International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Kenyatta denies any link with Mungiki, says Odinga is politically responsible for violence

Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta told the International Criminal Court (ICC) he never commanded the criminal gang that the court’s prosecutor alleges killed people in Kenya’s Central Rift region during the country’s post-election violence.

Kenyatta also denied that he had any links with the criminal gang, called Mungiki, during his sworn testimony on the eighth day of pre-trial hearings.  The prosecution is seeking to confirm charges against Kenyatta and two other suspects in this case. Kenyatta, who is also Kenya’s Finance Minister, took the unusual step of testifying at his own confirmation of charges hearing whereas other suspects in the two Kenya cases before the ICC have chosen to either speak through their lawyers or make unsworn statements as provided in the court’s rules.

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo wants Kenyatta, Head of Public and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kirimi Muthaura, and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali charged with five counts of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles during the violence that followed the disputed December 2007 presidential election. More than 1,000 people were killed between December 2007 and February 2008. Ocampo alleges Kenyatta commanded Mungiki to carry out the attacks in Nakuru and Naivasha towns because he has been associated with the gang since 2000. The prosecutor also claims that Kenyatta financed and helped raise funds to buy weapons and pay Mungiki.

“To be a commander or anything in Mungiki, first of all I would have to be a member, and I have never been a member of Mungiki,” Kenyatta told the court when his defense lawyer, Stephen Kay, led him in his evidence. “I have never mobilized or tasked Mungiki for any activity whatsoever.”

Kenyatta denied being at meetings with Mungiki leaders or members that prosecution allege he held on various dates at several venues in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, including the president’s official residence, State House.

“I did not attend any meeting with Mungiki or anybody else at State House on that day that is being referred to [November 26, 2007] or on any other date,” Kenyatta said.

Kenyatta informed the court he plans to sue a Kenyan political scientist who wrote an academic paper linking him with Mungiki. This was in response to a question Presiding Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova asked, wondering whether he had sued Peter Kagwanja for linking him to Mungiki which he was denying.

“I was only aware of that particular document when it was part of the disclosures,” Kenyatta explained.

Kenyatta also denied meeting Muthaura outside official functions, such as on Kenya’s Independence Day, December 12, 2007 or during Cabinet meetings. Prosecution witnesses have alleged Kenyatta and Muthaura attended a meeting at a private member’s club where plans to carry out the attacks in Nakuru and Naivasha were discussed.

Another major allegation that Kenyatta denied was having distributed about 100 million Kenyan shillings in cash at one meeting on December 30, 2007 at State House to prepare for the attacks.

“Anybody who knows the Kenyan currency would know that is quite a number of suitcases,” Kenyatta said, adding it would have been difficult for him to carry them around.

For the first time in the Kenya hearings, chief prosecutor Ocampo led the cross-examination. He asked Kenyatta whether he thought the then opposition leader Raila Odinga, now Prime Minister, had political or criminal responsibility for the violence because his defense placed Odinga at the center of the bloodshed.

“I will not say that he was criminally responsible because I have no evidence of him supplying arms,” Kenyatta said. “I am claiming had he agreed to follow proper due process and go to court instead of calling for mass action, violence would not have broken out.”

Morris Anyah, who is representing victims in this case, asked Kenyatta whether he was aware that the victims of the violence in Nakuru and Naivasha claim he was responsible for organizing it and they believed Mungiki carried out the attacks. Kenyatta denied he held a meeting at a Naivasha hotel to discuss the violence or that he had anything to do with the violence.

“As to who committed those acts of violence whether they were Mungiki or someone else I cannot say,” Kenyatta said.

27 Comments
  1. Somebody was enjoying Mungiki support…….Mungiki did not give politicians free services………Why were the Mungiki enjoying KANU and PNU support and favour????How did they earn their daily livelihood income………Why was Mungiki given prime recognition and comfort by Moi & Kibaki/Raila leadership. Did the Kenya Government not aware of Mungiki menace and what did the Coalition Government do to curb and control Mungiki? Why was Moi Government and Kibaki with Raila Coalition became sympathetic to Mungiki gang. Did some Politicians knowingly engage and enjoy destruction, distabilation, terrorizing of peaceful, poor and innocent human survival and livelihood through Mungiki Gang in Kenya? What was the purpose of the initial set up of Mungiki and Did Mungiki grow out of control from the initial promoter and funder……..???

  2. I have never liked Uhuru Politix, and I was just perplexed by this man knowledge of his sorrounding. He is articulate and better than most lawyers, humble than most politicians and now he has given evidence that opens the door for us (Luo’s) to question why we hate him.

    I have no solid reason why but no wonder our community is so left behind because the few who are educated brag, thew few who have money floss it, the remainder of us we are looking at RAO for directions.

    I believe what UK said that if RAO had told the youth to refrain a lot would have been salvaged.

    From hence forth am looking beyond my region no wonder in central province seems like they all have something going on that is positive at all times…..

