In what appears to be a bizarre situation, Blogger Dennis Itumbi has threated to sue an international publication (New York Times) for defamation and malicious claims in a story about President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Mr Itumbi, who has reportedly been suspended as director of digital communications at State House, in a letter from his lawyer, Chelanga & Advocates, demanded that New York Times retracts and apologises for linking him to the case.
Mr Itumbi, through his lawyer, gave the publication seven days to fulfill the demands failure to which he will institute “proceedings against you for 1) defamation and 2) malicious falsehood”.
In a letter to the media house on Thursday, Itumbi’s lawyers said the “offending words” were false.
“You did not contact our client to comment on the issue contrary to your assertions. Your publication was therefore malicious and part of your sustained policy and your self-serving vendetta,” reads the letter in part.
According to a disclaimer published in the New York Times Story, the President’s office “did not respond to requests to comment for the article.”
The lawyer added that the publication’s intention was to injure Mr Itumbi’s reputation by portraying him as a person who interfered with the ICC witness protection.
Mr Itumbi argues that the words used by New York Times were understood that he, “exposed ICC witnesses; killed, abducted and enforced disappearance of ICC witnesses; bribed ICC witnesses; interfered with administration of justice; sabotaged the situation of the Republic of Kenya in the ICC; is corrupt; is a criminal; does not merit his current employment; was rewarded with employment after exposing and interfering with ICC process; is dishonest; and is unfit to hold public office and much less in the office of the President.”
The letter adds that Mr Itumbi’s reputation and standing as a public servant has been seriously damaged.
“He has suffered considerable distress and embarrassment to himself, his career, his calling, and his family,” added the letter.
Mr Itumbi and three other directors were suspended on Wednesday after President Uhuru Kenyatta disbanded the Presidential Service Communication Unit. They have all remained mum over the matter.