who killed robert ouko and why ? it is story still lingering in people’s minds in one of the most high profile assassinations in moi regime. today we are going to look at the story how robert ouko was murdered
HOW ROBERT OUKO WAS KILLED
On the morning of February 12, 1990, Dr. robert Ouko told his wife Christabel to travel to Nairobi by road and that he would join her by air the next day. In the evening of that day, Dr. Ouko entertained the company of sister Dorothy Randiak who had to check on the Minister.
After Dorothy had left, the Minister checked on his poultry. That day, he had received a brood of 500 chicks. Robert Ouko was with his home servants, selina Were, the house maid; Zablon Agalo, the AP officer guarding home; and Philip Rodi, the farm manager.
Meanwhile, in Kisumu, Michael Owiti, the civilian driver of Nyanza PC, Julius Kobia, received an unusual assignment. He was called by his boss who instructed him to drive the PC’s white Mercedes to Sirikwa Hotel in Eldoret to pick some guests at the Hotel.
At Sirikwa Hotel, 3 people approached him,they identified themselves as the people that he had been sent to pick. They left Eldoret at 8.00 P.M. and drove to the PC’s residence where he found a fleet of top government officials .
At the PC’s residence, he saw Mr. Hezekiah Oyugi, Mr. Jonah Anguka, and Nicholas Biwott. There were five cars at the residence.
At around half past midnight, he (Michael Owiti ) was instructed to lead the party driving along Kisumu – Kericho Road. In his vehicle, he carried the PC and two of the guests he had picked at Sirikwa Hotel. They turned at a junction towards Muhoroni
At a certain point, they were instructed to put off their lights and wait for a signal for them to proceed. Near home of Dr. robert Ouko, all passengers alighted leaving the drivers alone and walked towards Dr. Ouko’s home.
At around 2:00 AM, Selina Were, the housemaid, was awakened by a loud bang.
When she heard the first bang, she sat up on her bed, and then she heard three gunshots on the bedroom side of the Minister’s house. At first, she did not come out due to fear and because there was an armed guard in the compound.
She curiously and with fear peeped through her window, she saw Philip Rodi (farm manager) tiptoeing followed by men who were in green uniform moving towards the store. After a while, she saw Hezekiah Oyugi standing in front of her door. The security lights were on then.
There was no single vehicle in the homestead. After an hour or so, she came out of her house and went to the open visitors shed where she saw a white Mercedes Benz with dim lights turn at the lower main gate.
In the morning, Selina went to the bedroom and saw Dr. Robert Ouko’s pyjamas on the bed and the window fastener broken. The spectacles of the Minister were on the table at the sitting room.
The Administration Police Constable tasked with guarding the Minister’s home, Zablon Agalo, claimed that on that night, he did not see anything, since he was guarding the cattle boma.
On his statement he said that at 2:30 AM that night, he saw Mr. Oyugi standing near Selina Were’s house, and Mr. Jonah Anguka was with him. Anguka who wore a blue suit with a tie was moving towards the cattle boma gate. He greeted him but Mr. Oyugi gestured him to keep quiet.
A short, stocky, black man was standing at the verandah of Dr. Ouko’s house hiding behind a pillar. Rodi confirmed later that the man who stood behind the pillar at the verandah was Nicholas Biwott in the statement he recorded to the Sunguh committee.
He also saw the white car that Selina had referred to and heard the loud bangs and gunshots. ( These shots were fired by Dr. robert Ouko at his abductors. Unfortunately, they cornered him and pinned him down before he could shoot any of them )
Michael Owiti, the civilian driver to PC Kobia confirmed the Minister was grabbed from his house by 3 guests he had picked in Eldoret. Once he was captured, they forced a gag into his mouth, tied his feet, handcuffed his hands behind his back, and dragged him to the vehicle.
Two of the guests and PC Julius Kobia entered the vehicle and instructed him to drive to State House Nakuru, a distance of 180 kilometers. At Kericho, the convoy stopped briefly to refuel. All this while, Dr. robert Ouko was struggling and groaning in the boot.
At State House Nakuru, they found gates open and all the 5 vehicles whizzed inside. All the passengers in the vehicles alighted and Dr. robert Ouko, who was now nose bleeding, was literally lifted from the vehicle into State House. They were in Nakuru until around 3.00 P.M of 13 Feb.
Inspector James Lando, an intelligence official in Nakuru whose duties included compiling intelligence from State House Nakuru, came across secret intelligence documents showing that Dr. Ouko was murdered in State House Nakuru.
According to the Inspector, Dr. Robert Ouko was carried into state house, he begged for his life as his captors beat him up and slammed him against the walls. One of the men who had been hired broke a leg from a seat and used it to crash Ouko’s legs.
All the while, the Dr. robert ouko was lying painfully on the floor begging and pleading. To finish it off, Biwott took a gun and shot him in the head.
Mr. Wajackoya, who was working at the ‘music room’ (phone tapping room), happened to have tapped and recorded a phone conversation between Daniel Moi and Nicholas Biwott on that day Robert Ouko was killed.
In the conversation, Biwott confirmed to Moi that the problem of Robert ouko had been taken care of for good, and Daniel Moi thanked him (Biwott) for it.