    • You are just pretending to be a Luo while in real sense you are not. If you are and you only take directions from RAO, then you are lost man. Our directions should come first from God, then as an individual you have a right to make your own decision. If Raila is able to convince a large group of Luos to do as he says, that is his gift of gab but that doesnt mean all Luos do as he says. If u have something else to like UK for, please say but not on the above grounds. Sorry

  3. Am very keen,to understand the credibility of icc.does the court ignore some statements and consinder others. is i c c bias,what is international here?Are you an international lawyer pls help(not local laywers)

  4. The trial of post election violence suspect in Kenya will also put ICC on judgment .The whole world is watching their credibility.In matter of fact ICC could bend the rule of law to please some few people at their own cost.

  5. Congratulations for the way you defended yourself and frustrated the good Ocampo
    He was so frustrated to link you with mungiki but we know you don’t sniff Tobago and you drink bear which they don’t They also practice FGM which you don’t
    So anybody linking you to Mungiki should be lying.
    Wish you luck

    • No drunkerd will say am drunk, no theaf will say it is me who stole it, so let us wait for the ICC to decide!

  6. Where on earth was Uhuru expected to accept any link with Mungiki? That was not to be and it will never be. It is futile to expect anything affirmative. Uhuru was saying many lies hoping that Ocampo is ignorant. He only accepted being a member of Kanu but not PNU! a lie.
    I urge now the former Police boss to spill the beans for to deny that Ali could take orders from Muthaura is the biggest lie any good thinking Kenya has ever heard.
    Alluta continua.

  7. Uhuru Kenyatta has, in the past vied for presidency; he is still aspiring for the same. Now that he is in this ICC case, in which Mungiki features very negatively, it is his(Uhuru’s) chance to win the presidency 2012; buuut, only if he can expound the following:
    1. It is a known fact that Mungiki whose adherants hail from central Kenya, are terror gang of criminals, whose leaders are funded (generously) by the rich politicians of the central Kenya. Uhuru belongs to this community which espouse this criminal gang; Uhuru knows the havoc these gangsters wreak to the country and the magnitude of the menance they cause to the citizens of the country he wants to lead as a President. Therefore it is not enough to disassocite himself with the terror gang. As an aspiring candidate to be the president, he should go a mile further to tell the ICC who and what Mungiki is; who funds the gang and what he is going to do about it to end the menance they cause if and when he becomes the president.
    In that way, he may convince theICC prosecution, appease Ocampo to be soft on him and Kenyans could give him all the votes if he wins the ICC case.

  8. Uhuru is going dowwn

  9. With regard to Uhurus witness Nguyai what i wonder are these three things:-
    1.An outlawed person/criminal for that matter approaches you and even suggests to you that you commit a crime,what do you do?From his words he said that the Mungiki met him a couple of times suggesting that they need AK 47’s to deal with the people attacking their community and put an end to this and he never bothered to have them arrested and/report to the police and just says that he sent an sms to the PPO,why was he busy doing PR going to where the press is to be seen to be doing something while leaving some persons who had in their mind ideas on commiting violence.How much did these people he met do that we dont know of?He also claims the Government denounced the gang and so he was just getting to know them since he was in the commitee on organised crime and so the irony is this,how comes he has never had them apprehended to date?Something doesnt add up but i think he went too far in trying to dissacociate Uhuru by carrying the cross that he dealt with Mungiki and never introduced them to Uhuru;Does he mean that if he(Nguyai)doesnt introduce one to Mungiki then you wont have access to them?
    Then the other thing is that people only talk of the ICC suspects have defended themselves well but the problem is that what about the evidence adduced in private?The other issue is this,when UK talks of political responsibility they/he should have taken political responsibility by taking a stand that they wont cling on to power at the expense of dying people,you know our politicians take us for a ride like we dont see.

  10. It is quite true that the whole of the world is following the trials. As such the ruling of the ICC will reflect the evidence adduced by the prosecution and how the defence has been able rebut it.Going by what has been streamed,it appears Ocampo relied heavily on other sources and did not do the basics of counterchecking what he had collected.After the verdict,i will appreciate very much if the judges order an audit into the prosecutors work in Kenya to protect the integrity of the court.

  11. Uhuru portrayed a pretty good image. There is no doubt violence to place and someone must have engineered it. However Ocampo has failed to investigate fully and conclusively such that Kenyans feel justice can be meted. His approach to investigated has left many wondering if indeed he would be in a proof and convince the judges that he worth his work. Very often its said the threshold required for now is quite low. But even that it must be born in mind the information right now is so flawed that I doubt any Ocampos additional evidence can proof otherwise.

  12. Can anyone explain what ocampo was up to? Discern any method in his mumblings? It seemed a dismal, muddled performance, riddled with not only the wrong trees but the wrong dogs barking too. But est do I know? Perhaps he dealt several deadly blows perceivable only to his smug self and possibly a judge or two. But from my POV, madame president, UK came out well on top. Unless of course he was guilefully led utter probable. Lies. In which case he’s toast.,

  13. Dear Aluko Jasiro,

    We are unable to approve your comment because it does not comply with the website policy. There are allegations made against an individual that are stated as fact. If you can rephrase your comment as an opinion, we would be happy to post. For more information on the website’s rules of conduct , see here – http://www.icckenya.org/terms-conditions/.

