NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 – Lawyer Paul Muite has released a petition he says was to be presented to the ICC prosecutor by murdered Mungiki spokesman Njuguna Gitau, to demand a probe into the execution of over 7,000 youths.
On Tuesday, the lawyer handed over the petition prepared by mothers and widows of the slain men to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, alongside an affidavit by him (Muite) urging the ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo to take up the matter.
“I make this affidavit in support of the request that the ICC takes up investigations of extra judicial executions in Kenya with a view to prosecuting those bearing the greatest responsibility in accordance with the Rome Statute,” part of the affidavit states.
In the affidavit, Mr Muite lists the country’s top leadership (whom we cannot name due to legal reasons) as having sanctioned what he terms as ‘extra-judicial killings of Mungiki suspects.
The sworn statement also tells of a meeting he held with Mr Gitau and Mungiki leader Maina Njenga during a goat-eating party in Kitengela where the two revealed they had received threats from the Kwekwe Squad, a police unit the government maintains was disbanded last year.
He said the meeting took place on October 30.
“Having acted pro bono (for Mr Njenga) he had slaughtered a goat in my honour and in accordance with customs to express gratitude.”
“When discussing about extra judicial executions, the late Njuguna Gitau informed us that a few days previously, he had run into members of the Kwekwe squad which is one of the squads behind extra judicial executions,” Mr Muite states in his affidavit.
His affidavit concludes: “I have no doubt in my mind that Njuguna Gitau’s death is yet another statistic in the long line of extra judicial executions and underscores the impunity attendant thereto.”
The statement dated November 10th was sworn before Lawyer Robert Asembo.
Mr Muite also told reporters he was “aware of the late Njuguna’s plans to hold a press conference prior to his death where he intended to make public his petition because he could not manage to meet Mr Ocampo who was heavily guarded during his visit in Kenya.”
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) Vice Chairman Hassan Omar Hassan who received the petition and affidavit from Mr Muite pledged to hand it over to the ICC.
“We are still studying it and will be taking appropriate action as required,” Mr Omar said.
The late Gitau was shot dead on Nairobi’s Luthuli Avenue last Thursday by unknown assailants whom witnesses said had been seen arguing with him before he was heard pleading for his life.