ICC witness alleges attacks were premeditated

November 6, 2013 5:20 pm


Witness 7 took to the stand on Wednesday at the ICC
Witness 7 took to the stand on Wednesday at the ICC

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 6 – “The bows and arrows that were used in the 2008 post election violence in Yamumbi area and its environs were assembled at the Kapsaret forest by Nandi youths.”

“Huge rocks were broken into smaller ones to be used by the Kalenjins to stone Kikuyus; just like it happened in the 1992 post election violence witnessed in the Rift Valley.”

“Kikuyus were not only called madoadoa but sangara- a horrible weed that is not easily cleared. A farmer would have to work extra hard to get rid of it.”

And that Deputy President William Samoei Ruto succeeded Koitalel arap Samoei- who until his death in the early 1900s was the Supreme Chief of the Nandi people.

These were all allegations that a witness narrated to the International Criminal Court when he took the stand on Wednesday, in the trial against Ruto and media personality Joshua arap Sang.

“Sangara means a bad weed which grows deep roots and invades the whole area and to weed out sangara you need to work very hard. And I can tell you that when a Kikuyu buys a piece of land, the land becomes very important to the kikuyu and the kikuyu will not leave that area very quickly,” explained the witness.

“That is how the word was used.”

The witness also said that Koitalel’s name was given to Ruto to appoint him as the Chief of the Nandi; an argument that is similar to what the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) has been saying.

According to the charge sheet, Ruto financed and provided logistical support to these young men as an ‘anointed leader of the Kalenjin people’.

And the witness’s narration continued although with several private sessions in between.

After former President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner of the 2007 General Election, members of the Nandi community wept and howled like wounded animals.

This according to the witness was to lure Kikuyus out by making them think that the mourning was coming from people who needed help.

“For an African when you hear such a cry it means there is a problem and it is a call for help. So they (Nandis) started shouting while coming towards our area and if anybody responded to their cry they would run the risk of being killed,” narrated the witness.

He also said that after the howling all the Kikuyu houses in Yamumbi were torched. His house was not spared and he lost everything on that night.

The witness told the Court that all houses in the area were razed to the ground and there was nothing that the victims could do.

“We heard people shouting that there was a fire and each one of us decided to go home but the situation worsened. There were fires everywhere and that is how the situation unfolded from around 7 pm to 2 pm the following day,” he said.

The witness was however unable to give a definite answer on whether or not the violence that rocked the area was automatic or preplanned; as is being argued by the OTP.

All he told the Court was that a person only identified as number one showed him samples of the bows and arrows to be used in the violence about three days before the election.

He also said that he saw huge rocks being transported to person number two’s house where they would be broken into smaller stones about a week before the election.

The witness did also tell the Court that there was a huge rally in Kapsaret that was attended by several politicians from the area where it was announced that no sangara or madoadoa were welcome.

He however admitted to the court that he did not attend the rally and was told of statements that were allegedly made.


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