Saturday, February 2, 2008

Today's Headlines - Sat 2/02/2008

...Kenya has long been an explosion waiting to happen.
Its economy may be growing fast (by more than 6% last year), but the fruits of development have not been equally shared.
Nearly 60% of the population live in absolute poverty (on $2 a day or less), many [over 1 million] in squalid shanty towns, like Nairobi's Kibera district, Africa's largest slum.
from Guardian analysis (#10)

1- Kenya leaders talk peace but violence doesn't stop - Reuters
2 - Kenyan parties 'agree peace plan' - BBC
3 - UN Boss Asks Leaders to End Killings - Nation
4 - Shooting of second Kenyan MP leads to wave of revenge killings - Guardian
5 - Thousands Risk Losing Jobs If Violence Continues - Nation
6 - Traffic Officer in Court Over Killing of Ainamoi MP - Nation
7 - Army Using Excessive Force in Eldoret - EA Standard
8 - Mob Breaks Into Armoury, Steals Guns And Kills Officer - EA Standard
9 - Insecurity Leaves Crops Rotting - UN's IRIN
10 - What's going on in Kenya? - Guardian [analysis]
11 - Kenyan Talks Resume After Second Killing - NPR
12 - Weighing International Aid for Kenya - NPR

See also Google News headlines and links at end.

1- Kenya leaders talk peace but violence doesn't stop

Sat 2 Feb 2008, 11:10 GMT
(Recasts with homes burned, previous ELDORET)
By David Lewis

KERICHO, Kenya, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Youths burned hundreds of homes in a town in Kenya's Rift Valley on Saturday, sending residents fleeing with all they could carry, despite an agreement between feuding politicians to end weeks of bloodshed.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan brokered a deal between Kenya's rival parties on Friday to take immediate steps to end post-election violence which has killed nearly 900 people and displaced more than a quarter of a million.

But on Saturday, huge flames soared over slum dwellings in the Rift Valley town of Kericho.

Residents dragged out mattresses, cupboards, suitcases and pots and pans, piling them onto carts as they tried to escape the unrest.

"They say these buildings belong to a Kikuyu so they are burning them to tell them to go away," said Victor Kemboi, one Kericho resident, as shacks smouldered behind him.

Riots, clashes with security forces and ethnic reprisals broke out after President Mwai Kibaki was returned to power in a Dec. 27 poll which his rival Raila Odinga says was rigged.

The conflict, which has often pitted Kibaki's Kikuyu ethnic group against other tribes supporting Odinga, has tarnished the image of a nation long seen as one of Africa's more stable and with one of the continent's most promising economies.

It has gone beyond a simple election dispute, taking the lid off decades-old divisions between tribal groupings over land, wealth and power, dating from British colonial rule and stoked by Kenyan politicians during 44 years of independence.

Some Kenyans fear that even if their feuding politicians strike a power-sharing deal, they will struggle to control ethnic tensions which have taken on a momentum of their own.

"Let Annan do his bit but there's going to be no resolution. The clashes will continue," said one youth who gave his name as Lefty, manning a roadblock near the Rift Valley town of Kericho where police opened fire to disperse protesters on Friday.

Near the town of Eldoret further north, a mob surrounded the Great Harvest Evangelical Church, where at least two people were sheltering, and burned it to the ground. A witness said those inside managed to escape unharmed.

"I don't know who it was, but they broke the gate and came in. The pastor's a Kikuyu, the plot belongs to a Kikuyu. Maybe that has something to do with it," said Peter Kaguru, charred beams and bricks smouldering behind him.

On the road between Kericho and Kisii to the west, clashes broke out late on Friday between gangs representing the Kisii and Kalenjin tribes, witnesses said.

They said the violence was a reaction to the shooting of opposition legislator David Kimutai Too, a Kalenjin who was killed in Eldoret on Thursday by a Kisii traffic policeman.

Police called it crime of passion but the opposition said it was a political assassination. He was the second opposition deputy killed this week.

As well as pledging to stop the violence, the parties agreed on Friday to discuss delivering humanitarian aid to refugees and to find a way to tackle the political impasse, hoping this would happen within 15 days of talks starting on Jan. 29.

Pressure on the two sides to reach a deal is intense both from within Kenya and from the international community.

"Both parties now face a historic responsibility: choose dialogue or bear responsibility for a political and human catastrophe," French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a statement this week.

(Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Tim Cocks)
© Reuters 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Full story from Reuters

2 - Kenyan parties 'agree peace plan'

Kenya's feuding leaders have agreed on a plan to end the political and ethnic violence gripping the country, former UN chief Kofi Annan has said.

