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BY FR JOACHIM OMOLO OUKO, AJ
TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
WUNDANYI WORKSHOP TAKE-4
The saying that man finds himself in trouble when all types of insects gang up against him, when the insects have vowed to punish him for killing one of their own makes reconciliation and healing in Kenya difficult. Especially when the butterfly distances himself from them and offers to help man to fight in the war waged against him.
At the end of our workshop on land and water security in Taita Taveta County, Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa, we looked at challenges of reconciliation and healing the wounds of ethnic violences in Kenya. In order to reconcile and heal you must reconcile the wounds first.
It goess back to 1992 when Eldoret North Member of Parliament, Mr William Ruto was the deputy leader of Youth for KANU 92 assistant to Cyrus Jirongo. At the time the organization was formed, Ruto abandoned his Masters studies in zoology at the University of Nairobi to take advantage of the free money Moi was offering for his presidential bid.
Central Bank governor Eric Kotut, a fellow Kalenjin was forced to print paper money, in which the Kenyan taxpayer lost over Shs. 80 billion. Since then money has been heavily looted. Finance Minister who is also Kanu Chairman, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta was forced to earmark Sh1.11 billion towards the repayment of the debt the Central Bank printed for Moi’s 1992 campaign ‘comeback’ presidential bid.
Apart from Moi the government of Kibaki continues to make payments related to the Anglo-Leasing scandals. According to the latest audit report taxpayers’ money is being spent on servicing contentious debts, including Sh20 billion related to the Anglo-Leasing series of security contracts and Sh3 billion relating to the ‘ghost’ KenRen fertiliser factory.
Apart from Sh1.11 billion chaneled towards the repayment of the debt the Central Bank printed for Moi’s 1992 campaign, according to Controller and Auditor-General Anthony Gatumbu the payments of Anglo-Leasing alone have pushed the overall public debt to Sh1.17 trillion. So far, Sh3.1 billion has been spent on the KenRen project that was conceived in 1975 during the Kenyatta era when President Kibaki was Finance Minister.
As if that was not enough, some of the ministries including Internal Security of Prof George Saitoti who worked closely with Moi is not able to account for Sh953 million, State House (Sh10 million), Foreign Affairs of which Saititoti is the acting minister (Sh80 million), Home Affairs headed by former staunch Kanu follower during Moi, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka-(Sh349 million) and Planning- National Development and Vision 2030 (Sh10 million).
Others are Finance headed by Uhuru myself-(Sh121 million), Defence by Yusuf Haji who was Moi right hand in 1990’s-(Sh197 million), Agriculture by Sally Kosgei who shed tears when Moi was forced out of office in 2002-(Sh768 million), Local Government by Muslia Mudavadi who was Moi Finance minister when Kotut printed money for campaign-(Sh2 billion), Roads by Franlin Bett who benefited a lot from Moi, especially in Mau forest land scandals-(Sh9 billion), Education by Prof Sam Ongeri who was Moi right wing in Kanu-(Sh319 million) and he Interim Independent Electoral Commission (Sh280 million).
The report says 15 ministries could not prove how they spent Sh6.9 billion, with the Public Health ministry headed by Uhuru Kenyatta relative Beth Mugo having the highest figure not supported by documentation and Roads ministry, which could not prove how it spent Sh889.6 million.
Others are Foreign Affairs (Sh743 million), Internal Security (Sh662 million), Special Programmes (Sh408 million) and Lands (Sh196 million). The report also lists Information and Communication (Sh59 million), Industrialisation (Sh90 million), Office of the Prime Minister headed by Raila Odinga (Sh59 million), Agriculture (Sh92 million), Finance (Sh10.5 million), Public Works (Sh28.7 million), Home Affairs (Sh3.7 million) and East African Community (Sh2 million).
The amount unaccounted for by Public Health officials is nearly seven times that unaccounted for by the closest culprit — Ministry of Education according to the Audit General’s report-it shows that by June 30, 2010, Education officials had outstanding imprests of Sh76.7 million. The Ministry of Internal Security and Provincial Administration completes the list of the top three ministries that had not accounted for their advances with a bill of Sh63.97 million.
Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta cannot fire his Permanent Secretary for failing audit tests and preparing falsified documents for Parliament because it is a deal, so to other corruption scandals. That is why only one out of 14 accounts has passed the audit test of the total amount of Kshs 714 billion for the two financial years.
Leave alone the year between1990 to 1993 when $600 million to $850 million “went missing. Olusegun Obsanjo, Nigeria’s former president estimates that just a few African strongmen now sit atop cash deposits of more than $20 billion in Swiss banks. This was about the same time more than $12 billion of Nigeria’s public funds went missing in recent years and is still unaccounted for.
