Social media allegations that Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale was responsible for the passing of his longtime farmhand Kizito Moi have been refuted.
The circumstances surrounding the 47-year-old worker’s death at the senator’s Malinya, Ikolomani, home are being looked into by detectives.
Kizito is believed to have cared for a bull for more than 20 years, and his body was found at the bull’s stable on Sunday.
The fighter bull is thought to have caused the multiple injuries on the body.
In the Luhya bullfighting culture, Khalwale was referred to as the “Bullfighter” and was accused of being involved in Kizito’s death.
Businessman Toto Shimanyula of Kakamega claimed there was a cover-up surrounding the incident and asked the police to look into it further.
When the Star contacted the senator regarding the widely circulated accusations, the senator angrily denied the claims.
“Who are the people who have said that? You are a journalist…you are asking the senator of Kakamega to clarify issues on social media,” he said.
The senator said in the phonecall that the question would have made more sense if it came from verified accounts.
“If you would be having a claim, it should be from a credible source…but you are telling me to respond to claims from social media? Really! Really! Really,” Khalwale said.
The senator said he was equally shocked by the incident hence the reason he called a presser in the presence of police in his compound.
“Are you being professional?” he asked, when pressed further on his comment on the allegations.
The senator said he has nothing to hide, hence will broadcast every bit of the rites. “You are free to send your newsmen to the funeral procession…Boni Mtetezi will be running live…there is nothing to be hidden. Let me help you…We have been in this public space for very many years. We want to encourage the mainstream media to draw from facts, not from social media,” the senator said.
He added, “That is why on social media, there is information from verified accounts…and there are those things that people post on WhatsApp…we don’t go by that.” The senator went on, “If it is something from a verified account, you will draw our attention to that verified account…then the owner of the verified account, if he or she is the one speaking and not a follower, it then becomes news…Isn’t it?”
Khalwale said it was on such instances that he would react, but was quick to note that he can’t stop people from exercising their freedoms of expression and speech.
“We are the generation that gave Kenya the current constitution…and we made the freedom of thought, speech and expression robust…anyone is free to express themselves.
It is up to the consumers to decide whether the information is credible or not. Let people enjoy their freedom of thought, expression and speech,” he said.
The senator said he wouldn’t want to challenge people’s freedoms as expressed in the constitution, but they must state facts.
“We are talking about facts coming from verified accounts…specified with a blue tick.” The senator said many people may want to dismiss him “for lack of understanding of the Luhya culture.”
“I am helping you to understand the problem we are in…my son has been killed by my bull…because you are a Luo [the writer] you don’t know the implication of your son being killed by your own bull,” he said. “Those cultural rites you have seen go through are not a child’s play…Let us be global,” Khalwale said.
The senator said he expected the media to focus on “the inside of what was taking place…and not social media banter.”
“This is the first incident to come out clearly…I would have expected an opportunity for a one-on-one so that you give Kenyans the inside of what was taking place…and not social media banter,” he said.
An autopsy on Kizito’s body is due at the Kakamega County General Hospital. Khalwale killed the bull named ‘Inasio’ “in keeping with the culture” (of the Luhya people).
The senator in a presser said his farmhand may have possibly hit the charging bull.
“He might have hit the animal in shock making the bull react in defence.”