"We have agreed an agenda covering both short-term issues and also long-term issues," Mr Annan said.

The deal was agreed by representatives of both President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The announcement came after fresh outbreaks of fighting left at least 18 people dead in the west of the country.

Mr Annan said the rival parties had agreed a four-point framework for talks which should end the violence within the next two weeks.

The BBC's Adam Mynott in Nairobi says the deal is a good start which should have an impact on the level of violence on the ground.

People from the whole village attacked the policeman and killed him
Police commander Walter Aliwa

But the two parties were still very, very far apart, he says, with President Kibaki saying he won December's disputed presidential election fair and square, and Mr Odinga claiming it was rigged.

Hate messages
The talks are due to last a month and items on the agenda include:

  1. ending the violence
  2. humanitarian situation
  3. resolving the political crisis
  4. land and historical injustices
"We believe within seven to 15 days, we should be able to tackle the first three agenda items," Mr Annan said.

"The first is to take immediate action to stop the violence."

Mr Annan said the parties had agreed on 18 action points to end the violence, including demobilising militia gangs, refraining from provocative speeches and ending text messages which have been inciting hatred.

His announcement followed a visit by his successor, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who called on all sides in Kenya to stop the violence.

But there have been further reports of bloodshed, rioting and fighting in parts of the Rift Valley.

Police say a 3,000-strong mob armed with bows and arrows, spears, clubs and machetes, killed at least 10 people, including a policeman, in western Kenya.

The incident took place in Anaimoi, a trading post in the Kericho district of western Kenya.

"People from the whole village attacked the policeman and killed him," says police commander Walter Aliwa.

The area's MP David Too was shot dead by a policeman on Thursday.

Police say the killing was the result of a domestic dispute but the opposition say he was assassinated.

In a separate incident, eight people were poisoned and hacked to death in an apparent revenge attack for the MP's killing.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/02/01 19:57:19 GMT

3 - UN Boss Asks Leaders to End Killings

The Nation (Nairobi)
NEWS2 February 2008 Posted to the web 2 February 2008 Nairobi

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Nairobi Friday and made an appeal to President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga to put aside their personal interests and bring an end to the post-election violence.

In a further sign that Kenya's presidential poll crisis was now attracting the attention of almost all major international organisations, Mr Ban said: "The people and leaders of Kenya, particularly political leaders, have the duty, and the responsibility, to wake up and reverse this tragic path before it escalates into the horrors of mass killings and devastation we have witnessed in recent history."

He added: "This is a message I brought with me from the African leaders I met yesterday at the AU Summit and from all other concerned world leaders as well as the UN Security Council."

Current President
France, the current President of the European Union, has appealed to the UN Security Council to help stop the violence.

A British Foreign Office minister said that troops may need to be deployed on to the streets in Kenya before political stability can be restored.

Lord Malloch-Brown, who visited Kenya recently, suggested the police were no longer trusted after the killings of two opposition MPs.

Warning that the crisis over Kenya's disputed December 27 elections was spilling over into the wider region, the minister said there was "real alarm" at an African Union summit he is attending in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

"Everybody recognises that Kenya was a poster-boy for the continent as a whole with its economic success and apparent peace," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "So everybody is very concerned."

Lord Malloch-Brown said there was much pressure being exerted on President Kibaki to enter talks with Mr Odinga. "Wherever the two leaders look they are going to see a united international community saying sit down and deal with each other and stop this before your country spirals out of control," he said.

France's Foreign minister Bernard Kouchner expressed fear that the country was being allowed to slide into a "deadly ethnic conflict".

At the same time, the Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, Mr Ross Hynes, announced that his country would be reluctant to issue visas to Kenya government officials to travel to Canada.

Mr Hynes also said that funding for development projects would be reviewed if a solution to the current crisis was not found.

And the Australian minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Stephen Smith, said his country will limit contact with Kenya's Cabinet ministers in Nairobi "in any situation that may imply support".

He added: "We will also keep under review our development assistance programme provided to Kenya under our African regional programme. In 2006-2007, this assistance was worth US$7.2 million."

The dispute involves claims by ODM that its leader, Mr Odinga was robbed of victory in the presidential race, through flawed tallying and the party has refused to recognise President Kibaki's re-election.

The President's party, PNU, on the other hand, insists that Mr Kibaki was validly elected and any disputes should be taken to the courts.

More than 850 people have been killed in violence which erupted after the results were announced and another 400,000 displaced.

A team of African Union mediators, under former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is chairing mediation talks between PNU and ODM.

