Fresh details have emerged revealing the strategy prosecutors at the International Criminal Court adopted to charge Uhuru Kenyatta with crimes against humanity, and why it failed.
Prosecutors flipped former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga to testify against Kenyatta in exchange for immunity, says a special report published by the New York Times. They also attempted to get former police commissioner Hussein Ali to testify against Uhuru and head of the public service Francis Muthaura in exchange for dropping charges facing him, but did not succeed.
After the Attorney General forbade senior police officers who were in charge of security from speaking to ICC investigators, Ali reportedly felt safe enough to decline the offer.
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s team had considered charging the Mungiki leader, but instead chose to turn him. Njenga had pleaded ignorance when questioned by Kenyan investigators about the post-election violence but came clean when confronted by ICC investigators. Njenga allegedly detailed the structure of his organisation and its role in the violence. He later agreed to testify in The Hague.
The Mungiki leader allegedly told his lawyer, Paul Muite, that he had personally administered the Mungiki oath of loyalty to Uhuru, though it is not clear if he told this to ICC investigators.
Muite, who represented Njenga in court, says: “Almost every Kikuyu politician of consequence during that era took the oath”. According to Muite and a former lieutenant of Njenga’s interviewed by the New York Times, one of the politicians who took the oath, before becoming president, was Kibaki.
Njenga was shot and seriously injured two years ago in a highway attack in Nyahururu in which five people travelling with him were killed. Although police said the shooting was part of infighting within the Mungiki militia gang, Njenga blamed the police and linked it to the ICC investigations.
“I was approached many times to write a statement in favour of those guys (Uhuru) and I have refused; and this shooting is linked to the ICC case,” Maina said at the time.
Njenga had been jailed in 2007 for possession of drugs and a firearm but was acquitted and immediately rearrested for murder murders in Karatina, Central Kenya. Muite was his lawyer.
Njenga was released from jail and his case terminated after he demanded state protection in order to give evidence involved in the activities of the Mungiki, a secret sect banned in 2002 over violence.
Documents filed at the ICC allege that Njenga continued to command the Mungiki and receive payments for its members’ participation in the 2007/8 post-election violence.
Copyright © 2018. Journalists for Justice has asserted its right to be recognized as creators and owners of the content here. Reproduction in part or in whole is permitted on condition that JFJ is acknowledged and notified.