News 2008


Clashing death toll accounts at Waki probe

EA Standard


By Beauttah Omanga

The Ministry of Health testified before the Waki Commission that 1,020 people died during post-election violence, contrary to the 616 victims indicated by the Police Commissioner.

Commission chairman wondered whose figures his team would rely on recalling that various witnesses, including Internal Security PS Francis Kimemia and civil society had floated different figures before the commission.

While the Police Commissioner had told the same commission that his records were the most authoritative, the Medical Services PS Hezron Nyangito said, according to records at public hospitals and from some private mortuaries, those who died during post-election violence were 1,020.

Nyangito said the numbers could be higher “because we compiled the figures from those who either died at our hospitals or were brought for preservations at the morgues.”

He said relatives might have buried some of those killed hurriedly before postmortem.

The PS said he was confident his report was more factual on grounds relatives and the police were required to give a brief history of the circumstances in which the deaths occurred.

Justice Waki directed Nyangito to furnish the commission with all names of those he said died at Government hospitals, all those admitted and names of those treated and discharged within a week.

Nyangito said of the 1020 deaths, his ministry carried out postmortem on 800 bodies.

“Out of the 800 postmortems, 15 per cent of the victims died as a result of gun shots, 49 per cent out of injuries inflicted by sharp objects and the rest by blunt weapons,” said the witness.

Nyangito said 3,027 casualties sought treatment at Government hospitals out of which 1,348 were admitted in the Rift Valley.

Nyangito said Nairobi recorded 136 deaths, Nyanza 118, Rift Valley 651, Western 83, Coast 32, and Central had five.

He told the commission 65 bodies were still unclaimed, with the majority lying in an Eldoret mortuary.

He said his ministry’s property worthy Sh550 million was destroyed during the chaos.

last witness

Nyangito said in some cases victims with injuries suffered at camps under the watch of their relatives after they refused to walk to nearby health centres manned by medical personnel from different tribes

Nyangito was the last witness to testify before the commission’s sittings in Nairobi.

Meanwhile, the Waki Commission moves to Rift Valley from next week to collect views from witnesses on post-election violence.

Commission Chairman Justice Philip Waki said on Monday and Tuesday, his team would be in Naivasha. They will be in Nakuru between Wednesday and Friday.