Addressing an international press conference in Nairobi Friday, Mr Ban said: "I am encouraged by the constructive spirit that has prevailed throughout my discussions so far. I call on the negotiating teams to persevere and show the courage, vision and leadership to expeditiously find a just and peaceful solution."

He called on the government and ODM teams involved in the talks to expeditiously find a lasting solution to the problems affecting the country.

"The killings must stop, violence must end for the sake of the Kenyan people and the country. This is the message I brought to you from the African Union summit and other concerned world leaders including the UN," he said.

"I am here today first to express my solidarity with the Kenyan people. I am extremely concerned and saddened by the level of civil strife yet unabated in this country. It has led to an intolerable level of deaths, destruction, displacement and suffering. This is unacceptable. It has to stop."

The humanitarian crisis being witnessed is unprecedented in Kenya, he added. Men, women, children, the elderly, disabled and other vulnerable people have been uprooted, lost their property, their livelihood and are living in fear.

He added: "This is the appeal I made to His Excellency Mr Mwai Kibaki when I met him yesterday (Thursday) at the African Union Summit and to the Honourable Raila Odinga when we discussed the situation this morning (Friday) here in Nairobi. I also appealed today to the negotiators whom I met earlier with my predecessor, former Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan."

He appealed to members of Kenyan civil society working for peace: The killing must stop, the violence must end for the sake of the Kenyan people, for the sake of Kenya.

Historic grievances
The political crisis has evidently unleashed historic grievances which have led to a spiral of violence, displacement, revenge and renewed displacement, said Mr Ban.

"I am also here to assess the humanitarian situation and the support provided by the United Nations family to the people of Kenya in this difficult time, and to reaffirm, loud and clear, that this support will continue," he said.

Mr Ban said it had been difficult for the people of Kenya, the UN country team and the NGOs trying to provide assistance.

"They have backed the Government of Kenya's response and the rapid intervention by the Kenyan Red Cross Society which has spearheaded the relief efforts, saving lives and alleviating human suffering where-ever it is found, Mr Ban said.

The volatile security situation is making it increasingly difficult for aid agencies to operate. "We call on all parties involved in the crisis to spare no effort to ensure the secure and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to all people affected.

"Over the decades since independence, Kenya has shown itself capable of remarkable things.

The Kenyan people have impressed and inspired the world in the stability and the progress they have achieved.

"I appeal to all political leaders to look beyond the individual or partisan interests, look at the common interest for the brighter future of all Kenyans," he said.

Mr Ban added: "Today, I have come to appeal to Kenyan leaders to inspire the world yet again, by resolving differences peacefully and resuming the serious work of building a future for all Kenya's children."

However, as Mr Ban spoke in Nairobi, killings and chaos continued in Kericho, the home town of MP David Kimutai Too, who was shot dead by a traffic police officer together with another police officer Eunice Chepkwony in what was described by police as "a crime of passion" but disputed by ODM who described the incident as a political assassination.

An administration police officer was among six people killed in the violence which erupted when a mob raided the armoury of a police post and took away four rifles and 200 rounds of ammunition.

General Service Unit personnel, regular and administration police were deployed to the area to recover the arms.

Violence also erupted on the Borabu- Bomet boundary.

Transport to and from western Kenya was virtually paralysed after vandals destroyed 11 sections of the railway line leading to the area, and major commuter bus companies suspended operations to the region.

The move puts at risk supply of food from the country's bread basket in parts of Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western provinces.

Copyright © 2008 The Nation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

Full story from Nation at AllAfrica

4 - Shooting of second Kenyan MP leads to wave of revenge killings

Roxanne Escobales & Agencies in Nairobi
Saturday February 2, 2008
The Guardian

At least nine people were killed in western Kenya yesterday in revenge attacks over the shooting of an opposition MP, officials said yesterday, despite a call from the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, for an end to the violence.

A mob of 3,000 people armed with bows, arrows, spears and machetes lynched a police officer in the Rift Valley village of the MP who was shot by a policeman. In a second village, six people were hacked to death and two killed with poisoned arrows, according to witnesses. A local official said Kalenjin people were killing Kisii people, who are blamed for the MP's death because they are considered government allies.

The lynched officer was accused of wounding a civilian when police opened fire on protesters after news that the MP, David Kimutai Too - the second opposition legislator to be killed in a week - had been shot by another officer. "The police officer injured three attackers before he was overpowered and lynched on the spot," said a police commander, Peter Aliwa.

