Africa Confidential:KHRC Violence Report -Names

August 30, 2008 at 5:36 AM- The state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has produced a researched but politically explosive report which links six government ministers to the violence that followed this year’s elections, when over 1,000 people died and some 350,000 were displaced (AC Vol 49 No 16). Although the KNCHR is yet to release the full list of the 209 people it named as involved in the violence, Muigwithania 2.0 and Africa Confidential have both obtained a copy which includes what the KNCHR describes as ‘a list of alleged perpetrators’ which it believes ‘provides a basis and a good starting point for further investigations’. The KNCHR emphasises that it is ‘not making any conclusions that the persons mentioned are guilty’. It insists that it has made every effort to ensure that the information about the named persons meets a threshold of credibility and that it has subjected the list to review by ‘independent persons’ and ‘national experts’.

The KNCHR’s list of ‘alleged perpetrators’ includes six cabinet ministers: xxxx xxxxxx from President Mwai Kibaki‘s Party of National Unity, Sally Kosgei, Henry Kosgey, William Ruto, Najib Balala and the late Kipkalya Kones from Prime Minister Raila Odinga‘s Orange Democratic Movement. It also included allegations against a bishop and several preachers, Christian and Muslim, for involvement in the violence. List of Alleged Perpetrators.

To substantiate its ‘list of perpetrators’, which includes 20 MPs, the KNCHR report goes into some detail about political meetings leading up to the election crisis and some held once the violence had started. It argues forcefully that at least part of the violence was well organised prior to the election.
For example, it reports that Agriculture Minister William Ruto (MP for Eldoret North) held a meeting in August 2007 with other senior ODM leaders in Kipkelion near Kericho which included the late Lorna Laboso (MP for Sotik), the late Kipkalya Kones (MP for Bomet and a Minister) and Franklin Bett (MP for Bureti). At this meeting, the report states the attendees resolved to carry out mass evictions of non-Kalenjins from their homes in the Rift Valley, particularly the Kikuyu and Abagusii.

In a separate section, the report names former High Commissioner to London and now Minister of Higher Education Sally Kosgei as ‘planning, inciting and financing’ the violence in the Rift Valley. It also accuses Tourism Minister Najib Balala of inciting and paying youths Ksh500 (US$7.37) each to cause violence.

The Commission Chairwoman, Florence Simbiri-Jaoko, who replaced Maina Kiai at the end of July, said the full report listed five ministers, five religious leaders, eight senior provincial administrators and 13 others. She would pass its findings to the government’s own probe, the Commission to Investigate Post-Election Violence, which is headed by Justice Philip Waki and which is partly funded by the United Nations, she added. She will call for the prosecution of the named officials and others implicated in the events in five of Kenya’s eight provinces (Rift, Nyanza, Western, Coast and Central) and in Nairobi.

Now politicians and journalists are taking aim at the KNCHR’s report. Nairobi’s Daily Nation claims that an annexe with the full list of names was removed at the last minute and suggests that the names of Odinga’s allies were removed but those of Kibaki’s stayed. KNCHR officials deny any such doctoring.

It is true that in the version of the report made public, the Odinga supporters named – with the exception of a former lieutenant of ex-President Daniel arap Moi, William Ole Ntimama – are almost all minor political and business players who would have drawn finance and support from more senior figures. Many say that powerful Kikuyu business and political interests financed the pro-Kibaki gangs in Nairobi’s slums but the report says nothing about the financiers of the anti-Kikuyu gangs.

Three chapters of the report are devoted to the worst hit South, North, and Central parts of the Rift Valley. They detail atrocities such as the burning alive of Kikuyu people in a church in Kiambaa in Eldoret, the forcible circumcision of Luo men who then bled to death, murders and lynchings by gangs in various parts of the country and in Nairobi’s slums, and hundreds of rapes.

The report criticises the ‘negative ethnicity’ of FM radio stations and of members of parliament at pre-election rallies. In the Rift, the term kuondoa madoadoa (‘remove the spot’) incited constituents to get rid of Kikuyu. Kihii (‘uncircumcised man’ in Kikuyu) was used to berate uncircumcised Luo.
Information was collected over four months in 136 constituencies from 1,102 deponents, including 46 senior policemen, 40 provincial administrators, 33 councillors and ten MPs. The detail, numbers and naming of at least some names is a breakthrough. It is unclear whether the individuals interviewed will testify, given the police’s difficulty in obtaining evidence, or whether the information will stand up in court.

The KNCHR asks the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open investigations on Kenya, claiming crimes against humanity were committed as part of a planned policy, and to determine ‘who bears the greatest responsibility’.

The KNCHR details violence against Kikuyu and upcountry groups in the Rift and elsewhere, and retaliatory violence against Luo, Kalenjin and people of other non-Kikuyu ethnic groups, which led to 7,500 ‘episodes of violence’, numerous rapes, and the destruction of property. It claims that this was premeditated, highly organised and financed by key politicians, businessmen, community leaders, civil servants and many teachers.

