Unmasking the man behind Matiang’i smear campaign

Meshack Onyango Dehay

The mysterious story of the man identified as Meshak Onyango Dehay who police are hunting for trying to extort Sh82 million from a city businessman can finally be revealed.Dehay whose identification number is 11382643 and is famously referred to as Ndugu Meshack Dehay by fellow extortionists is a cunning fellow who has faced several criminal cases in courts of law in relation to obtaining money by false pretense or extortion, for demanding money with menaces from his targets.

In his latest crusade, Dehay while purporting to be a whistleblower has written a lengthy malicious letter to the Joint Speakers of The National Assembly and Senate claiming his life and that of his family members are in danger because of exposing a fraud in relation to piece of land in Nairobi.In the malicious letter, he has gone ahead to character assassinate Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i,National Land Commission Chairman Dr Muhammad Swazuri and a director of the Afrison Export Import Ltd, Francis Mburu Mungai.

But what the man did not disclose in his letter to the Speakers is that he has had a string of extortion cases, some of which are stilling pending in courts of law.Also, the extortionist (Dehay) did not disclose to the speakers that five years ago he was almost killed when a fellow con man shot him in the neck in Karen Nairobi, resulting in his hospitalization for close to six months for cheating him of proceeds from a dirty deal they had executed.

But today we can now reveal that Dehay has perfected the art of extortion where his name prominently features in the Nairobi streets whenever such cases emerge.Dehay has extorted money from top politicians across the political divide, church leaders, corporate executives, bishops and preachers in his 28 years stay in Nairobi since relocating from the village in early 1990s after sitting his KCSE in a school in Luo Nyanza region.
The con artist, who is in hiding after police placed a newspaper advertisement asking members of the public with information about him to report to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters along Kiambu Road or the nearest police station, has blackmailed top political figures in former President Daniel arap Moi’s government, his predecessor  Mwai Kibaki and President Uhuru Kenyatta administration, where he blackmails them that he will publish negative stories on their extra-marital affairs if they do not part with the huge bribes.

Three weeks ago police placed a newspaper notice saying Dehay was a wanted person and had a warrant of arrest in force at Kiambu Chief Magistrate Court under criminal case number 561 of 2018.The police offered a reward of unspecified amount to anyone with information leading to the arrest of the wanted man.

But we can authoritatively report that Dehay is a smooth operator who for over 28 years has perfected the art of conning unsuspecting Kenyans with threats of tarnishing their names by publishing negative stories about them in the media.Of late he has added another threat of releasing dirty information regarding his victims to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, parliamentary bodies, the media and other international bodies dealing with good governance.Dehay entered into the world of extortion immediately after clearing his secondary school education at a school in Nyanza in 1991. After sitting the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), Dehay, who scored D minus, fled to Nairobi after conning his mother that he had identified a tertiary college where he wanted to train as a mason. But after getting the fee from his mother, he fled to Nairobi and was housed by a relative then staying in Kibersa slums in Nairobi.

From Kibera, Dehay would trek to the city centre daily where he used to spend the days chatting with other idle youths outside Ambassador Hotel.One cold day in mid-1992 the group idling outside Ambassador Hotel got reports that powerful Kanu figures were meeting at Panafric Hotel in Nairobi to launch a lobby group to campaign for President Moi who was facing a serious onslaught from Kenneth Matiba, who had just been released from detention; Jaramogi Odinga Oginga and Mwai Kibaki in the presidential race.

The Panafric’s meeting was the first chance the smooth talking interacted with the likes of Deputy President William Ruto, Kanu YK92 chairman and former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, Micah Kigen, Sam Nyamweya, Bartonjo Chesaina and a host of Kanu luminaires who had attended the launch.Dehay, a smooth operator, convinced the group that he was a supporter of Moi and was ready to run errands forthem. That’s how he was hired to run errands for the group, specifically for Jirongo, Ruto and Nyamweya.

But after the 1992 General Election, Dehay found himself jobless and that’s when he ventured into the world of extortion, blackmail, intimidation and coercion to survive.
The first target of Meshack Dehay’s extortion was then Minister for Finance, Wycliff Musalia Mudavadi. Together with a gang that comprised top extortionists, Dehay sent threats to Mudavadi that he had a damaging story regarding his private life, and that of his wife, Tessie.The gang demanded Sh3 million from Mudavadi or else they would publish the story.

They boasted to Mudavadi that powerful Kanu figures had paid them Sh1 million to tarnish his character.But when Mudavadi called them bluff, telling them he would not succumb to blackmail or intimidation, they went ahead to print a newsletter titled Observer with a headline that Mudavadi’s wife had sired a child with an Asian tycoon.

But the story was found to be false, with Mudavadi ignoring them.The next target was influential businessman Chris Kirubi. Dehay and his gang confronted Kirubi at his office telling him that they had been paid money by Democratic Party leaders to tarnish his character. They demanded Sh5 million bribe so as not to publish the story.

But when the businessman refused to succumb to their threats, the gang published a newsletter called Observer where they character assassinated the businessman.The gang then trained its eyes on preachers such as Pastor Peter Nduati, the presiding bishop of Gods Power Church and Ministry.

However, this time round the gang led by Dehay told the preacher that they were the editors of a then weekly publication called Love Zone.But the preacher did a check by calling the number of the editor which had been printed at the back and was astounded when he found out that they were not the editors.

Together with police, they staged a stint operation where Meshack and his gang of three were arrested and detained at Kasarani Police Station.But the man of God chose to forgive them after they recorded a statement with the police and further vowed to stop extorting money from Kenyans.

They also pledged that they had accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. But they were cheating!The next target of Meshack Dehay’s gang was former Managing Director of Kenya Power, Samuel Gichuru.It happened that Meshack Dehay got wind of a case in the High Court pitting Gichuru against another businessman. Meshack, with his gang, confronted Gichuru threatening to publish a negative story on his life if he did not part with Sh2 million.But when Gichuru called them bluff, they went ahead to publish the story in a newsletter they named Spymaster.    

The next target of extortion was a group of investors involved in a land tussle in Karen Nairobi. Here Dehay joined a cartel that was planning to grab the land from its right owner. But matters got complicated when Dehay tried to extort money from the cartel, and one evening he was shot on the neck. He was hospitalized for 6months. During his hospitalization, he publicly pleaded with Kenyans to help him offset the hospital bill.Turning to the latest case, Dehay embarked on a smear campaign after Mburu refused to succumb to blackmail from him.
The extortionist has now embarked on a smear campaign targeting Mungai, Dr Matiang’I and Dr Swazuri, among other diligent civil servants and private citizens by writing malicious letters to parliament and other investigations bodies.The con man has also been using a gun whose license he obtained through falsehoolds to threaten journalists hesuspects are keen to expose him. Police should move with speed to arrest and charge Dehay in a court of law

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