Witness: Sang Warned Kalenjin Youths to Retreat to Avoid Being Shot by Police

Joshua arap Sang warned Kalenjin youths in parts of Uasin Gishu district to retreat from road blocks or the attacks they were carrying out because the police had been deployed and would fire live bullets at them, a witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Witness 658 said on Tuesday that he heard Sang give this warning on Kass FM, the Kalenjin language radio station Sang worked for. The witness said he heard this warning between January 1 and January 3, 2008. He said some of the places Sang named were Silas, which is the Eldoret area, and Cheptiret. Witness 658 said Sang told his listeners that sources, whom he did not name, gave him the information about the plans of the police.

Sang is on trial at the ICC on three counts of crimes against humanity. He and Deputy President William Samoei Ruto are being tried for their alleged roles in the violence that followed the December 2007 presidential elections. Ruto also faces three counts of crimes against humanity.

On Tuesday, Witness 658 said he saw a woman, whom he estimated to be about 40 years old, stopped at a road block in Kapseret on January 1, 2008. Kapseret is on the outskirts of Eldoret town. The witness said this woman could not run past the road block because she was pregnant. He said she gave birth to a boy by the road side soon after she was stopped.

The witness said the Kalenjin youths manning the road block said, “We don’t want any other Mungiki.” This was in reference to the criminal gang made of mainly Kikuyu men. Witness 658 testified that after saying this, the youths killed the infant and the mother with machetes.

Witness 658 also talked about a demonstration in Kapsabet  he participated in on January 3, 2008. Trial lawyer Lucio Garcia played clips of a video from what the witness identified as the demonstration he took part in. The witness said the chants heard in the clips played in court were a song sang during circumcision ceremonies. He said when it is sung outside circumcision ceremonies, it is used to whip up emotions.

He also said a man, who in another clip was seen addressing the demonstrators, was calling on them to chase the Kikuyu away. He said the man spoke in Nandi, the language of one of the sub-groups of the Kalenjin. He spelled out part of what the man said as kikion kimariok kotoch kanyi nyeri, which he translated to mean “chase Kikuyu to go up home Nyeri.” The reference to Nyeri is the home area of then President Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu, who had won the disputed December 2007 presidential poll. He translated another part of what the man in the video said, but the explanation was given in the afternoon session, which was held entirely in private session.

At the start of Tuesday’s proceedings, Ruto’s lead lawyer, Karim Khan, applied to the court for his client to be excused from attending the hearing on Wednesday. Khan said that Ruto was required in Kenya following an attack earlier in the day on quarry workers in Mandera County, which resulted in 30 deaths. The Somali extremist Islamic group, al-Shabab, has claimed responsibility for the attack. The judges of Trial Chamber V(a) consulted briefly, and then Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said Ruto was excused from being in court on Wednesday.

On Monday, Witness 658 narrated what he observed at a fundraising event that was held at Ziwa Sirikwa market on December 31, 2007. He told the court the two notable guests were Fred Kapondi, who had just won election as the member of parliament for Mount Elgon, and a prominent farmer in Uasin Gishu, Jackson Kibor. The witness said the emcee was someone called Isaac Maiyo.

Witness 658 said Kibor told those gathered that the Kikuyus had stolen their votes. The witness said Kibor told them that he is an old man and does not want to do anything, but he will help in contributing where necessary to help youth acquire things. The witness said Kibor did not elaborate what he meant by “things.”

He said Kapondi also spoke. According to the witness, Kapondi told the gathering that the people from this side, that is Uasin Gishu, should remove the Kikuyus, and he will help remove the Luhyas from Trans Nzoia district. Trans Nzoia borders Uasin Gishu. The witness said Kapondi also said Kikuyus had messed up the country, and he and Kibor will go and bring things. The witness told the court that Kapondi did not elaborate what he meant by “things.”

Witness 658 said those gathered contributed money, with Kapondi receiving and announcing the donations made as the chief guest. The witness said Kibor presented Kapondi with an envelope and said it was 200,000 shillings from Ruto, who had been expected to the guest of honor. The witness said Kibor contributed 20,000 shillings, and Kapondi gave 10,000 shillings. He said the final tally was not announced.

