News 2008


ODM hands UN chief document to back rigging claims


Publication Date: 2/3/2008

The Orange Democratic Movement has presented the UN secretary general with what it calls a dossier containing details of the controversial December 27 General Election.

The document was handed over to Mr Ban Ki-moon on Friday when he held talks with the party’s leaders led by Langata MP Raila Odinga.

It contains “evidence of fraud in the General Election”, according to the party.

Last Friday, while speaking at an African Union meeting held in Addis Ababa, President Kibaki maintained he won the election fairly and that those aggrieved should seek redress in court.

At the meeting held at Serena Hotel, Mr Odinga concurred with the UN secretary general that the on-going wave of violence saying it must be stopped. The UN secretary general warned that catastrophe loomed in the country if both President Kibaki and Mr Odinga did not find a lasting solution to the problem.

Mr Ban had initially asked President Kibaki and Mr Odinga to work together to help stop the violence that has so far left more than 850 people dead and over 300,000 displaced. Mr Odinga cited the recent incident in Naivasha in which 19 people, mostly women and children, were burnt alive as they hid in their houses following revenge attacks. Mr Odinga said 11 of those burnt were members of one family.

The ODM leader also talked of a similar incident in which women and children met their death in an Eldoret church, nearly a month ago. Mr Odinga told Mr Ban that the violence followed “what every national and independent monitoring group termed as a deeply flawed election”.

He explained, however, that he and other ODM leaders had repeatedly condemned the violence, saying that no grievance, however legitimate, could be solved through bloodshed.

“But the fact remains that however categorical each side’s commitment to restoring peace, it is only those who control the instruments of State who can end the murderous rampages and provide security for all our people,” he added.

The ODM leader claimed there was evidence that sections of the security forces were themselves abetting the violence, including supporting a militia group which targeted communities that supported ODM. Rather than being contained, insecurity was increasing, with the murders of the two ODM MPs heightening fears that others are targeted as well, Mr Odinga said.

He said human rights activists among them the chairman of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Mr Maina Kiai, political leaders and a group of journalists have already received death threats. The ODM leader appealed to Mr Ban to help find a way of protecting Kenyans whom, he added, feared being attacked every night.

The party, he added, was committed to the mediation efforts lead by the Kofi Annan team. Mr Odinga told the UN secretary general that the Annan mission had given Kenyans the hope of ending the violence and the political crisis.