusty General Mathenge Road.

CARAMEL LOUNGE

The detectives in civilian clothes could be seen entering and leaving the compound in their cars. The police did not respond to questions from journalists, who were told to be at least five metres from the gate.

Only the staff working at the firm were allowed in.

At around 10am, a contingent of 10 GSU officers arrived at the compound aboard a white police Land Cruiser but after about an hour, most of the officers left and only two remained at the gate, with guards from a private security firm that has since taken control of the gate, ushering visitors in and out.

At ABC Place, where the Caramel Lounge is, guards manning the building’s main entrance demanded that journalists get in touch with the restaurant’s management to get official communication before they are allowed in.

Additional reporting by Collins Omulo

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