, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 – The third Prosecution witness against Deputy President William Ruto and his co accused Joshua arap Sang on Tuesday evening told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that the 2007-8 post election violence broke out as Mwai Kibaki was being sworn in for his second term as President at State House, Nairobi.
One of Ruto’s lawyers, Shyamala Alagendra, played video clips showing the controversial swearing in ceremony that had been attended by former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, the Chairman of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya the late Samuel Kivuitu and former Chief Justice Evan Gicheru among others.
In the video recording, Muthaura can be heard telling Ambassadors present that “because it is getting dark we have to go ahead.”
And as the ceremony progressed, it became clear that Kibaki would be declared winner of the 2007 General Election and it was at that point that violence is said to have broken out in Kibera, Kisumu, Ongata Rongai, Eastlands and Kisii.
“The law says that the electoral commission must identify the person who is to be sworn in as a President because a fake one might come and it also provides for a certificate to be given,” Kivuitu said attracting a large round of applause from those in attendance.
“The Electoral Commission of Kenya certifies that the candidate who has been duly elected the President of the Republic of Kenya under the provisions of Section Five of the Constitution (old) in the presidential elections held on 27 December 2007 is Hon. Mwai Kibaki. I now present the certificate to his Excellency.”
After the declaration, the former Chief Justice swore Kibaki in as President but the witness told the court that she remembered how unofficial the ceremony was.
“Would you agree with me that the ceremony was rather informal and the ECK Chairman was not sure of the procedure?” asked Alagendra.
“Yes,” said the witness only identified as P0189.
The witness added that the Orange Democratic Movement as well as the European Union complained of the results raising doubts about their authenticity in addition to refuting Kibaki’s win.
The witness also told the court that the ban of live broadcasts by the then Minister for Internal Security (now deceased) John Michuki led to a lot of mistrust and increased tension in the country.
She also recalled that the Media Council of Kenya as well envoys under the European Union expressed concern over the dangers that the live coverage ban had created.
“And madam just to borrow your own speech do you remember saying that there were a lot of rumours about events that were taking place?” asked the defence counsel.
“Yes,” said the witness.
“Do you remember hearings rumours that Raila and Ruto had been arrested and Ruto had been shot?” asked the Deputy President’s lawyer.
“Yes,” answered the witness.