State 'sanctioned' Kenyan
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
The BBC has learnt of allegations of state-sanctioned violence in
Kenya during the turmoil that followed last December's disputed
Sources allege that meetings were hosted at the official residence
of the president between the banned Mungiki militia and senior
The aim was to hire them as a defence force in the Rift Valley to
protect the president's Kikuyu community.
The government denied the allegations, calling them "preposterous".
"No such meetings took place at State House or any government
office," the government said in a statement posted on its website.
Such "unfounded lies" are "injurious to the president, government
and the people of Kenya", the statement said.
" We were ordered not to stop
the vehicles to allow them to go "
- Rift Valley policeman -
The allegations come as parliament is due to open on Thursday
preparing the way for a new coalition government.
Although parliament's focus will be on healing ethnic divisions
and creating a coalition government - allegations of state
involvement with a banned Kikuyu militia, known as Mungiki, will
not go ignored, the BBC's Karen Allen in Nairobi says.
She says there is of growing suspicion that some of the violence
that led to 1,500 people being killed and hundreds of thousands
displaced was orchestrated by both sides of the political divide.
Gangs with machetes
The BBC source, who is a member of the Kikuyu tribe and who is now
in hiding after receiving death threats, alleged: "Three members
of the gang met at State House... and after the elections and the
violence the militias were called again and they were given a duty
to defend the Kikuyu in Rift Valley and we know they were there in
|On the weekend of
25 January, the Rift Valley towns of Nakuru and then Naivasha
were the focus of the some of the worst post-election violence.
Eyewitnesses spoke of non-Kikuyu homes being marked, then
gangs with machetes - who they claim were Mungiki - attacked
people who were from other ethnic groups.
Sources inside the Mungiki have told the BBC that it was a
renegade branch of the outfit that was responsible for
violence, not them.
A policeman who was on duty at the time, who has spoken to the
BBC on condition of anonymity, has also pointed to clear signs
of state complicity.
He alleges that in the hours before the violence in Nakuru,
police officers had orders not to stop a convoy of minibus
taxis, called "matatus", packed with men when they arrived at
Non-Kikuyu homes in
Naivasha were ransacked and set alight
"When we were there... I saw about
12 of them [matatus] packed with men," he said.
"There were no females... I could see they were armed.
"We were ordered not to stop the vehicles to allow them to go."
The current and previous minister for internal security have both
been invited to respond to the allegations. So far they have
declined to do so.
The allegations come at a time of growing concern that there was
pre-planned violence on both sides of the political fence, in the
aftermath of Kenya's disputed election result.
The international crisis group has already raised such concerns
and Human Rights Watch is expected to publish its report making
similar claims shortly.
There are plans to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission
in the coming weeks to examine claims of election violence.
The allegations are likely to be among the themes investigated by
a commission created to address the issue of post-election