NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 23 – Prosecution witness P0487 in the International Criminal Court case against Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang has revealed that his home was set ablaze at the height of the 2007-8 poll violence.
The witness said he lost property worth Sh600,000 in the fire that razed his five-roomed house, cow shed and welding equipment with which he had intended to start a business.
“I was prepared to open a welding business in that area so I was in this process of applying for electricity as my plot wasn’t connected to the grid,” the witness recounted.
On Tuesday, he testified that homes which didn’t bear the mark ODM 41 were torched by Kalenjin youths who wanted to evict Kikuyus from the Rift Valley.
The witness explained how he sought refuge in ‘Location 5’ where he stayed from January 4 to August 2008.
“Life became very difficult and even up to now I’ve been unable to rebuild the house. Life became very difficult,” he testified.
The witness went on to identify those he believed responsible for the attack on his one-acre piece of property as, “number one, number two, and number four,” in the interest of keeping his identity secret.
He was however unambiguous when asked of their ethnicity, “Kalenjin,” he replied.
Presiding judge Chile Eboe-Osuji had already cautioned the witness to be extra-vigilant and not reveal the identities of persons and places that could be traced back to him.
This was after the witness let it slip that one of the locations in which he had sought refuge following the swearing-in of Mwai Kibaki as President, on December 30 of 2007, was the Eldoret Police Station.
Witness P0487, the fifth witness the prosecution has called to date, is expected to remain on the stand until Thursday afternoon when Deputy President William Ruto’s defence counsel David Hooper stated he would have completed his cross-examination.
Caroline Buisman of Joshua arap Sang’s defence team said that she did not as yet have any questions for the witness as did the legal representative for the victims.
And as Witness P0487’s examination-in-chief played out, it became clear the Eboe-Osuji led bench is eager to get the trial moving faster.