NSIS: Poll violence was inevitable

July 17, 2008 12:00 am

NAIROBI, July 17 – The National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) had warned the government that there would be violence after last year’s general elections regardless of the polls outcome, the Commission investigating the skirmishes was told Thursday.

NSIS Director General Brigadier Michael Gichangi told the Justice Waki-led Commission of Inquiry on Post Election Violence (CIPEV) that they advised the government on anticipated chaos particularly in the Rift Valley, Nairobi and Coast Provinces.

The intelligence service, which was also represented by Director of Analysis and Production Justus Osoro, blamed inter-ethnic rivalry dating back to the dawn of multiparty politics in 1992 for the skirmishes.

“We were alert through out the year due to the charged political activities events in the country, said Osoro. “We compiled reports and shared information with all security agencies at all times.”

Osoro who made a power point presentation that included confidential letters to relevant arms of government said they had intelligence reports that violence would erupt whatever the outcome of the presidential election.

He said the department advised the government accordingly and even predicted reactions of the two main political parties that contested for the Presidency-the Party of National Unity (PNU) and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

The government, he said, was adequately briefed of the polarised and charged political environment before the country went into the General Election.

In his submission, Osoro said the department had foreseen possible rejection of results regardless of who would be declared winner between PNU’s President Mwai Kibaki and ODM’s Raila Odinga.

NSIS tabled a report showing how it advised the government on the possibility of the then opposition rejecting presidential results if Mwai Kibaki was declared winner.

“My lords we advised on the likelihood of the opposition forming a parallel government,” he said.

And incase Odinga was declared winner, he said, we saw the possibility of a civil strike and the likelihood of a decline in power hand-over.

“There was a likelihood of Kibaki-diehards declining to a hand-over,” he said.

Lawyer representing the NSIS, John Katiku, had wanted the commission to hear the rest of the evidence in camera, arguing that it contained sensitive and highly classified information.

Justice Philip Waki who is chairing the commission however ruled that the commission would only adjourn for two hours to consult and review some of the evidence before making a decision on whether to go into a private session with the NSIS boss.


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