THE Mungiki witness who has declined to testify against President Uhuru Kenyatta at The Hague has revealed why he quit as an ICC witness.
The witness known to the court as O49 or P011 said he quit because the ICC had relied on false evidence given to the prosecution by Mungiki insiders and human rights watchdogs.
The witness said the ICC investigation was a “total failure” because the prosecution does not understand how the Mungiki operate, their ideology and progression, and did not want to.
“One needs to understand what Mungiki was, its ideology and standing during the election, before and after,” the former witness said.
The witness together with another man believed to be Mungiki insiders privy to the planning of the retaliatory attacks in Naivasha were considered to be the prime witnesses against Uhuru.
He however does not state if his testimony as a witness was false.
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has after the withdrawal of the two witnesses, including P011, told the court that she did not have sufficient evidence against Uhuru.
“Having carefully considered my evidence and impact of the two withdrawals, I have come to the conclusion that currently the case against Mr Kenyatta does not satify the high evidentiary standards required at trial,” Bensouda said on Thursday.
In a four-page statement, Bensouda said the man, who identifies himself as a cousin to a late Charles Ndungu, said the court failed to follow leads provided to them by the Munguki insiders thereby failing to unmask the real planners of the 2007-08 post-election violence.
He however states that this Ndungu is not the one who was an aide of the former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga and was killed together with Njenga’s wife in April 2008 at the height of the Mungiki crackdown.
The witness explained that he joined the prosecution team only with an intention to save his life after the killing of Mungiki coordinators “Diambo” also known as Maina Kangethe and Charles Ndungu.
He said he feared he would also be killed and therefore sought the help of the ICC.
Maina Diambo was one of the Mungiki leaders whose name appeared in the list of guests who met President Mwai Kibaki at statehouse on December 27.
The witness said that at no point did Uhuru emerge as a person organising these attacks or financing them and he asked Bensouda to terminate the case against the President.
“Uhuru Kenyatta did not engage Mungiki into the said attacks and unless one gets witnesses from other sources, it would be a real blunder to engage a Mungiki insider testifying that Mungiki the organisation was involved in post-election violence,” he said.
The witness said he is not a member of the Mungiki but knew their operations having been forcefully oathed into the group.
He said he agreed to help the ICC by being present in real interviews of potential witnesses because they knew that the Mungiki insiders could not tell them the truth.
Another reason why the man quit is because the ICC did not understand how the Mungiki operated and had therefore been lied to about the sect involvement in the post poll chaos.
“Mungiki is totally a different thing altogether from what many perceived or believed it to be. An open different approach by the ICC investigative team would have helped them see leads that would have helped them know real culprits or planners of retaliatory attacks that was witnessed in the [December 2007] general election, though we tried to lay facts before them but they were blind to them due to their preconceived ideas or reports before them from Waki and human rights organisations,” he said.
He was referring to the Justice Philip Waki-led inquiry that followed the post-poll violence.
The witness said Mungiki insiders would not tell the ICC the truth but would give stories that “the ICC wanted to hear” and to corroborate the findings of human rights groups and the Waki report.
He said a human rights group in Nairobi had prepared a report based on hearsay, political influences and tribal politics. The report was used to blame powerful politicians so that they may change the course of politics in Kenya.
The witness said: “These facts are well stated in my statements and our expectation was the investigators to investigate the people involved and shed light to some facts which many today don’t know their existence.”
He said that during the violence, the key people involved in trying to mobilise Mungiki to counter the attacks that were unleashed to the Kikuyu community were the late Internal Security Minister John Michuki, the late Njenga Karume, the late former Juja MP George Thuo, former Mungiki coordinator Ndura Waruinge and the late Charles Ndungu.
The witness said that Uhuru was not involved in these plans.