The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has not sought call logs from any of the local telecommunication companies as claimed in the probe of the alleged murder of Deputy President William Ruto’s guard sergeant Kipyegon Kenei, it has now emerged.
According to multiple sources from the telcos who spoke to the Standard, contrary to publicized media reports, the DCI is yet to request for the crucial data nearly three weeks after Kenei was found dead in his house at Imara Daima Estate, Nairobi.
The police probing the death linked to the Ksh39 billion fake arms deal involving former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and three others believe that Kenei was murdered and the killing staged as suicide.
The DCI had claimed that Kenei’s killers sought “technical assistance” from an employee of a local mobile service provider, who helped them to clear Kenei’s phone data.
But according to the techies, phone exchange communication can not go missing and are often kept for up to three years for use on request as required by law.
Interviews with mobile network engineers, who have worked for the local main players, deconstructed DCI boss Geroge Kinoti’s narrative that investigations had been hampered by the cover-up by Kenei’s killers.
They disagreed with Kinoti’s claim on access to information such as call and message logs which could have helped the sleuths crack the murder puzzle.
The information, the engineers say, could have by now helped the detectives to know the last people who contacted Kenei before he was reported missing.
“It’s impossible to erase any phone records as these are constantly backed-up in in-house and cloud servers, which are hosted in various parts of the world, ” one of the engineers is quoted by the Standard.
The expert further said formatting of a phone only erases data accessible to the user and does not in any way delete crucial information like call and message logs.
“If that was the case that call logs cannot be retrieved when a device is formatted then users could as well lose their airtime after flushing their phones, ” the source added saying subscribers’ information including location, airtime balance, call and message logs are stored in a central system know n as Mobile Switching Centre (MSC).
Other sources, who are currently working with the service providers, disclosed that subscriber details from as far as the year 2005 are secured and readily available upon request by authorised agencies.
“We have all the information about all our customers. It is all intact and I can assure you than no one has asked for it, ” said a senior manager, who sought anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
The sentiments were echoed by another manager who said, “There is a requirement in law that such information is stored safely for up to three years, and failure on our part to provide it is a punishable offence.”
Reacting to Kinoti’s claim that an employee in one of the firms helped the killers wipe Kenei’s phone data clean, the sources said DCI should have arrested the employee immediately.
Kenei was the officer in charge of security at the DP’s Annex Office the day Echesa and his co-accused arrived with foreigners said to have been duped in the fake military deal.
The officer who was buried on Saturday last week, disappeared on the day he was expected to record a statement with the DCI regarding the matter.
In CCTV footages released by the DCI, Kenei could be seen interacting with the suspects and his killing has been interpreted by the detectives as a cover-up in the fraud.
Already, the DCI has identified nine persons of interest even as DP Ruto accuses the DCI of being used by his political enemies to mud-sling his office.
The nine include four from the Annex office, three from the Department of Defence and two from a local mobile service provider.