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ICC witness talks of Raila 2007 ‘Tsunami’

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution witness said Odinga made the comment during a rally at the Kipchoge Stadium/FILE

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution witness said Odinga made the comment during a rally at the Kipchoge Stadium/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – The 13th prosecution witness at the ICC trial of William Ruto and Joshua Sang has said that former premier Raila Odinga warned of “a political tsunami” if the 2007 elections were rigged.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution witness said Odinga made the comment during a rally at the Kipchoge Stadium.

The witness explained they heard Odinga make the remarks when passing by the stadium. Former Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey also issued a similar warning.

“I was not going to the rally but I was passing by. Some of the delegates were addressing the crowd and I heard Raila tell the crowd that people should unite and ensure that one tribe does not rule the country. He said if they (Kikuyus) rig elections, they will see a tsunami,” the witness told the judges.

According to the witness, Kosgey warned the ODM supporters that if Kikuyus were given another chance to rule, “they would urinate on you (ODM supporters).”

“When Kosgey said they (Kikuyus) will urinate on us (Kalenjins), the crowd cheered. When Odinga spoke and said they will see a Tsunami they were happy and they cheered. That is where the name Tsunami came up for the first time and since then Luos and Kalenjins started using that word,” the witness alleged.

The witness said they also met a group of councillors who repeated the remarks by Kosgey warning that if Kikuyus were given a chance to lead again, “they would urinate on Kalenjins.”

“I was passing by at 7pm. I met councillors talking about ODM politics. They said the one who does not join them has to leave. One of the councillors Nyondo said amongst us we have enemies. The councillors spoke openly even to Kikuyus. They told us you will go to live with Mwai Kibaki (former President). When we arrived there they said we are their enemies,” the witness told the court as he alleged that Kikuyus were referred to as wenye pembe (people who had grown horns).

The witness who was a fan of Kass FM told the court that they listened to Sang’s programme during the 2005 referendum campaigns in which he supported the Orange side that was opposed to the Constitution.

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The witness alleged that Sang warned listeners that if the Constitution was passed, Kalenjins would lose their land and women would not inherit land.

“I understood that the Constitution was meant to take away Kalenjin land. The Constitution was called Kibaki’s Constitution. Callers in the Sang show said if passed, no one would be allowed to have land of more than 30 acres. So they said don’t pass the Constitution so that your land is not taken away,” the witness asserted.

According to the witness, Sang told his listeners after 2007 that the election had been rigged and former Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) Chairman Samuel Kivuitu had gone into hiding to announce the results.

“Sang after elections warned people to be keen to ensure the election was not rigged. He said how votes were being counted and he said Kivuitu had refused to announce results and he had disappeared to go and announce the results. He said there was a plot to rig the election,” the witness said.

He explained to the court that Sang was agitated by the election rigging allegations and that Kivuitu had disappeared from the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) where the presidential election results were to be released in 2007.

“Sang was very irritated. He announced with a lot of anger. He said the election had been rigged. He said Kibaki had rigged elections in Juja and he asked where the votes from Tharaka Nithi were coming from. He said Ruto could not leave (KICC) until when election results would be released. He said Ruto is a man, he fights for our rights. We should not let our votes be stolen.”

The witness who is appearing under protective measures of voice and image distortion will continue giving his evidence on Wednesday morning and is expected to conclude his evidence in chief on Thursday.

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