The witness told the court that on his way back to Eldoret he saw three pick-up trucks with young men in the back armed with bows and arrows. He said the trucks were going in the direction of Eldoret town. He said he also saw a tractor with armed men in it. The witness said he was not sure whether it was going to Eldoret town, but it was headed in that direction.

When he got to Eldoret town, he said he saw at least four lorries packed with people parked in different parts of the town. He said the people in the lorries were Kikuyus who had fled their farms.

Witness 658 will continue testifying on Wednesday.


  1. It is know becoming clear to all that this witness is not truthful because at the other day he says Sang called on people to block the roads today he is saying he heard Sang telling youth to open roads and retreat.The purported fundraising at Ziwa is wishful thinking due to the prevailing situation at that date of 31/12/2007 and more so after election who could have attended such event when chaos were everywhere in the entire nation.No record anywhere of a mother and such infant said to have been killed this can only be great imaginations and dreams in the human mind and not factual.

  2. This Witness No 658 Should Not Take Us Kenyans For Granted That We Can Be Decived Anyhowly He Thinks. The Witness Alledges That On Eve Of Voting He Was With Others At Eldoret Searching For Suspected Rigging Materials Both At The Police Station And Brookside , On The Voting Day He Went To Vote, On 31/12/2007 He Attended The Alledged Youths Harrambee , On 1 $ 2 Of Jan 2008 He Was Almost All The Roadblocks Alledgedly Set By Odm Youths ,Finaly On 3rd Jan 2008 He Was In Kapsabet Town Surely Who On This Planet Can Believe Him .

  3. Amos Chemabus and Biwott that is what we call selective reading.Please pay attention to what the witness is saying ,the date the events occurred,how they relate to each other and the way the OTP is slowly building up its case before posting your comments.

  4. Pemba, it is in fact you who is gleefully appreciating what is clearly concogted make-believe evidence not the other two.

    The witness can not pose in a manner as to fool people he had premonition that his services as a future witness would be required. So that he goes around and across everywhere like the historic Ibn Batuta.

    Unless of course hisrole is a case of relationship gone sore, in which case he first has to tell us he is out to spill the beans because of that.
    In which case then he is incriminating himself as one of those bearing responsibility for the PEV…

  5. What was the means of communication used by witness 658 to reach all these places witheen that short period? from eldoret through kipgeigei to ziwa and back to eldoret on 31/12/2007 yet all public vihacle not flying those routes that day

  6. In other words there was a complete shut-down of transport. Petrol stations were short on fuel supply and the witness has alluded people hitching tractor and lorry lifts.
    The court would do well to interrogate the proceedings: if the witness also boarded one of these available means or he had his own.
    How he slelected the places he visited or was by shear coincidence.
    How he managed to commouflage his movements and spy on his targets dispite not having been one of combatants-carrying no bows and no arrows or was it guns.
    Did he bribe or persuaded his way through.

    This is important since warrying parties had to comfirm identities. Iam sure he must have appeared a stranger, atleast on arrival at Kapsabet, over 150 kilometrs away from Kipkeigei where he was known to no one.

  7. Your ignorance to pay attention to details of what is adduced before the court has forced you to resort to your imaginations.You haven’t even disclosed who witness 658 is and you are dismissing his testimony on basis of your imaginations.Those Judges in Court,defense team and OTP know who this witness is.That is why Ruto was required to be present as the witness give his testimony.

  8. Yes I agree with you that no normal harambee would have taken place during that time but this cannot form the basis of ruling out the possibility of conducting a harambee in aid of p.e.v by the perpetrators of the same.

    1. P.O, I have had a premonition. A large stone which has been rolling down hill for years came to a smooth halt but appears getting molested at the curtain fall.

      Molestations from squirrels bidding that the stone moves on stage, to the abyss.It has been very troubling.

      However,I have consulted the oracle. Their answer is perplexing and I leave it at that for the time being, as there is no immediate prompting.

    1. your name betrays it all! just unfortunate that it was in the name of your party ODM that all these happened. What changed Danton? You supported Ruto and Sang that time…

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