ICC witness names ‘leader’ of the Kiambaa fire

The prosecution witness 536 for the prosecution at the trial of Deputy President William Ruto and former radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang has identified a Stephen Chemalan as the ringleader in the Kiambaa saga in 2008 in which persons who sought refuge in the Kenya Assemblies of God church were barricaded in the church and burnt.

Witness 536 who is the first to take the stand at the trial detailed how Chemalan was seen organising a crowd of about 3000 youths in a coordinated attack to burn the church with people in it.

The witness whose identity was concealed through visual pixelation and voice distortion told of how families had assembled at the church in Kiambaa following rising tension after the announcement of the election outcome.

She had also said that prior to the vote casting on December 27, 2007, Kalenjin youths, some of whom she had worked with had warned of dire consequences should they (non-Kalenjins) fail to vote for ODM.

The witness went on to say that the Kiambaa area had about 500 homes and that the total number of people who sought refuge at the church were between 1800 and 2000.

She also reported that some of the families that were at the church had left their homes some of which were later burnt down with their beds and mattresses and that those were what they used in the church when sleeping.

Witness 536 identified the attackers as Kalenjin youths. “ The youth were from the Kalenjin tribe. The way they spoke Swahili made it easy to identify that they were Kalenjin,” she said. The trial is set to resume after the court adjourned.

– the-star.co.ke

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