KISUMU, August 9 – The Commission probing the post election violence that ravaged the country early this year toured various riot hotspots in Kisumu Saturday, ahead of the start of public hearings in the town next week.
Led by Justice Philip Waki, the commission toured the town’s Manyatta, Kondele and Mamboleo estates, which witnessed several killings and massive destruction of property at the peak of the chaos.
They also visited the Ministry of Water, Roads and Public Works offices.
“We want to be familiar with these areas before we can start getting evidence from the residents,” Waki stated.
“The team will get evidence from the town residents for three days, and then we will move to Kisii town on Thursday,” he said.
The testimonies of those who witnessed acts of violence or were affected by it will be heard by the Waki Commission at the Kisumu Municipal Council Hall.
The Kisumu Law Society of Kenya branch has appealed to the town residents to turn up and give evidence before the commission.
Branch chairman Jude Ragot encouraged those mostly affected by the aggression to turn up and give their evidence in full.
Kisumu gorged itself with violence in the wake of the 2007 December elections, amid accusations that the presidential vote had been rigged in favour of the incumbent President Mwai Kibaki.
The area is close to the home town of the President’s main competitor then Raila Odinga, now Prime Minister, who claimed that his vote had been stolen.
More than 1,500 people were killed in the ensuing chaos and about 350,000 displaced.
Damning reports into what exactly transpired after the poll have implicated ministers, current and former MPs and even religious leaders as having funded part of the chaos.
In a report presented by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights on Thursday, chairperson Florence Jaoko said that they were ready to name those allegedly involved if they were asked to do so by the Waki commission.