Ban, who arrived in Nairobi yesterday from an African Union summit in Ethiopia to lend support to his predecessor Kofi Annan, told both sides: "The killing must stop. You have lost already too much in terms of national image, economic interest, you lost many tourists ... This is unfortunate for a country that has been enjoying freedom and stability."

Annan opened mediation talks this week between the Kenyan president, Mwai Kibaki, and the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, but they were suspended after Too's death. At the African Union summit, Kibaki welcomed the mediation effort but suggested the opposition should take its grievances to the courts: "The judiciary in Kenya has over the years arbitrated electoral disputes, and the current one should not be an exception."

Opposition leaders say the courts are loaded with Kibaki's allies and proceedings move so slowly it could take months or years to reach a conclusion.

Full story from Guardian (UK),,2251259,00.html

5 - Thousands Risk Losing Jobs If Violence Continues

The Nation (Nairobi)
NEWS2 February 2008 Posted to the web 2 February 2008
By Samwel Kumba

More than 500,000 workers could be rendered jobless in the next few days if the violence going on in many parts of the country does not stop, employers have warned.

Some have already been laid off from companies that have either closed, especially hotels in Mombasa, or minimised their operations.

The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) has been conducting a survey to establish the extent of jobs losses and the cost involved.

The federation confirmed to the Saturday Nation that already over 1,000 companies have warned that they may declare redundancies. But that is just the beginning.

"This is only based on institutions that have responded but there are others that have not responded to our survey. And these figures are based on the assumption that violence was to end last week," explains FKE chief executive officer Jacqueline Mugo.

She said that, as at last week, federation members were cumulatively reporting losses to the tune of Sh230 billion.

"This is an average and each day the figure keeps rising. The average is taken from a few sectors including tourism, agriculture and floriculture. The more the situation prolongs, the more things get worse," says Ms Mugo.

On Thursday, about 600 workers from the Easy Coach bus company were declared redundant.

But the company says they will remain on the payroll as the situation is being monitored.

A similar situation has been reported at Kenya Airways where the CEO, Mr Titus Naikuni, confirmed that they are sending employees on paid leave. "We are not retrenching or forcibly sending anybody away. We are asking those whose services are not needed now to go on paid leave as we assess the situation," said Mr Naikuni.

Impact of the violence
The impact of the violence that has rocked the country since the disputed presidential election on December 27 is just catching up with more unsuspecting Kenyans, exacerbating what has, for a long time, been one of the country's catastrophes - unemployment.

In the meantime FKE and the Central Organisation of Trade Union (Cotu) are urging for a speedy and amicable solution through the ongoing mediation talks lest the situation gets out of hand.

"Revenue loss is pushing these players to lay off staff. It is about the bottom line. I understand the fact that in the last month they have had more cancellations than booking which, normally flood in at such a time of the year. However, we are talking to them to send their staffs on leave pending the return of normalcy. Some are heeding to our advice," Mrs Mugo says.

Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli shares similar sentiments.

"We have agreed with a number of institutions that layoff is not necessarily the best way forward. What we are experiencing in Kenya is not permanent. The situation would soon return to normal. We are therefore urging them to send their staff on leave," says Mr Atwoli.

Those interviewed have viewed the developments as a recipe for another crisis, unemployment, as attempt to resolve the political standoff kicked off in earnest last week. If a solution is not found, nobody could do much to help the situation.

In fact FKE and COTU recognise that it is at the discretion of the individual companies, upon informing the labour offices and federation as well as COTU offices, to justify any layoffs from a financial standing.

Ms Mugo says, the latest violence in Naivasha and Nakuru added to the number of possible layoffs especially from the horticultural sector.

"We are receiving more figures and I can confirm they are coming in big numbers. Companies based in Naivasha alone have given us a figure of 100,000. Most of them are not operating to the optimum especially those in the flower sector. This has affected other related sub-sectors including those that supply the flower sector," explained Mrs Mugo.

She indicated that the hotel industry alone wanted to layoff about 50,000 from the notifications received from institutions seeking the federation's advice.

The FKE boss said the figures were only for the formal sector. The informal sector is the worst hit, with more than half a million job losses so far.

"Take for instance the transport sector. When buses are burnt, those are jobs lost. The same has happened to a number of businesses which have been razed down. It is a crisis currently," Mrs Mugo said.

Only last week five Easy Coach Company buses were burnt in Kericho forcing the firm to suspend operations.

Mr Atwoli said if the violence was not stopped forthwith, the country was headed to an irrevocable economic doom, destroying 40 years of hard work.