This is not to mention a Sh251 billion mathematical error in the 2011-2012 Budget which Parliament’s Budget Committee has been alerted about. They were also notified notified of a repayment plan for a non-existent fertiliser factory, in which Sh1.2 billion would be paid out to an Austrian firm over the next three financial years.
It is against the background that the overall inflation rate has risen by 10.11 percentage points in seven months hitting 15.53 per cent in July 2011 up from 5.42 pc in January 2011. The rate stood at 14.49 per cent in June 2011 accordiding to the statistics released by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics for July 2011- Consumer Price Index increased by 1.27 per cent from 120.91 percent in June to 122.44 per cent in July.
It explains why the average price of a 2kg packet of sifted maize flour rose from Sh130 in June to Sh136 in July. Sugar price rose by 19.43 per cent from an average of Sh102.95 per kilogram in June to Sh122.38 in July.
Currently most Kenyans have experienced the pain of electricity rationing due to insufficient infrastructure, a relentless drought, and unusually high prices for petrol. According to Kenya Power, the country is facing a shortfall of between 70MW and 90MW at peak hours (6.30pm to 9.30pm), when most domestic consumers switch on electricity.
Arap Moi for example has been accused of using part of this money to fuel ethnic cleansing in October 1991 where a gang of youths -said to be from the Kalenjin ethnic group, armed with spears and machetes -attacked members of the Luo ethnic group living at Meitei farm in the south Nandi district of the Rift Valley Province.
In these attacks, thirty houses were burnt and some 4 000 people were left homeless. In November and December, fighting between the Luo and Kalenjin extended to Western and Nyanza Provinces, and in the process drew in members of the Luyhia and Kikuyu ethnic groups.
During the course of the December 1992 elections, there was a lull in fighting after which conflict restarted and escalated, now encompassing the Molo, Narok, Pokot, Londiani, Elburgon and Burnt Forest areas of the Rift Valley. The perpetrators of this latest violence expanded to include the Maasai and Pokot ethnic groups.
These attacks were aimed primarily at the Kikuyu. After another lull in fighting, there was renewed violence in March 1994. The Kalenjin again fought with the Kikuyu in the Rift Valley and Burnt Forest areas. This was followed by the forced eviction of Kikuyu by the Maasai in the Enoospukia region. In 1995, in the Mai Mahiu area of Naivasha, fighting broke out that left 300 000 people displaced. The violence that characterised the first elections was to be repeated on a greater scale in 1997, the year of the second multiparty elections.
Eyewitness accounts say that these were actually not gangs, but trained militia. Some of the gangs were calling themselves the Kaya Bombo after the forest where local people say they have witnessed groups of young men undergoing weapons training. Similar activities around the Similaini caves were also reported.
There were two major reasons why Moi had to drive away non Kalenjins from Rift Valley-one was to do away with Kibaki Democratic Party (DP) followers, majority of whom being Kikuyus-secondly it was to do with land dispute, where after non Kalenjins had been driven away it would remain for Kalenjins.
Luos, Luhyia and Kisii were to be driven away because they either supported Ford Kenya, DP or Ford People. That is why the Luhya, Kikuyu, and Kisii were greatly affected, their houses burnt, property looted, many displaced until today whereas some were killed. It explains why ethnic clashes raged in the Nzoia, Kericho and Kisumu Districts.
This was in March 1992 when the reports of ethnic violence become commonplace in the press. The Kalenjin Assistant Minister Kipkalia Kones had just declared Kericho District a KANU zone and stated that the Kalenjin youth in the area had declared war on the Luo community in retaliation for several Kalenjins killed in earlier violence. In the Chemichimi (the Bungoma District), the Kalenjin attacked the Luhya community.
Although the government accused the opposition parties of fueling the violence through Libyan-trained recruits, according to a parliamentary committee report of September 1992, senior government officials had been involved in training and arming Kalenjin warriors to attack villages and drive away non-Kalenjin ethnic groups from the Rift Valley, Western, and Nyanza Provinces.
The same year new clashes broke out between the Kisii and the Maasai while fighting continued to rage in the Bungoma District between the Kalenjin and the Luhya. In the Bungoma District alone, 2,000 people were displaced and 60 killed. Victims in the Molo Division report seeing 4 government helicopters bringing arrows to Kalenjin attackers and that out of uniform soldiers are fighting along side the Kalenjin.
