Who bankrolled post-election
Published on 22/07/2008
By Beauttah Omanga
Names of politicians and other people who funded militia groups
during post-election violence are known and will be revealed to
the Justice Waki Commission in the next few days.
Commission chairman Justice Philip Waki ordered Intelligence chief
Major General Michael Gichangi to give the Commission the details
of those who bankrolled the militia.
Gichangi, the National Security
Intelligence Service (NSIS) Director-General, said he would reveal
the names to the Commission of Inquiry into the Post-Election
Violence, but only in camera.
adversely mentioned in connection to the violence may be
notified to appear before the Commission, Justice Waki said.
Gichangi said the gangs, especially Mungiki, Chinkororo,
Amachuma, Jeshi la King’ole and others, have a known chain of
command, which he would soon lay bare.
"We investigated and established the faces behind the outlawed
militia, but because of the sensitivity of the matter, my
lords, I should not be pushed to naming them here," said
The NSIS chief also named ‘Kalenjin Warriors’ as another group
that took part in the violence.
Gichangi agreed to reveal the names when he appeared under
cross-examination by lawyer for civil society groups, Mr Harun
Ndubi, who asked him: "Major General, in the past we have seen
small fry arraigned in courts for being members of outlawed
militia groups. Can you tell this Commission if you
established who the financiers were?"
Director-General of NSIS
Major General Michael Gichangi testified at the Waki
Commission, on Monday. He is expected to name politicians
who bankrolled the post-election militias.
Photo: Stafford Ondego/Standard
Gichangi answered: "Yes we did. We
established they were politicians who were seeking elective posts
as civic leaders and Members of Parliament."
Ndubi also asked whether there were people in the private sector
who bankrolled the militias, to which Gichangi replied: "My lords,
there were politicians, as well as others from the private sector,
but we will avail that brief to the commissioners in private."
Following the spy chief’s revelation, the Commission indicated it
could recall Police Commissioner Maj-Gen Hussein Ali, who
testified last week, to shed more light on the issue.
Gichangi added that information on those behind the gangs that
caused terror during the post-election violence period has already
been given to various individuals in Government.
Later in the afternoon, the NSIS boss said all relevant
departments were adequately briefed, but failed to act accordingly.
"Kenyans are still asking: ‘Where was the NSIS’? I want to tell
them that we did our part, but the State security agents failed to
respond as expected because they were overwhelmed by the magnitude
of the violence," said Gichangi.
He said he would furnish the Commission with information from a
group known as Emo Foundation that also investigated the period
Gichangi said the NSIS had conducted research on criminal gangs
before and after the General Election to establish the role they
He said the Kalenjin Warriors — a criminal gang — was born after
the violence broke out and the group did not have known leaders.
"Unlike the Rift Valley’s Kalenjin Warriors, other militia groups
have known leadership establishments. The politicians revived the
groups which they used to intimidate their rivals during the
electioneering period and after," said Gichangi.
The spy chief also said some youths took oaths to commit
atrocities in various parts with blessings from politicians.
He said in some parts, leaders openly urged their people, using
coded phrases, to rise up and get rid of some communities.
Gichangi, however, declined to state if he recommended any
remedial action or legal action against the leaders.
A lawyer representing people displaced from their homes challenged
the NSIS boss to state if he was aware that there was oath taking
in various parts months before the election-related violence.
The Commission is investigating the cause of post-election
violence that claimed about 1,500 lives and displaced more than
However, Gichangi denied claims that his department was actively
involved the campaigns for the interest of one presidential
candidate as claimed by Ndubi.
He revealed that a representative from the Electoral Commission of
Kenya sat in various security meetings to get briefs on what
needed to be done to ensure free and fair elections.
NSIS also advised the ECK to ensure that media houses were not
allowed to relay results to the public as they received them
before verifying them.
"My advice was aimed at ensuring that only official results were
passed on to the public to avoid wrong results being declared," he
said, adding that he also urged ECK to ensure speedy release of
results to ensure that the media were not ahead of them.
Gichangi denied that some of his officers were stationed at
Anniversary Towers building that houses the ECK headquarters.
But he said civil servants, including members of the disciplined
forces, took sides in the elections, a position they had taken
since the 2005 referendum campaigns.
"Deep division emerged right from the referendum where tribal
interests took centre stage on issues in the document. The
situation remained the same till last December’s polls," he said.
The witness said his department investigated claims that parallel
ballot papers had been printed, adding that they turned out to be
Gichangi said it was not his advice that the special security
cordon be thrown round KICC as presidential results were being
However, he said it was appropriate to station the officers at
KICC, but denied that the chaos were fueled by the delayed outcome.