Witness Says Sang Used Kass FM to Promote Ruto as Kalenjin Leader

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that Joshua arap Sang used his show on Kass FM to campaign for William Samoei Ruto to become the leader of the Kalenjin ethnic group.

On Monday, Witness 743 said Sang described Ruto on air as “a true leader” and select callers phoned in their comments on the idea of Ruto becoming the Kalenjin leader. Witness 743 began testifying in the trial of Ruto and Sang after Witness 789 concluded his testimony on Friday in private session.

Ruto and Sang have each been charged with three counts of crimes against humanity. The charges are based on their alleged roles in the violence that erupted after the December 2007 presidential poll. Ruto at the time was a key leader of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement party and seeking reelection as a member of parliament. He is now Kenya’s deputy president. At the time Sang was a popular talk show host on the Kalenjin language radio station, Kass FM. He has since left Kass FM.

Witness 743 is testifying via video link from an undisclosed location in Nairobi. He told the court he listened to a show during which Ruto was interviewed by Sang and also responded to questions from listeners. Witness 743 said he called in with a question, and he remembered two callers who seemed to have been prepared to phone in their comments. When senior trial lawyer Anton Steynberg asked him how he knew this, the witness said when he called him he was asked to identify himself, but when the two callers phoned in, Sang already known them by name.

He said the two callers were Kip Tindinyo and Councillor. He said Kip Tindinyo meant woman rapist in Kipsigis, the language and name of one of the sub-groups of the Kalenjin. Sang’s lawyer, Joseph Kipchumba Kigen-Katwa, told the court that they were ready to concede Kip Tindinyo was a regular caller to Sang’s morning talk show. Witness 800, who testified in November last year, also told the court of a regular caller to Kass FM who was called Tindinyo. The spellings given then and now are different, but it is likely he is the same person.

The witness also told the court about a fundraising event he attended in October 2007 at which Ruto spoke. He said it took place at a school, but he did not name the school because it could identify him to the public. Witness 743 said Ruto spoke in Nandi and told those gathered that they should drive out the Kikuyu from the Rift Valley region. Nandi is the language and name of another sub-group of the Kalenjin. The day’s proceedings ended before Steynberg could explore follow-up questions on the matter with the witness.

Witness 743 is testifying under court-ordered protective measures to conceal his identify from the public. These measures include identifying him by pseudonym and distorting his image and voice in any transmission of the proceedings. They also include using a protected information sheet with pseudonyms for places and people whose names could identify him. Another measure is the court going into private session when it is necessary for the witness and lawyers to uses names of places and people that would identify him. This happened during Monday’s proceedings.

Just before the proceedings ended, Karim Khan, Ruto’s lead lawyer, asked the court to excuse Ruto from court on Thursday and Friday. Ruto is required to attend the first five days of the court’s hearings whenever the trial resumes after a recess. He was excused from court last week but was required to be present this week.

Khan said President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta had been scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum that is due to start on Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland. He said the Kenyan government had decided that Ruto would go instead. Steynberg said the prosecution had no objection to Ruto being away on Thursday and Friday so long as he was in court next Monday and Tuesday. The representative for victims, Orchlon Narantsegtseg, said he had no objection. Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said Trial Chamber V(a) would rule on the application tomorrow.

Witness 743 will continue to testify on Tuesday.


  1. Same narrative. Same line of questioning.I believe all this witnesses were together discussing this case at some point in time. Coaching did happen and by who , it’s rather obvious.

  2. 1.Does kiptindinyo have another meaning? if so, how does one conclude with certainty that it means rapist in this case.
    2. We are told it is a Kipsigis word. Is its meaning of rapist universal for the entire Kalenjin fraternity?
    I hope the clarification will emerge considering that the genaral grammar rule is: a word acquires meaning depending on the context in which it is used.

  3. out of 29 witnesses, including the current one, all were coached to gain money, but their should b prepared to harvest what their have planted to their siblings.

  4. This word actually as used by this witness originated from a song called kiptindinyo and this person loved this song so much that he used request it to be played whenever he was in social places till he was nicknamed kiptindinyo.the same person was also a fan of kass fm and would call regularly during morning hours,sending greetings etc.i therefore don’t understand how such a basic thing reached icc unless someone did not do his homework well.i stayed in nandi hills and i know kiptindinnyo well.

    1. And the same Kiptindinyo is an elected MCA in Nandi County Assembly and was a councillor just before that! This case is a joke!

  5. So in summary, this witness says that there was a tactic to promote Ruto as the top politician for the kalenjin people’s and that he says there was a fund raising event at a school where a phrase was said. Also that a man with a name that can be translated to mean rapist, called in frequently and favored Odm and Ruto!

    This only proves that Ruto was up till thenx not the kalenjin elder as claimed by the prosecution, that someone with a poor choice for a name was an Odm supporter, and that a school fund raising event occurred in November 07… According to this witness. There is no proof that incitement took place nor that a specific violence activity was under any specific instruction…

    We want proof not innuendo… Otherwise throw the case out!!!

  6. In Kenya We Do Not Have A Kalenjin Damarcated Constituency Neither Do We Have A Province Known As Kalenjin Where Election Of Its Leaders Was To Be Conducted So That Sang Could Campaighn For Ruto To Be The Winner As Alledged By This Witness. Secondly The Witness Should Tell Us Who Were Other Candidates For The Kalenjine Leadership That Were Competing With Ruto . Its Not Also Logical For Ruto To Call The Eviction Of Kikuyus In Open Public Forum Like In A Harrambee Function As The Witness Alledges Coz The Message Could Leaked To The Security Agents Meaning The Mission Could Fail.

  7. The whole case is a sham. It is a pity that an international court can be reduced this low. Yekitub iman kurutu/germinates!

  8. Somewhere in Nandi, there is a place called Tindinyo. Is it inhabited by rapists? If the prefix Kip is used to indicate “son of”, does Kiptindinyo mean son of a rapist? Someone educate me!!

  9. I think the piece reads like emotional wihsufl thinking. When the Politics is adverse, the ICC has generally gone absolutely nowhere, and that is what will happen again. Whether arrest warrants are issued or not, they will certainly not be enforced. Instead, the procedures of the ICC will be altered to allow exceptions. It will be uncomfortable for Kenyatta, but unlikely to matter very much.It really is a shame though that African Elites tend to think this is a new colonialism. Colonialism was marked by Europeans and Arabs oppressing the masses and promoting a thin elite. This is a very different new colonialism if the focus is on preventing the elites from murdering the masses. It is obvious why the US is not pestered by the ICC: they are not a signatory. That is of course a traversty of justice in itself, massively undermining the court, but it is not bias in the court that makes it so.For those who say the author is being simplistic, I think they rather miss the point. The issue the author is dealing with is whether or not a crime has taken place, and the implications for the ICC (and Kenya) of a lack of political support in and outside Kenya for the Judicial findings. Whether the issue of committing those crimes should be set aside on some reasonable behaviour criteria is a political consideration and not a judicial one.It is also absurd to ask the author or indeed the court to present the evidence before the hearing to drum up political authority for the hearing in the first place. The whole point of the hearing is to present the evidence. If the court needs to present the evidence before having a hearing then the judicial process would have been turned on its head.As a half-African, half-European, I feel I can deplore all sides for lack of logical structure. The ICC crisis has been a long time coming. The decision of the US not to become an ICC signatory was a fatal flaw. The failure of the institutions of the ICC to realise that justice can only be accommodated within political constraints was an act of liberal bourgeois arrogance. That the author, a noted expert on Africa, does not recognise this, when it is a key issue across all emerging markets is remarkable.

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