"Normalcy is needed very urgently before we face a crisis we might not be able to solve. A situation where workers are sent away because they belong in a certain ethnic community does not add up. That is taking Kenya to high levels of lawlessness," says Mr Atwoli.

The Cotu says the union has a gentleman's agreement with the employers not to lay off staff but to send them on leave with the hope that the situation would improve sooner than later.

Indeed the Managing Director, East Africa Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Sean Billing, confirms that they are also sending employees on leave.

"We have been sending our colleagues off on paid leaves, allowing individuals to use accrued holidays and future leave, in the hopes that we will see a quick return to normal conditions," Billing told Saturday Nation.

The MD regrets that people have been directly affected by the unrest in the country, saying that the situation, unfortunately, does not seem to be calming down.

"It is our greatest hope that peace could be restored since that has been the hallmark of this country. The prolonged uncertainty of the crisis has forced us to evaluate all options in order to secure the success of the organisation," Billing says.

And fearing that the situation might be fast slipping out of hand, the CEO of the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers (KAHC) Mike Macharia has also indicated that most other members are closely monitoring the developments.

He says, apart from the hotels that had closed operations especially in Malindi, the rest were braving on. But for how long?

Continue operations
"We are holding a meeting on Tuesday next week to evaluate the current status and discuss the way forward. Of course if the violence continues, it would prove difficult for most of the hotels to continue operations," Mr Macharia says.

And the acting chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Mr Steve Smith, says although there have been no significant layoffs from the manufacturing sector the firms have had to face the challenges of the crisis.

Smith says most companies have had to reduce their schedules where workers serve minimum hours adding that they have suspended hiring of casual labourers as they evaluate the situation.

"Some manufacturers have had their staff displaced with their houses burnt and have nowhere to go. We are either accommodating them within the factories or take them to displacement camps in which case they would not be coming to work," he says.

Smith is also the chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).

Copyright © 2008 The Nation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

Full story from the Nation at AllAfrica

6 - Traffic Officer in Court Over Killing of Ainamoi MP

The Nation (Nairobi)
NEWS2 February 2008 Posted to the web 2 February 2008

A traffic police officer who allegedly shot dead Ainamoi member of Parliament David Kimutai Too and a female colleague was Friday arraigned before a Nakuru court.

Constable Andrew Mauche, 35, however did not appear before the High Court to plead to murder charges. He was whisked away by CID officers into senior resident magistrate Teresia Matheka's chambers where a charge and cautionary statement was read out to him.

Armed police officers and CID detectives had a hectic time clearing the public and journalists who jammed the entrance to the chambers.

In an unprecedented move, journalists were locked out of the chambers as Ms Matheka read out the charge and cautionary statement in the high-profile murder case that has also attracted international attention.

Defence counsel Julius Ombati, George Mboga and Evans Juma Matunda said the suspect had informed the court that he was not aware that police intended to file murder charges against him.

Mr Matunda said the magistrate had ordered the suspect be remanded in police custody pending his arraignment in the High Court where he is expected to take the plea within 14 days.

"We are expecting that the murder trial will be conducted before the High Court sitting in Nakuru unless police decide to transfer him elsewhere. When the charge and cautionary statement was read out to our client he said that he was unaware that police intended to charge him with murder and had nothing further to say," stated Mr Matunda.

Mr Mauche, who was wearing a white shirt and black trousers, looked composed and seemed unmoved by the crowd scrambling to catch a glimpse of him. The man has instantly become the centre of attention following the killing of the second ODM legislator in a week.

Chatted animatedly
On Tuesday, an ODM newcomer to Parliament, Embakasi's Melitus Were was shot dead outside his home in Woodley estate, Nairobi. Nobody has been charged with the killing.

Mr Mauche chatted animatedly with his colleagues outside the magistrate's chambers as he waited for his turn to have the charge and cautionary statement taken.

The policeman, who was not handcuffed, smiled and perused newspapers carrying the MP's murder in their front pages. At one point he waved at a team of journalists that crammed the corridors outside the chambers.

The suspect is alleged to have gunned down the 40-year-old legislator and his female companion, Constable Eunice Chepkwony, at West Indies estate in Eldoret Town.

Mr Mauche had been brought to the court moments before 8am where he declined to have his charge and cautionary statements read out to him before Ms Matheka arguing that he would only do so in the presence of his lawyers.

He was then escorted to the Nakuru Central police station under tight security where he was locked up briefly, before being whisked to the CID offices.

Rift Valley provincial Criminal Investigations Officer Mohammed Amin said detectives had not completed their investigations into circumstances surrounding the deaths.

