On Monday night, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) at the ICC released a redacted version of a pre-trial brief detailing part of the evidence it would have relied on had the now-collapsed case against President Uhuru Kenyatta gone to trial. Kenyatta was charged at the ICC as an indirect co-perpetrator of five counts of crimes against humanity committed during the 2007-2008 PEV, in which an estimated 1,300 Kenyans died in inter-ethnic clashes after a disputed presidential election. Here are the names of some of the prominent Kenyans named in the document.
By The Hague Trials Kenya contributor
The heavily redacted case brief is bound to make for unsettling reading for Kenyatta and his supporters, who have accused the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of being part of a nefarious Western-backed scheme to discredit and destabilise the ruling Jubilee coalition. The 69-page brief puts Kenyatta at the centre of a bloody plot to use members of the Mungiki sect to help the then incumbent president Mwai Kibaki retain his seat in the 2007 elections.
This in itself is not news to Kenyans, since – as a quick web search will show – Bensouda and her team have tried to play up Kenyattaâ€™s alleged links to the Mungiki countless times. What is new is that the brief, for the first time, names a number of prominent Kenyans allegedly involved in a plot to finance and arm Mungiki sect members to mount attacks on rival communities in Nakuru and Naivasha.
What follows is a summary of the prominent Kenyans named in the brief and their alleged roles in the violence that brought Kenya to the brink of civil war:
1. Waitiri Michuki â€“ Michuki is the wife of the late John Michuki, the former minister of internal security and provincial administration, who contentiously declared a “shoot to kill” order against the Mungiki a few weeks after his appointment in 2005. The brief claims that his wife was used as an intermediary to establish contact with the Mungiki, with the aim of recruiting them to take part in attacks.
2. George Thuo â€“ Thuo, who mysteriously died in 2013 while having a drink with friends, was the MP for Juja constituency. Financed by Kenyatta, he allegedly made City Hoppa buses and trucks available to transport the Mungiki. Thuo is also mentioned as a recruiter of the Mungiki gang members used in the violence. He allegedly told representatives of the sect that the attacks had been sanctioned at the highest level of government and, that extra-judicial killings would cease and Maina Njenga would be released from prison in exchange for their support. The brief depicts Thuo as Kenyattaâ€™s go-to man for the funding of the Mungiki attackers.
3. Jayne Kihara â€“ Kihara is the former MP for Naivasha constituency. The brief says she received large sums of money from Kenyatta to coordinate and finance attacks in Naivasha. She allegedly “attended planning meetings in Naivasha and elsewhere to coordinate” attacks and distribute money received from Kenyatta and Thuo.
[Related content: ‘How the Kenyatta case was won’]
4. John Mututho â€“ Mututho is the current chairman of the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) and is also a former MP for Naivasha. He allegedly distributed panga knives and money received from Kenyatta to the Mungiki gang members. Also, the brief claims that he “attended fundraising and planning meetings in January 2008.”
5. Mwangi Kiunjuri â€“ Kiunjuri has been the MP for Laikipia East constituency since 2007. He allegedly attended planning and coordination meetings in January 2008 and distributed money to Mungiki members to carry out retaliatory attacks.
6. David Mwenje â€“ Mwenje, a former MP for Embakasi, died in 2008. The OTP brief says Mwenje was among several intermediaries used by Kenyatta to recruit and transport pro-PNU youth and Mungiki members for attacks.
7. Kuria Kanyingi â€“ Kanyini, a former MP for Limuru, died in 2014. He was also reportedly a key member of the team that Kenyatta used to finance, recruit and transport Mungiki members and to coordinate the attacks.
The pre-trial brief is available on the ICC website.
The above information above is just a tip of the iceberg of the revelations contained in the OTP brief. Weâ€™ll be releasing more details of the prosecution brief in digestible chunks over the next few days so stay tuned for our series of articles, dubbed the ‘Uhuru Files’.