The Kanu Secretary-General Joseph Kamotho publicly admitted in April 1993 that the Maasai were part of a 3,000 strong youth squad recruited by the Kanu to repress opposition supporters. Kamotho later recanted and denied the reports when Moi challenged him.
But as Moi denied any any trained worriors, in August 1993 it was reported that about 300 Kalenjin warriors attacked the Molo area of the Nakuru District, displacing hundred of Kikuyus. The Kalenjin burnt more than 200 houses belong to Kikuyus, but the local police took no action because they were instructed to do so.
This was about the same time fighting also occurred between the Kalenjin and the Kikuyu in the Burnt Forest area near Eldoret and Uasin Gishu Districts. 15,000 Kikuyus and Luhya fled the area as hundreds of Kalenjin warriors killed, looted and burnt their homes.
Two months later it was reported that an estimated 500 Maasai warriors attacked an area, Enosupukia (Narok District), south of the security operation zones, burning houses of Kikuyu farmers and uprooting 30,000 Kikuyus.
On April 9, 1996 Kanu parliamentarian Kipruto arap Kirwa, had disappeared after he launched a verbal attack against President Moi for fuelingand sponsoring the ethnic violence in Rift Valley. Those days when you opposed Moi either you were detained, tortured or assassinated.
Other things Kirwa accused Moi of was stifling alternative views in Kanu and of being undemocratic. The following month-May 3, 1996 Kenya’s Daily Nation reported that Moi asked the Kalenjin community to remain united as their solidarity in Kenya’s ruling party will be the basis of their future political survival. This was meant to silence the Kalenjins who were opposed to him.
Given that for the ethnic Kalenjins of Kenya’s Rift Valley, the red, iron-rich soil is something worth fighting for, and many still resent the ‘invasion’ of other ethnic groups who bought coffee and tea plantations left after British colonial rule, reconciliation and healing in Kenya will remain one of the major challenges, unless this was resolved.
Just like 1990’s ethnic clashes were more on land and water, so did the 2007 presidential disputed election. The violence is yet to continue because many Kalenjins believe that Kikuyu whom they refer to as “foreigners” were given unfair advantage to buy tracts of land by the ethnic Kikuyu under Kenya’s first black president.
Mr. William Ruto, who is plagued by a corruption scandal and by investigations into his role in the orchestrated violence that killed 1,200 people and displaced 300,000 after the disputed Dec. 27, 2007, elections, is now at the center of an investigation by the Internationa Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.
During the attack, perpetrators forced Kibaki’s PNU supporters inside the Kiambaa Church. The perpetrators poured fuel on the Church and mattresses, which were used to block the doors. They then set the Church on fire, killing between 17 and 35 men, women, children, elderly, and the disabled trapped inside or attempting to flee. As those inside the church attempted to flee, attackers chased them, hacking to death those that they could catch.
According to ICC Proscutor Mr Moreno-Ocampo Mr Ruto and Mr Kosgey led the network in preparing meetings, raising money to buy weapons (guns, grenades and ammunition), paying the perpetrators and rewarding them for every single PNU supporter killed. It is part of the evidence that Mr Moreno-Ocampo on Monday handed over to the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber to support his accusation against the three over the violence that followed the disputed December 2007 presidential election results.
The ICC prosecutor argues that Mr Ruto headed the political and military sections, while Mr Kosgey deputised and acted as the boss in his absence. “The network had a military component consisting of former members of the Kenyan military and police. In 2007, the Military Component advised Ruto on logistics, obtained weapons, identified financial resources, and mobilised direct perpetrators”, Ocampo charged.
“In 2006 and 2007, the Network also had a Military Structure that included three “Commanders” or “Generals” (Commanders), all of whom reported to Ruto or Kosgey,” he says in the report. He says that under Mr Ruto were three commanders in Nandi Hills, Central Rift and South Rift. “Ruto was the head of the Military Component.
The attackers targeted Turbo Town, which they said was inhabited mostly by Kikuyus and the greater Eldoret area (Kiambaa, Yamumbi, Huruma, Kimumu and Langas), Kapsabet Town, and Nandi Hills Town.
“The organisational policy of the network was to punish and expel from the Rift Valley those perceived to support PNU, namely, Kikuyu, Kamba and Kisii civilians; and to gain power and create a uniform ODM voting block,” the prosecutor says.
Mr Moreno-Ocampo also describes how the attackers planned and executed the attack on the Kenya Assemblies of God church in Kiambaa in which more than 30 people, including children, were killed according to media report.
People for Peace in Africa (PPA)
P O Box 14877