News April 18, 2016 at 02:26 pm

Kenya’s Ruling Coalition Party Promises to Cease Election Violence

Fredrick Ngugi | Contributor

Fredrick Ngugi April 18, 2016 at 02:26 pm

April 18, 2016 at 02:26 pm | News

President Uhuru Kenyatta in the middle lifting his two hands and his deputy William Ruto second from right with the other four suspects of post-election violence. Photo (www.houstonchronicle.com)

Jubilee- Kenya’s ruling coalition party- has vowed to ensure that under its rule, Kenyans will never fight on account of political competition. Speaking on Saturday during a thanksgiving prayer rally at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, Kenya, the coalition’s leadership led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto swore that Kenyans will never again rise against each other because of political competition.

Addressing the huge crowd that had attended the prayer rally, President Uhuru Kenyatta reiterated the need for Kenyans to shun negative ethnicity, promising politicians who are used to inciting Kenyans against each other that they will face the full force of the law.

“Any leader who promotes hatred and violence should know that the full force of the law will be applied without regard to their position,” the President warned.

In his address, Deputy President William Ruto declared that Kenya already has a dark past (referring to the 2007/2008 post-election violence) and is not ready to go through another episode of bloodshed.

I pray that God gives us favor to ensure that bloodshed and loss of property due to political competition does not happen again,” he affirmed.

Nakuru Thanksgiving Prayer Rally   

The two spoke at a thanksgiving rally at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, which brought together the infamous ‘Ocampo Six’- a term used to refer to the six Kenyans who were facing criminal charges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands following the post-election violence that rocked Kenya between December 2007 and January 2008 after disputed results.

The six included the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto, former police commissioner Mohammed Ali, former head of public service Francis Muthaura, former ODM chairman Henry Kosgei and former radio journalist Arap Sang.

The six were joined by other Kenyans to celebrate the end of their cases in The Hague after the ICC acquitted all of them on grounds of witness interference and non-corporation by the Kenyan government.

Post-Election Violence

After general elections in December 2007, the then electoral commission declared that the incumbent President Mwai Kibaki had been re-elected, defeating his closest rival Raila Odinga– a presidential candidate on an ODM ticket. Odinga disputed the results citing serious rigging.

Few hours after President Kibaki was sworn in as president at State House, Nairobi, violence broke out and went on for over a month, leaving more than 1,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

After prolonged negotiations, the two opposing sides decided to form a grand coalition government, which was ousted in 2013 by the current ruling coalition.

Former ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo arrived in Kenya in 2010 with the intention of collecting evidence for the post-election violence cases. He later announced six names of the key suspects of the post-election violence, which gave rise to the ‘Ocampo Six’.

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