At the provincial CID offices the suspect recorded his statement before Inspector James Sunkuli. He was then driven to the Nakuru law courts as a huge crowd of curious on-lookers milled in the corridors to catch a glimpse of the officer.

Conflicting reports
There have been conflicting reports over the circumstances surrounding the MP's killing with police commissioner Hussein Ali saying that initial investigations had pointed to a "crime of passion".

But ODM and the family of the slain officer have disputed this.

Mr Too's death came barely two days after that of Mr Were, the MP for Embakasi in Nairobi.

Mr Were was also a member of ODM.

Both the slain officer's family and ODM insist that Ms Chepkwony was related to the MP and that the two had been killed as they viewed a parcel of land in Eldoret Town which the legislator wanted to buy.

Mr David Kirui, an older brother of Ms Chepkwony, said the MP was a neighbour of the constable and was the master of ceremony during her husband's funeral mid-last year.

Reported by KNA and Kipchumba Some

Copyright © 2008 The Nation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

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7 - Army Using Excessive Force in Eldoret

The East African Standard (Nairobi)
2 February 2008 Posted to the web 1 February 2008
By Vincent BartooNairobi

Police have shot dead 16 people and injured 58 others in four days in Eldoret town.

Among those admitted in hospital with bullet wounds include three Sudanese shot outside their homes at Kapsoya estate.

They were among 26 others rushed to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital with bullets still lodged in their bodies, on Friday.

The victims were shot in protests sparked by the killing of Ainamoi MP, David Kimutai Too by a police officer.

Mr Makui Maker, 37, a Sudanese was shot by a GSU officer.

"He was sitting in the compound when the officer with a red beret burst open the gate, cocked his gun and shot him twice in the stomach and left leg," said Emmanuel Sebit, a cousin who witnessed the incident.

When The Saturday Standard visited Maker's home, bloodstains littered the compound, leaving a trail to his house.

Army officers have been accused of harassing residents and some of them were caught on camera mistreating arrested youths.

The officers frog-marched and whipped the youths as they forced them to remove illegal roadblocks along the Eldoret-Nairobi highway.

They used sticks, gun butts and their boots to beat up the subdued youths. The incident has sparked outrage from residents who have accused the security officers of using excessive force.

"The action by the army has particularly angered us. How can they deal with civilians that way? Are we at war?" asked Mzee Peter Toroitich, a resident of Ngeria.

"I was walking home at 4pm to Maili Nne estate, when army and police officers arrived and started shooting and I was shot on the right leg," said Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, a businessman in Eldoret.

"They just alighted from their vehicles and started shooting," he said, from his hospital bed.

Others at the hospital nursing bullet wounds were Mr Walter Korir, Ms Peris Chepkosgey, Mr Fred Muhonja, Mr Peter Kagwi, Mr Benjamin Kibet, Mr Reuben Ida, Mr Haroun Kipkirui, Mr James Bosirei, Mr Simon Kiptarbei, Mr Samson Simiyu, Mr John Misoi, Mr Okemwa Ramadhan and Mr Bernard Mariko.

"They came to our estate (Kapsoya) with one mission; to kill. I was not part of the protesters but they shot me on my left shoulder," said Misoi.

One of the victims who sought anonymity said he heard one of the officers saying: "Nyinyi ndio munauwa watu Eldoret kama kuku, hata nyinyi mutauwawa vile vile (You are the ones killing people like chicken. You will also die the same way)."

Meanwhile, a senior officer in one of the police units based in Eldoret, told The Saturday Standard that 200 police officers who hail from Eldoret and neighbouring towns have been transferred. "We have received the letters. They are basing our transfers to re-organisation in the (police) force aimed at enhancing security," he said.

Separately, the North Rift branch of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has condemned the use of excessive force by the police.

The members spoke as the visited the victims at the hospital on Friday.

"Security forces are behaving like bandits. It is unfortunate that they are contributing to the breakdown of the law when they are supposed to safeguard it," said lawyer Eric Ngeno, the branch vice-chairman.

He said the Government should admit that its security apparatus had been overwhelmed, instead of resorting to excessive force to quell protests.

Copyright © 2008 The East African Standard. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

Full story from EA Standard

8 - Mob Breaks Into Armoury, Steals Guns And Kills Officer

The East African Standard (Nairobi)
NEWS2 February 2008 Posted to the web 1 February 2008
By Vitalis Kimutai And Peter Mutai

Four people, including a police officer, were killed in Kericho as arsonists struck at residential estates following the slaying of Ainamoi MP David Kimutai Too.

