Kenya: Killings Will Jeopardize Crisis Talks, Says Raila
The East African Standard (Nairobi)
18 January 2008
Posted to the web 17 January 2008
David Ohito And Peter Opiyo
ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, has warned that the ongoing killings of innocent protestors would jeopardise talks on the political stalemate.
Raila warned that indiscriminate police killings arising from the disputed presidential elections were undermining efforts of restoring order.
“Police are killing Kenyans as the world watches. How do you dialogue with killers,” Raila asked.
“President Kibaki, minister for Internal Security, Prof George Saitoti, Police Commissioner, Maj-Gen Hussein Ali, and individual police officers are presiding over crimes against humanity,” Raila said.
In a strongly worded statement on extra-judicial killings, Raila claimed the death toll following the post election violence had topped 1,000.
Raila said he was still open to negotiations through eminent persons, led by former UN Secretary General, Dr Kofi Annan.
He warned that the fate of such talks was being undermined by murder of innocent citizens.
“We will lay our demands openly, but I would not say what they are now,” Raila said.
He urged ODM supporters to proceed with the protests today.
He blamed Ali and Saitoti of giving the shoot-to-kill orders. “We hold Saitoti and Ali responsible for crimes of murder against Kenyans. The brutal force meted on Kenyans under their instructions cannot pass without condemnation,” Raila said.
“The Government has issued its police with shoot-to-kill orders and police officers all over the country have followed it to the letter,” Raila said.
Raila, accompanied by Pentagon members, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Mr Najib Balala, Mr William Ruto and Mr Joe Nyaga, chairman, Mr Henry Kosgey and a host of party MPs, addressed the media at Pentagon House.
During the news conference, the party’s Media Officer, Mr Tony Gachoka, played a KTN clip showing a police officer shooting an innocent protester in Kisumu and kicking him before he died. “A police killed a protestor like a wildebeest is killed by a hunter’s gun, yet Police Spokesman, Mr Eric Kiraithe, alleged the man attacked police officers,” Raila said.
He said Nyanza Provincial Police Officer, Ms Grace Kaindi, admitted in an interview with Associated Press that she gave shoot-to-kill orders.
Raila added that the PPO said if her officers had not killed the rioters, things would have been bad.
He said three people were killed in his Lang’ata constituency on Wednesday and another seven butchered in Mathare in Kasarani constituency, including a driver to the area MP, Mrs Elizabeth Ongoro.
The Lang’ata MP named the officers implicated in the murders and their stations.