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DCI Exonerates Pastor Wrongly Accused of Storming Parliament

A collage of Dennis Basweti with South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro in Parliament on June 10, 2024. Image: HANDOUT

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has apologized for mistakenly including a man in its list of individuals wanted for storming Parliament during the anti-Finance Bill protests.

The man, Dennis Basweti, was among 38 individuals whose faces were plastered on a notice over their involvement in the parliament raid which was published in local newspapers and social media posts on Wednesday, July 2.

The DCI through its social media platforms revealed that Basweti turned himself in to the police, clarifying that the photo of him in parliament circulating online was from an earlier visit on an invitation by South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro on June 10, 2024.

The sleuths confirmed that he was indeed feeling the truth and absolved him from the accusations.

“The DCI has since confirmed that Dennis Basweti’s narrative is true, and has reached out to him with an apology, further commending him for believing in the DCI’s pledge to conducting investigations thoroughly and fairly,” DCI said.

MP Osoro had also commented on DCI’s notice explaining that they had the wrong man, stating that Basweti was a pastor and that he had visited him in parliament more than a week before the day of the protests.

The Majority Whip mentioned that Basweti recorded photos and videos inside the parliament, which could have been confused with those taken during the protests.

“Pastor Basweti Dennis visited me in parliament a month ago. I took him on a round tour of the chambers as he took selfies and videos with excitement. He posted them on his Facebook page on the 10th of June 2024,” Osoro said.

He added that Basweti fell victim to netizens who downloaded the said photos and videos of the pastor on the day of the raid, later sharing them on the internet accompanied with hashtags ‘tumefika bunge’.

Osoro maintained that the photos and videos could have given the sleuths the wrong impression of him taking part in the invasion, placing a target on Basweti’s back.

A faction of netizens also came out to defend Basweti, noting that he had been wrongly accused and demanding a retraction by the DCI.

This comes a day after the DCI urged members of the public to provide information that would aid in tracking the whereabouts of the individuals captured on CCTV engaging in criminal activities during the Anti-Finance Bill Protests.

The detectives have since revealed the identities of 38 individuals believed to have been responsible for the arsonic attack on the Kenyan parliament. Citizens have been asked to provide intel through the DCI hotline number 0800-7222-03, or police hotline number 999, 911 or 112.

“The individuals whose images/photos appear below are wanted by the police for their unlawful activities during the anti-Finance Bill 2024 demonstrations. We therefore advise them to report to the nearest police station for further police action,” DCI said.

Described as a day that will remain in infamy, the events of June 25 will remain etched in history where Parliament was breached and acts of vandalism, looting and theft followed.

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