Three of them were shot dead by an Administration Police officer, who was later burnt alive by a mob that broke into an armoury at Ainamoi district officer's office and stole 12 firearms and ammunition.

The incident occurred on Thursday night - the day news of the MPs killing broke out.

A local chief, Mr Richard Bett, and a regular police officer are fighting for their lives at Siloam Hospital in Kericho where they were admitted with serious injuries.

Five other victims were recuperating at various health facilities with gunshot wounds.

Local DC, Mr Wilson Njenga, confirmed that ammunition had been stolen from the armoury.

A major security operation mounted by the General Service Unit personnel, regular and administration policemen has been going on in the area, forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes, for fear of being victimised.

The officers have been instructed to recover the stolen firearms and ammunition, said a senior police officer.

Arsonists razed down hundreds of houses in Nyagacho, Baraka, Majengo, Site and Service estates. Businessmen lost goods worth millions of shillings when looters struck on Thursday night. Seventeen business premises were burnt down in the Central Business District, in the melee.

Kericho town was on Friday deserted, as business premises remained closed while police patrolled estates and the town centre. An estimated 3,000 non-locals fled their residential houses and sought refuge at the Kericho Police Station, the local DC's office, and Moi Gardens in the town.

Copyright © 2008 The East African Standard. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

Full story at EA Standard

9 - Insecurity Leaves Crops Rotting

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
NEWS1 February 2008 Posted to the web 1 February 2008 Nairobi

Teresia Chebet and hundreds of other small-scale farmers in the western Kenyan district of Nandi North have not been directly affected by the violence that has ravaged the country in the past month, yet their livelihoods are threatened because markets have become inaccessible.

"My tomatoes are rotting in the fields, what we harvest we use to cook, the rest we feed to the chickens and calves because roads going to many markets have been blocked," Chebet, 46, told IRIN on 31 January. "I can't even share the tomatoes with my neighbours because theirs are also rotting."

Chebet's neighbour, Ezekiel Seurei, 52, has five acres of pineapples. "Although the pineapples are not in season, I am now hawking the little that I harvest because I cannot get to the markets in Uasin Gishu [a neighbouring district]," Seurei said. "For now, I am taking my pineapples to [the privately owned] Baraton University as well as selling them in schools and other institutions."

Roads in the district, like others in the Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western Kenya regions, considered the stronghold of the opposition Orange Democratic Party (ODM), have not escaped the wrath of marauding youths who have taken to violence in protest over the outcome of the 27 December 2007 presidential election.

President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner but opposition leader Raila Odinga has disputed the result, saying the poll was rigged in Kibaki's favour. Since then, violence has rocked parts of the country, with the latest fighting taking ethnic dimensions.

The lack of access to markets has affected not only Nandi North but the whole Rift Valley Province, the country's bread-basket, has been hit.

In their latest update on Kenya's post-election emergency, UN agencies and NGOs identify livelihood support for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and others affected by the violence as a priority. This would be done by distributing agricultural inputs and basic construction kits for re-establishing small business enterprises, according to the 4-29 January inter-cluster progress report prepared by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA-Kenya).

Planned intervention
According to the report, humanitarian actors and the government are working on an inter-agency strategic framework for early recovery and food security.

As emergency response and recovery efforts continue on the national level, small-scale as well as large-scale dairy and maize farmers count their losses.

Jeremiah Ruto, a maize and dairy farmer who owns a milk plant in Kabiyet, Nandi North District, said poor rains, coupled with the violence, had severely affected his operations.

"Before the violence, I sold about 2,000l of milk daily in Kisumu [capital of the neighbouring Nyanza Province] but now this has dropped to only 500l, and then only if my vehicle can get to Kisumu," he said. "We used to make daily trips to Kisumu but we are now doing the trip once or twice a week depending on whether the roads are clear and if we have sufficient quantities."

Ruto has also had to lay off several workers.

The picture is even worse for maize farming. "There is no maize to speak of this time," Ruto said. "The quantity we harvested was very low due to the poor rains last year; some farmers have not even harvested despite the December-January harvest season drawing to an end. I usually harvested about 1,000 bags from 40 acres under maize but this time I got only 400 bags; this does not even cover the inputs I used."

Costly fertiliser
More worrying is the fact that most maize farmers have not started preparing for the next planting season, mainly because of the prevailing unrest but also due to the prohibitive cost of inputs.

"Last year, a bag of fertiliser went for Ksh2,000 [US$30], now it is being sold for KSh3,500 [$54]; a lot of my friends and I are hesitant to prepare the land because the input might exceed the output," Ruto said.

