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Citizen Weekly

Thursday, 20 November 2014

RUTO PAID YOUTHS SH1M AFTER POLL CHAOS-WITNESS

Deputy President William Ruto gave close to Sh1 million to be shared among Kalenjin youths during a cleansing ceremony following the post-election violence in 2008, ICC judges heard on Wednesday.
At the same time, the 26th witness claimed Mr Ruto’s co-accused Joshua arap Sang used Kass FM to incite violence against the Kikuyu community by playing war songs, and giving airtime to politicians who spoke in their mother tongue to sow hatred.
The witness in the case against the two at the ICC claimed that a bull was slaughtered during the ceremony at Embuko forest in Eldoret to cleanse the youth of any curse associated with the 2008 violence, in which 1,133 people were killed.
The witness, who gave his evidence via video link from Nairobi, said he attended the ceremony in which Mr Ruto sent a team of youths led by a Mr Farouk Kibet, who he said handed the cash at the function.
“I was there and was among the 3,000 youths, who received Sh300 each, which we were told was Mr Ruto’s thank you message to the Kalenjin youth for standing together during the hard times during the violence.”
On cross examination by prosecution lawyer Anton Steynberg, the witness said it was Kalenjin culture that those who engaged in violence should be cleansed by the elders to remove any curses that may have befallen them.
He said the youths from Eldoret East and South, Ndanai and neighbouring Nandi were divided into groups, depending on where they came from, to receive the money.
“Mr Kibet said Mr Ruto had sent him with a little money as a sign of appreciation for the unity shown by the Kalenjin people during the violence,” he said.
Asked why he attended the meeting yet he had not participated in the violence, the witness said he feared repercussions of being seen not to be cooperating with the community.
At the same time, the witness said Kalenjin leaders used Kass FM, and in particular, Mr Sang’s radio programme to incite the people.