By WAHOME THUKU
THE HAGUE: A witness told the International Criminal Court that Deputy President William Ruto incited members of his Kalenjin community to evict other tribes from the Nandi Hills in the North Rift.
Witness number 409, who was testifying on his second day, said Ruto told Kalenjins to reject ‘trees’ that had been taken to the area by the colonialists, which he understood to mean people from other communities.
Addressing an ODM rally at the Nandi Hills Stadium and in Kapchorua around October 2007, Ruto is said to have asked members of the Kalenjin community to do the work they had been assigned when the day came.
The witness said Ruto echoed the same remarks made earlier by former Cabinet Minister Henry Kosgey, who was the first to speak at the two rallies. The two leaders had called the rally to drum up support for ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga. The rallies were attended by Luos, Luhyas, Kikuyus, Kalenjins and Kisiis.
The witness, though not a Kalenjin speaker, said Ruto spoke in Kalenjin and told the crowd, “Kimache oai kazit komye ne kiagonin” (when the day comes, do the work we have given you).
He said the remarks puzzled him because he knew only that they were required to vote and was unaware of any other work to be done. “It appears the Kalenjins knew the work they were required to do as he spoke in their language,” the witness told Trial Chamber V(a).
He said he later got the answer to his questions when the violence broke out after the December 27 General Election.
“That was when I got the answer that it was the work to be done,” he said.
The witness further said Ruto told the crowd, “Makimache chito netinyei ngoroik aeng (we don’t want people wearing two sets of clothes). He said this meant they did not want madoadoa (spots), meaning members of other communities in the area.
The crowd in the stadium cheered as Ruto and Kosgey made the remarks, the Chamber heard.