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Citizen Weekly

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

THE MEETINGS BENSOUDA CLAIMS PRESIDENT UHURU HELD TO PLAN PEV ATTACKS


NAIROBI: A crucial part of the evidence assembled against President Uhuru Kenyatta by the prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC) were the schedules of meetings he allegedly attended to plan the post-election violence in 2008. The prosecution intended to demonstrate that the meetings were held as early as November 2007 ahead of the December 2007 General Election, to marshal the support of the Mungiki sect for President Mwai Kibaki's Party of National Unity (PNU). But the prosecution, led by Fatou Bensouda, claims the earliest meeting to plan a counter-attack was held at State House in Nairobi on December 30, the day the disputed presidential election results were announced. It was a crisis meeting to rally the Mungiki, to help PNU retain power by retaliating against perceived ODM supporters which was allegedly attended by Uhuru, several PNU leaders and Mungiki members. "Uhuru announced that the PNU was "not ready to hand over power" and that the attendees should "talk to the Mungiki", "organise our men" and "counter ODM supporters on the ground", the prosecution alleges in the report. The prosecution argues that Uhuru donated cash, which was distributed to the Mungiki to purchase weapons and other material. The money was distributed to co-ordinators among them Jayne Kihara and John Mututho, both former Naivasha MPs. See also: Accusations President Uhuru Kenyatta faced at ICC The same day, another meeting was allegedly held between State House operative a Mr Machira and a dozen senior Mungiki members at the Marble Arch Hotel in Nairobi. He was accompanied by a State House security representative. The meeting was allegedly to help mobilise Mungiki to fight on the PNU side. "Mr Machira explained that the Mungiki would be provided with weapons, uniforms and money," the report says. More meetings between Uhuru, his PNU intermediaries and Mungiki members were organised in December and January. In early January 2008, Uhuru allegedly met senior Mungiki members at the Nairobi Club to "persuade them to mobilise the Mungiki for the retaliatory Attacks". It was also reportedly attended by the Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura. "Mr Kenyatta stated that 'we should not give the Government to people who were not circumcised' (i.e., Luos), and urged the Mungiki to "wake and defend their tribe and community and be with the side of the Government". Uhuru allegedly gave them money and told them that if more was needed, they should see Mr George Thuo, then Juja MP.
Other meetings were allegedly held at the Kenyatta family's Blue Post Hotel in Thika. During one meeting, Uhuru told a group of Kikuyu elders that he had obtained a commitment from the Mungiki to participate in the retaliatory attacks. "The elders agreed that Mr Kenyatta should lead and organise the Mungiki for this purpose." The prosecution would also have claimed that a fundraising was also held during one meeting at this hotel and Uhuru gave out money. Several meetings, according to the prosecution, were also held in early to mid-January at Jacaranda Hotel which became the venue for fundraising. Uhuru gave money to Mungiki members including their leader Njoroge Gichere at a meeting. Uhuru also met Mukingi leaders, Mr Machira and Mr Manyara, at his residence where he gave them a large sum of money for the operation. Further, more funds were raised at a meeting held in January 2008 at the Windsor Hotel in Kiambu. See also: Accusations President Uhuru Kenyatta faced at ICC "At this meeting Mr Kenyatta stated that he would sell part of his father's land if necessary to secure the safety of the Kikuyus," the prosecution claims. Mr Francis Kimemia is said to have met the Mungiki members at State House in Nakuru where they were issued with guns and uniforms for use in the Nakuru attack. The prosecution claims he also provided them with automatic weapons, grenades and ammunition. The weapons had been released at a different meeting held at the Nairobi Railway Club. Manyara and Waruinge also held a meeting with Mungiki youth at a hotel on the way from Nakuru to Molo, to strategise on how to carry out the attacks. Other meetings were also held in Subukia, and Gilgil.