The former District Commissioner of Uasin Gishu in the Rift, Bernard Kinyua, has told the Waki Commission that he and others received no reports that youths were being trained and said the violence there was spontaneous. Hassan Noor Hassan, Provincial Commissioner of the Rift Valley, also insisted to the Waki Commission that the violence was spontaneous and that reports of oath-taking had been inferred incorrectly from circumcision ceremonies taking place at the time.
Three District Commissioners from the North Rift, Stephan Ikua (Koibatek), Mabeya Mogaka (formerly of Nandi North) and Aden Parake (Kipkelion), also told the Waki Commission that the violence was spontaneous. In the 1990s, the Akiwumi Commission’s investigation into tribal clashes accused government administrators of being untruthful and attempting cover-ups.

The report argues that the police and security agencies adopted a shoot-to-kill policy, mainly in Kisumu and parts of Nairobi. Police officers from Kisumu and Homa Bay in Nyanza (Edward Mwamburi and Simon Kiragu) told the Waki Commission that they were ordered to use live rounds.

The KNCHR chastises the government for failing to act on warnings from the National Security Intelligence Service. Earlier, the Director of that service, Brigadier Michael Gichangi, had testified to the Waki Commission that it had information forecasting violence before the elections, including reports of oathing and the names of gang sponsors.

The report describes positive actions to quell violence by police and other agencies, acknowledging that their task was enormous and sometimes overwhelming. It also describes cases where police and others assisted individuals from their own groups and failed to protect other communities. Some clergy did likewise, although in Narok and Mombassa, elders, religious leaders and police persuaded local youths to desist from violence.

The report asked the Attorney General or the police to investigate those listed in its unpublished Annex 1, while noting that the list is not comprehensive. It also calls for an investigation of the security forces and for special courts in the ‘theatres of violence’. Its other recommendations include the enactment of legislation on ‘hate speech’, provision for internally displaced people and human rights education for nation-building.


10 thoughts on “Africa Confidential:KHRC Violence Report -Names

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  4. Adopted from a Capital Fm Exclusive-08/10/08

    Corroborated by interviews with some Rift Valley MP’s who have even begun taking a tally of those released so far.

    “A number of the youth that we had asked for have been released and are now back home. We are still taking stock of whether there are still more who are likely to be in police custody,” said Isaac Ruto of Chepalungu.
    The suspects were arrested for offences ranging from arson attacks, malicious damage to property, and incitement, among others.It is said that they did not appear in court to face any of the counts they were arrested for.
    kIambaa Church Victims

    kIambaa Church Victims

    Then just why were they arrested and where were they being held prior to their release?

    When we put that question to Police Spokesman Kiraithe, he changed tack and even denied that the said suspects were ever in custody.

    “Our position remains that we really did not have any young men in our police cells and therefore, we cannot be releasing any young men we do not have,” he stated, adding that the matter was being dealt with by the Commission of Inquiry into Post Election Violence (CIPEV).
    Happy Valley we all love each other

    Happy Valley :we all love each other

    Isaac Ruto made remarks that tied into Kiraithe’s version: “We do not know exactly whether there was a general release because when we ask them (the youth) most of them do not exactly know whether they are expected to go back or not. And they do not seem to be having any papers showing they have been released on bond or whichever arrangement.”

    Though he could not state the exact number of those so far released, Ruto is categorical that the youth who have been set free are more than the ones missing

  5. I feel sorry for all Africans in Kenya-the 97% affected by this murderous jingoism.

    The report clearly identifies that the ruling elite-still roaming free are least affected.

    In a nutshell the ruling elite-business & political and their european/asian masters/controllers continue to rule in the classic British style: Divide & rule.

    When will we Africans internalize these reality? We are so bloody minded and hasty to butcher ourselves.

    And so obsequiously loving and admiring of our true enemies: the traitors who divide us as africans whether black or white!

    After all, how many Kenyans are certain of their next meal, childrens’ education, paying off mortgage, health care etc? Just 3%.

    So why did we butcher each other thus?

  6. yes we have problems as a country, many (myriad) problems. And in the fulness of time we (each and everyone of us) will do our part in solving them. bUT THEIR IS ONLY ONE REAL PROBLEM. ONLY ONE PROBLEM CAPABLE OF TEARING OUR COUNTRY APART COMLETELY. we went to the brink of the abyss and back. but just for a while. if we dont grapple with the real problem, THEN;;; The problem with kenya is kalenjin nationalism and its accompanying extreme negative ethnicity especially towards the Kikuyu. People dont want to say it, but it is the truth. it is not that the kikuyus could not fight back the kalenjins after election 2007. of course they could and with disastrous consequences for all. It is just that the kikuyu are not possesed with thesame kind of hate, the same kind of negative ethnicity, actually the kikuyus still cant understand why their kalenjin neighbours turned against them with such vengeance and visited such gross atrocities on their kind. if the waki report is not implemented in full, then the fire next time will make the rwanda genocide look like a garden party. we should stop burying our heads in the sand and discuss the only threat to kenya as a country. we need to form a commission to discuss kalenjin nationalism. why kalenjin nationalism finds it soo easy to visit genocide on their non-kalenjin neighbours. either that or i dread 2012 actually newyears eve2013

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