Due to the unrest, the National Cereals and Produce Board of Kenya, in charge of the country's grain reserves, has not yet opened maize-buying centres across the Rift Valley region this year.

According to a January update by the Kenya Food Security Network, which comprises the UN World Food Programme (WFP), USAID, Famine Early Warning System and the government, the unrest has led to an unprecedented decline in food security among normally food-secure farmers as well as the urban poor.

Overall, the group said, national food security had dramatically declined in just two weeks following the violence that has resulted in hundreds of deaths, displacement of at least 290,000 people and destruction of livelihoods for hundreds of thousands more.

The Kenya Food Security Network is due to conduct a multi-agency food security assessment in the first week of February to determine the extent of food insecurity in the affected areas.

In its humanitarian update covering 21-28 January, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA-Kenya), stated: "The next two months are usually a critical period for land preparation and planting, however, with the prospects for return and resettlement being rather dim, many, if not most, of the farmers will not be able to carry out these tasks. Rising prices are also affecting farm inputs and availability of basic commodities in the markets throughout the country."

Farmers who depend on short rains and those in drought-prone areas are likely to experience significant crop failure, OCHA-Kenya stated.

Going it alone
Nick Moon, the managing director of KickStart - which produces water pumps and oil presses - told IRIN on 31 January that the demand for the company's portable water pumps had risen in the past month. He attributes the high demand to farmers' need for greater self-reliance in the face of poor access to markets to buy food.

The small pumps cost Ksh2,490 [$35] and weigh about 4kg. He said farmers could bounce back to productivity, with time and the technology, such as the portable irrigation pumps, which are affordable for many farming communities.

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

Copyright © 2008 UN Integrated Regional Information Networks. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

Full story from IRIN

The question

10 - What's going on in Kenya?

Julian Borger
Thursday January 31, 2008
The Guardian

The eruption of violence in Kenya has come a shock to outsiders who had always thought of the country as a safe place for a safari, a relatively prosperous island of calm on a turbulent and impoverished continent. The ferocity of the carnage has demonstrated just how much anger and resentment has been boiling below the surface.

The immediate spark was the blatant rigging of the December 27 election by President Mwai Kibaki. With the vote count approaching completion, he appeared to be losing to the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, until paramilitary police stormed the counting centre and Kibaki was declared the victor.

However, Kenya has long been an explosion waiting to happen. Its economy may be growing fast (by more than 6% last year), but the fruits of development have not been equally shared. Nearly 60% of the population live in absolute poverty (on $2 a day or less), many in squalid shanty towns, like Nairobi's Kibera district, Africa's largest slum.

Kenya's post-colonial history ensured that when the lid was blown off, the violence would be tribal. Kibaki is a member of the Kikuyu, which is Kenya's largest tribe but far from a natural majority. It accounts for less than a quarter of the population, but controls a disproportionate share of the country's land and business. When British settlers left at independence in 1963 they sold their farms mostly to business-savvy Kikuyu.

The first president, Jomo Kenyatta, was a Kikuyu, and his rule solidified his tribe's advantage. Kikuyu ascendancy was checked by the succession of Daniel Arap Moi, from the Kalenjin tribe, but the 24 years of his corrupt, autocratic rule only helped to stoke the underlying tension. Moi was ousted in 2002 by a broad pro-democratic coalition, but within a year Kibaki began to pack his government with cronies and Kikuyu kin, setting the stage for the conflict now taking lives by the hundred.

Full story from Guardian (UK)
The question,,2249620,00.html


11 - Kenyan Talks Resume After Second Killing

by Steve Inskeep and Ofeibea Quist-Arcton

Listen Now [3 min 51 sec] add to playlist

[Photo] A man holds his two daughters as they seek refuge at a police station in Thika, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. AP

Morning Edition, February 1, 2008 · U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has joined efforts to calm post-election violence in Kenya. Negotiations to end the crisis were postponed Thursday after a second opposition lawmaker was killed — one of more than 850 deaths in a month of unrest. Those talks are now under way again.

The violence that began as an argument over a national election has drawn out Kenya's underlying ethnic and tribal tensions and created a crisis that may be unprecedented in Kenya's history.

From NPR

12 - Weighing International Aid for Kenya

Audio for this story will be available at approx. 12:00 p.m. ET

Weekend Edition Saturday, February 2, 2008 · John Holmes, Under-secretary general of the U.N. for Humanitarian Affairs and emergency relief coordinator, talks with Scott Simon about Kenya's post-election violence and what the rest of the world might do about it.

From NPR

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