Homes labelled ODM were spared torching

October 22, 2013 4:14 pm


ICC Trial Chamber (V) judges leave the courtroom/FILE
ICC Trial Chamber (V) judges leave the courtroom/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – ICC Prosecution witness P0487 testified on Tuesday that the property spared from torching in the 2007-8 post election violence (PEV) in the Rift Valley had the identifying mark ‘ODM 41’.

The witness went on to explain that ODM 41 meant, “ODM was supported by 41 tribes against one tribe which is Kikuyu,” to prove the prosecution’s case that the 2007-8 PEV was premeditated and not spontaneous as the defence alleged.

The witness said he made the discovery when leaving the farm of a Luhya woman where he had sought refuge from Kalenjin youths who were torching Kikuyu-owned homes.

“As we were in this house and as we were moving on, those houses or those plots that did not have that label ODM 41 were ablaze,” he testified.

When challenged by prosecuting attorney Adebowale Omofade to explain how he knew the burning properties did not possess the words ODM 41, the witness explained: “That sign was written on the gate and from the gate you could see they didn’t have ODM 41 and if there was no gate you could see it written on the posts.”

The witness went on to testify that he also later discovered that the lorries used to ferry the tens of arsonists to the Kikuyu-dominated residential areas belonged to one Jackson Kibor.

The police, the witnessed testified, did try to disperse the arsonists and were at one point forced to shoot and kill one of the Kalenjin youths when shooting in the air did nothing to stop them – thereby saving his life.

“These police officers saw how these youth were coming to us…so as the police officers saw the numbers increasing I remember they shot one of the attackers and when one of the attackers was shot is when they retreated,” he testified.

At this point, the witness and 10 to 15 others had already attempted to dissuade their attackers from burning their homes with no luck.

He did however testify that a Kalenjin youth he used to refer to as, ‘Kijana’ (young one) did warn him and his friend to run before any harm could befall them.

The witness had earlier testified that all was calm before the late Electoral Commission of Kenya boss Samuel Kivuitu declared Mwai Kibaki the winner of the presidential election.

“Because the results of the election had started coming in, most of the ODM supporters were convinced that they were going to win the election so most of them started celebrating,” he recalled.

The second day of Witness P0487’s testimony went relatively unchallenged except for when the witness accused Deputy President William Ruto of nepotism.

“According from what I heard, in order for him to get that position he is related somehow to Mr William Ruto,” the witness said of one Assistant Chief.

Prompting defence counsel David Hooper to interject much to Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji and Omofade’s displeasure.

“There’s no relation at all between this named person and Mr Ruto and the somehow and the rest of it is at best gossip,” Hooper argued.

And at the conclusion of Tuesday’s sitting Eboe-Osuji did not seem too pleased with the Prosecution either whom he intimated were drawing-out their examination-in-chief.

“Remember what I advised earlier. In most American court-rooms there is an expression forget the wind-up and make the pitch to use a baseball terminology,” the judge said before adjourning the session.


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