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  14. Dear opiyo,

    Your comment submitted on 2011/10/01 at 10:49 am could not be approved because the last sentence does not comply with this website’s comment policy. If you remove the sentence, we will be happy to approve it. For more information on rules of conduct, please see here – http://www.icckenya.org/terms-conditions/.

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  15. Amusing. Yes, UK certainly presented a “nice” image. But it is more about evidence than images. There are three things worth keepin in mind: (a) At this stage, live testimony is not necessarily more weighty than written evidence; that has been made clear by the presiding judge. (b) The judges have seen a lot of redacted evidence that the Defence has not. (c) Both sides will submit extensive written submissions after the oral hearings.

    Far too many people seem to see this in the same terms as their favourite TV show, where, contrary to the building drama, the suspect is dramatically convicted or exonerated right at 9:55 PM, on the sole basis of the word of one witness.

    The ICC is to be faulted for not properly educating the public, in view of public expectations and the “publicity” mandate of the ICC. The presiding judge has tried to do her best, by reminding people that this is not a mini-trial, but it has not been enough. But I especially fault websites like this one: it appears to be a site set up by legal experts, yet the all the articles are little more than a factua summary, without any attempt at analysis or education for the non-legal types. I really think you could do a lot better, and at some point the website “owners” might want to reflect on what it is that they are trying to achieve. If it is just simple factual summaries of what goes on in court or what is filed, then there is nothing fundamentally wrong with that, but one would (given the apparent expertise here) expect a bit more that average “journalism”.

  16. Well blame RAO, I believe in court one has to defend on existing charges not point fingers on some one who is not charged with the alleged crimes. Mr. Kenyatta might have injured himself by pointing fingers to the alleged crimes, because RAO was not in file as co papertrators. In 2002 Mungiki were demonstarting on the streets of NBO in Mr. Kenyatta’s support and he never said anything to sisassociate himself from them.

    Bziegnew

  17. one needs to be a kikuyu to know what mungiki is. It is a group off people of whichever age. a congregation in a church is basically mungiki.

    • Don’t be silly. We all know what Mungiki is in this context; their murderous and criminal activities have not been limited to just the Kikuyu.

  18. If we were to believe Ocampo the attacks were organised in state house and posh hotels in nairobi and other places and thirty million was used to pay mungiki and the police were told to keep away.
    The number of dead in Naivasha was only fifty with all the planning then it was waste of millions of shillings>the number could have been in thousands if planning had been done by state.
    Okambo we victims are not happy with your investigation
    You were supposed to put tough questions to UK during cross examination and make him sweat for his alleged sins but poor prosecutor you wasted the chance

  19. When we were young we use to talk big of anybody who uses heavy words and long speeches as the most educated and well knowledgble.Ocampos speech might appear poor and mumbled up,but the judges at the court understood him.He might as well be knowing that since the case will move to full hearing why bother with lots of unneccessary talk at the confirmation stage.

  20. Hello Kenyans

    Let us realize our weaknesses and come back to the higher Power to forgive us for we cannot compensate for what we lost in the 2007 Massacre. The wounds are still there and signs that still trigger us to 2007 post election Violence. Some us may not wish to read the comments because they felt it wasn’t their fault they were punished innocently.
    So Kenyans let us be apologetic which is a healing process to our traumatized colleagues, it will restore their sanity and will move to forgive our politicians instead of escalating more stress to Kenyans with Unbelievable Statements. let us Learn to say sorry its therapeutic to those lost their items and even Family.
    May the Almighty God Forgive Kenyans and take away their Pride and Pretence
    Thank you.
    Peter Clinton( Psychologist)

  21. Hello Kenyans

    Let us learn to Forgive for this is A healing Process to Kenyans

  22. “Healing” is not a alternative to justice; especially, it is not and may never be simply a perpetuation and confirmation of continuing injustice, violence and oppression. But this is what Peter Clinton advocates.

    The prosecution of a few (merely six) outstanding suspects of allegedly major responsibility is not a substitute for coming clear on a broad scale. None of the six epersonally killed, rape, committed arson or destoye properties and livelihoods. None of the six went out with a panga and chased 600,000 mostly poor peoply away from their lands of livelihood, forcing them into continuing, unremedied poverty in IDP camps. So, the ICC trials must still be complemented by local trials on a much broader scale, like in Rwanda. This need is pressing and undeniable.

    Kenya has so far been unwilling; the Kenyan government, protecting the culprits small and big, has actively blocked any attempt until now. The ICC trials have the opportunity to bring this reign of obstruction and shielding to an end. This is a great chance, even though Clinton is visibly malcontent with it.

    Adjacent measures may be called or. But truth is the first requisite. The truth that the culprits and perpetrators and beneficiaries of the PEV would want to remain subdued. Whether a real “truth commission”, a popular worldwide fad in these decades, could eventually be helpful, remains open. The present Kenyan TJRC however was and is an outright sham, and the honorable among its members have already resigned in indignation, seeing how their nominal presence was abused by those who want things to remain as they always have been, and who had created the TJRC only to stall and avert judicial proceedings, not to complement and suport them.

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