Cord demands compensation for PEV victims
The opposition on Saturday paraded victims of post-election violence of 2007/08 from their strongholds and accused Jubilee government of sidelining them.
Seen as a counter to the Afraha Stadium prayer rally called to give thanks after the International Criminal Court terminated cases against deputy president William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang early this month, speakers at the Cord rally at Kibera’s Laini Saba rally demanded immediate compensation for the victims.
Mr Bernard Ndege, who has become the poster boy of the gruesome killings sparked by the disputed 2007 presidential vote pitting retired president Mwai Kibaki and Cord leader Raila Odinga, called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to help compensate the victims who have been left out.
“Does it mean that we are lesser Kenyans when we hear that other people who suffered the same fate have been given some money to rebuild their lives? While no monetary compensation can give back members of my family that I lost but at least some money can help me start up again,” he said.
About 1200 lives were lost in the bloodbath.
From those who have bullets lodged in their bodies to mothers who lost their children and husbands, the event relived testimonies of sordid experiences given to the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission led by Prof Bethwel Kiplagat in the aftermath of the violence. They were about 15 of them.
Coalition co-chairmen Johnston Muthama and James Orengo faulted the ICC for dropping the cases pointing out that the killings witnessed in Naivasha, a region that bore the brunt of the skirmishes, were planned.
“What happened in Naivasha was planned where families from different parts of the country were killed. Listening to Jubilee, you get an impression that the about 1200 lives we lost do not matter,” Mr Orengo said.
Mr Muthama said reports that some witnesses could have been influenced to recant their statements and uncooperative ones killed would haunt those responsible to their graves.
“We have to be suspicious when such questions are raised by the ICC judges, they must pay some day,” he said.
ODM chairman John Mbadi accused the president and his deputy of using Kenya as a shield against their ‘personal’ challenges at The Hague based court to the detriment the country.
Mr Odinga caused ruckus in the Jubilee quarters two days ago when he said in an interview with a French television network that Africa needs a global court to check leaders who may want to abuse the powers bestowed in them, what has been interpreted by Jubilee as backpedalling on his congratulatory message to Mr Sang and the DP. The opposition disputes that interpretation.
They criticised the clergy who presided over the Afraha prayers saying they had forgotten their calling and were advancing the interests of the ruling elite.
“The Bible says the Lord stands with the weak not the mighty. It is apparent that those leading the mass in Nakuru are modern day Pharisees and Sadducees. The president has decided to stand by the mighty forgetting the downtrodden,” Mr Orengo said.
Mr Orengo also claimed that had it been that names of the opposition leaders were in the famous envelope handed over to the ICC by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan who mediated the truce which gave birth to the grand coalition government, Mr Kenyatta would have opened it by now as a way of getting back at them.
The envelope is believed to contain names of people who had a role in the violence, six of whom were picked by the former ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo to faces criminal charges saying they bore the greatest responsibility.