NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 23 – A Party of National Unity MP who claims to have attended meetings called by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta at the height of the 2008 post-poll chaos insists that they only dealt with peace efforts.
Kaloleni MP Kambi Kazungu vigorously denied claims that funds to finance retaliatory attacks were disbursed at the meetings.
“When we went to Kiambu and there were people who had been surrounded and ready to be killed, it was Uhuru who intervened and even spoke in Kikuyu and told the people that we are brothers and that they should not kill each other. If such peace meetings are the ones that are being referred to as the ones used to plan the retaliatory attacks, then I should also be taken to The Hague, because I was involved,” he said.
He recounted how alongside ODM legislators Hassan Joho (Kisauni) and Gideon Mung’aro (Malindi) they traversed the Coastal region with the Deputy Prime Minister urging Kenyans to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner.
“We were among the first people to go round the coast telling our people, never again should we fight. We are brothers and sisters. It was peace preaching meetings and they were all initiated by Uhuru,” he told a news conference held at Parliament Buildings.
At Thursday’s Confirmation of Charges hearings at The Hague, ICC Prosecution lawyer Adesola Adeboyejo said that eight meetings were held to plan the revenge attacks during the post-election violence of 2008.
“We had a meeting at Panafric, and we were preaching peace. In fact, we were reaching out to our brothers in the Rift Valley,” said the Medical Services Assistant Minister.
The ICC prosecutor argued that Kenyatta and Civil Service chief Francis Muthaura built a temporary alliance comprising the police and the outlawed Mungiki gang, which unleashed violence on thousands of ODM supporters in Nakuru and Naivasha.
Adeboyejo quoted Prosecution Witness 11 as saying MPs were called to the planning meetings where at one time Uhuru gave out Sh3.3 million for those present to carry out revenge attacks.
“Uhuru is my party chairman and I have never received even a 50 cent coin from him, yet we are told all MPs were given the money. So which is these money they are taking about?” he wondered.
“I know I received a Sh3.3 million grant from Parliament to buy a car, if that is what Ocampo is referring to then we should know it is morally wrong to think that Kenyan people are useless,” he said.
Kenyatta, Muthaura and ex-police chief Hussein Ali face five counts of crimes against humanity each.
The hearings, during which prosecutors will try to convince the court they have enough evidence to go to trial, are scheduled to run until October 5.
The men are suspected of devising and implementing a plan to attack Orange Democratic Movement supporters.
The ICC prosecutor’s office said 1,133 people died and more than 663,000 others were displaced after clashes between the rival supporters, when politically-motivated riots turned to ethnic killings, sparking further reprisals in the Rift Valley.
The three are the second group of senior Kenyans to appear before the court after ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo in December 2010 asked judges to issue summonses against them for crimes against humanity.
Earlier this month former ministers William Ruto and Henry Kosgey, as well as radio personality Joshua arap Sang, also appeared before the court to determine if they should stand trial for their part in the violence.
ODM supporters are blamed for attacks on PNU members in the Rift Valley.