Poll chaos not planned, says PC

August 11, 2008 12:00 am

, KISUMU, August 11 – Western Provincial Commissioner Abdul Mwasera has told the Commission probing the post poll skirmishes that none of the violence was pre-planned.

Appearing before the Commission Investigating Post Election Violence (CIPEV), chaired by Justice Philip Waki in Kisumu on Monday, Mwasera stated that cases of aggression in the province were spontaneous.

“None of the riots were planned,” he said, during cross-examination by the Law Society of Kenya Kisumu branch lawyer Richard Onsongo.

His statement contradicts a number of reports released over the chaos, which implicate senior political figures in financially fanning the violence.

The latest statement was issued by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, whose chairperson Florence Jaoko said that the evidence against five Ministers and 13 MPs was overwhelming.

“We are prepared to provide this information to the relevant authorities to ensure appropriate action is taken,” she had said.

The PC however admitted that the scale of violence in the region overwhelmed the security team.

“There was inadequate personnel on the ground to deal with the violence,” Mwasera confessed.

He also denied claims that the provincial administration was inclined towards a certain political party at the time, and further disputed allegations that there was a shoot-to-kill order.

More than 75 percent of those killed during the election violence in Western province died of gunshot wounds, according to the Provincial Medical Officer.

Dr Charles Onudi, who took the stand after the PC, told the Waki Commission that of the 79 people who died in Western, very few died as a result of being hit with blunt objects, possibly inflicted by mobs.

Kisumu, was one of the areas worst hit by the skirmishes in the first two months of the year, and the Waki Commission will be hearing from the town’s residents for three days, before moving on to Kisii on Thursday.

More than 1,500 people are thought to have been killed during that period, and 350,000 others displaced.

Police have disputed the death toll, saying it was much less than the figures given.


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