Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Kaiser inquiry: Sunkuli laments

Kaiser inquiry: Sunkuli laments
Publication Date: 2/22/2007
Daily Nation

Former minister of State Julius Sunkuli took the dock yesterday denying killing Mill Hill missionary John Kaiser, seven years ago.

Testifying in an inquest, the former minister said allegations that he had a motive to kill Father Kaiser were untrue, adding that such a story was mooted with a sole purpose of damaging his reputation and ruining him politically.

“Although we had differences with Fr Kaiser, I had no reason to kill him,” Mr Sunkuli told principal magistrate Maureen Odero.

In a private prosecution, the Catholic Church has insisted that Mr Sunkuli plotted to kill Fr Kaiser. The church says the differences related to the minister’s acts of sexual molestation against school girls in Kilgoris and his involvement in the tribal clashes in Trans Mara.

Sexual scandal

Yesterday, Mr Sunkuli said the Fr Kaiser and the Federation of Women Lawyers’ (FIDA) push to implicate him with sexual scandal was aimed at extorting money.

“I believe the sexual abuse allegations were heaped up on me by Fr Kaiser and Fida with a view to extort me,” Mr Sunkuli said.

Mr Sunkuli made the remark in an inquest in which the court is inquiring into the circumstance leading to the death of the missionary.

The missionary’s remains were discovered at the Morindet junction in Naivasha on August 23, 2000.

Mr Mbuthi Gathenji, representing the church, said Fr Kaiser was killed at the height of growing differences over Mr Sunkuli’s involvement in sexual molestation allegations that involved two girls.

The former minister for State said the sexual molestation that faced him in 1999 and 2000 were a scheme of his political opponents, who were ought to ruin his chance of being appointed the vice-president then.

“There was a lot of information that President Moi wanted to appoint me to the position of the vice-president then. I think my political opponents wanted to use the allegations to tarnish my name and ruin my chance,” Mr Sunkuli claimed.

Financial support

Education minister George Saitoti and his Immigration colleague Gideon Konchella and Narok North MP William ole Ntimama are alleged to have offered financial support to a women’s group in Trans Mara to demonstrate in Nairobi against the former minister.

Mr Sunkili said he complained to Ngong Bishop Collin David over Fr Kaiser’s activities that were affecting him but the prelate informed him that the priest was a difficult man to deal with. The hearing continues.

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