Mr. Wajackoya handed over the tapes to the British Intelligence people in exchange for asylum.
On 13th February 1990, Dr. Ouko was scheduled to fly to the Gambia. His secretary and bodyguard were waiting for him in Nairobi.
In the afternoon he had not shown up, people at the ministry and at home started to raise eyebrows. His wife Christabel Ouko, who by that time was at Loresho, called Selina Were.
Unbeknownst to Christabel, at that very moment she was calling home to enquire on whereabouts of her husband, a Kenya Police helicopter was hovering over Got Alila Hills, just 6 kilometers from the Minister’s Koru home, carrying the lifeless body of the Minister.
It took less than 10 minutes to drop the body and arrange the few items, some of which had been gotten from the Minister’s home, with the help of Philip Rodi, the farm manager.
WHY MOI KILLED ROBERT OUKO
Moi Ordered Ouko Killed, Inquiry Told On March 4, 2005 the Parliamentary Select Committee investigating Dr. Ouko’s death was told that it was President Moi who ordered the killing of his Foreign minister in 1990. Committee chairman Gor Sunguh said Scotland Yard detective John Troon told the committee in London two weeks ago that Dr Robert Ouko was killed because of “an executive order”. Mr Sunguh said: “This executive order was issued by none other than President Moi.”
The Sunguh committee was in Britain two weeks ago to receive evidence from Mr Troon, who extensively investigated the murder, and Swiss business consultant Marianne Briner. Mr Sunguh said the President fired Dr robert Ouko, who was the MP for Kisumu Town, and sent him to his Koru home as his security was withdrawn.
“No other person had such an executive authority” to order the killing of Dr robert Ouko, Mr Sunguh said. “The President himself said at a public rally that people who poisoned Vice-President George Saitoti ‘…are the same ones who killed Dr Ouko…’ We would have liked him to tell us who these people are and how he came to know them,” Mr Sunguh said. Mr Sunguh said Mr Troon had tried to interview Keiyo South MP Nicholas Biwott as the prime suspect but that Mr Biwott had been “shielded” by Mr Moi.
A letter from the British High Commission tabled before the committee showed Mr Troon had in 1990 concluded his probe and had said there was enough evidence to arrest Mr Biwott and other senior officials but that Mr Moi had denied him permission to do so. Mr Sunguh said President Moi had pledged no stones would be left unturned in the investigation but that, instead, “all stones and boulders were put in the way of investigations”. Mr Sunguh said the Moi administration started parallel investigations to Mr Troon’s usingthe dreaded Special Branch. Then Mr Jonah Anguka, a district commissioner at the time Dr Robert Ouko died, had been “planted” in the matter and charged with the murder. Mr Troon’s life was threatened and he had to leave the country in 72 hours, he said. President Moi’s government was guilty of a cover-up in Dr Ouko’s murder, Mr Sunguh said. “It also participated in elimination of witnesses to the murder,” Mr Sunguh added.
The chairman said the committee had counted more than 100 possible witnesses who had died in mysterious circumstances. “These are some of the issues that should have been answered by Moi. We would have treated him with utmost respect . . . we are not going to bother him,” Mr Sunguh said. He added: “It is unfortunate that we are now going to complete our report without his input.” Although failure to honour a parliamentary summons was “illegal”, the committee would not take any action against the former president Moi.
“Having been an MP for more than 40 years, as vice-president for 13 years and as president for 24, the man should have been a supporter of the rule of law,” Mr Sunguh commented. Mr Moi should not blame the committee if it rules that he was responsible for “certain things” in Dr Ouko’s death. Committee member Kiema Kilonzo said the committee wanted Mr Moi to explain what transpired during the Washington DC visit to which he was accompanied by both Dr robert Ouko and Mr Biwott. Dr robert Ouko was murdered several weeks later. Mr Kilonzo said the committee wanted to hear from Mr Moi whether he had sent Dr robert Ouko on leave and confined him to his Koru home after the visit to Washington. Mr Moi could also have explained a photograph tabled before the committee by Mr Biwott showing him saluting by the left hand. Committee member Raphael Wanjala said: “The retired president’s appearance here could have been very important for us because the work of all commissions when he was head of state was frustrated.” The MP for Budalang’i cited the premature disbandment of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry in 1991 and of Mr Troon’s investigation. The Sunguh committee wanted Mr Moi to explain whether he and Dr Ouko travelled on the same flight from Washington. About the road accident Dr Ouko was involved in on his way to Kericho on February 9,1990. Whether the president communicated with Dr Robert Ouko while he was on leave and Whether he received documents by the BAK group’s directors complaining about mistreatment by some Cabinet ministers. Mr Troon had also named permanent secretary Hezekiah Oyugi as a prime suspect in Dr Ouko’s murder. Mr Oyugi died of illness in 1991. At the end of the inquiry the committee chairman, Mr Sunguh said:
“We have information that a gang was hired by persons who have refused to be questioned by this committee. They (gang) were to be paid Sh3 million, but after complaining, it was raised to Sh8 million to kill robert Ouko. Later some of the gang members killed their colleagues over the same money.”
Just one day ago, the proven criminal in robert ouko demise is himself is now posthumous.