Thursday, January 31, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Ainamoi MP fatally shot

An opposition lawmaker was gunned down by a police officer Thursday in the second fatal shooting of an opposition legislator this week amid ethnic fighting sparked by Kenya's disputed presidential election, officials said.

Police chief Maj. Gen. Hussein Ali said the police officer, who has been arrested, shot David Too in a dispute over the officer's girlfriend. The opposition said it was an assassination plot. ODM chairman Henry Kosgey told a news conference that witnesses had reported seeing Too shot as he traveled by car from Nairobi to Eldoret. Angry residents marched on the police station after the shooting, but ran away as paramilitary officers fired into the air.

Within minutes of the news reaching Kisumu, gangs of men armed themselves with machetes and set up burning barricades. Businesses shut down and workers began to flee from the town centre. The killing came as negotiators began the first day of talks to resolve the country's deadly election dispute, and the head of the African Union warned the country was turning to ethnic cleansing, and even genocide. ODM secretary-general Anyang Nyongo said it was "part of an evil scheme" to kill legislators and rob the opposition of its majority in parliament.

Eldoret Deputy Police Chief Gabriel Kuya said the traffic officer had discovered that his girlfriend was having an affair with Too, and chased the two on his motorcycle when he saw them together in a car. "He drove toward the side of the woman and shot her in the stomach twice. Her partner (Too) pleaded with the officer not to kill her but he turned his pistol on him instead, hitting him four times in the head," Kuya said. But that statement seems odd, as traffic police are not normally armed.

At an AU summit in Ethiopia, chairman Alpha Konare said, "Kenya is a country that was a hope for the continent. Today, if you look at Kenya you see violence on the streets. We are even talking about ethnic cleansing, we are even talking about genocide. We cannot sit with our hands folded." Kenya's "President" Mwai Kibaki listened from the front row. Opposition leader Raila Odinga's party rejects his December 27 re-election as flawed, and tried to prevent him from attending by appealing to the 52-nation bloc not to recognize him. The international community and international and local observers agree that Kibaki's razor-thin victory came because of a rigged vote tally.

Back in Nairobi, six negotiators — three representing Kibaki and three representing Odinga — were meeting under the mediation of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "The mood is serious. They can feel the weight of the nation on their shoulders," said Annan spokesman Nasser Ega-Musa. Odinga has said he wants a new election, while Kibaki has made clear he will not negotiate his position as president.

Annan has said it could take a month to resolve the immediate dispute over the election and a year to map out a plan for dealing with decades-old ethnic animosities and land disputes underlying the violence. Much of the violence has pitted other tribes, including the Luo, against the Kikuyu. Kikuyus, Kenya's largest ethnic group, have long been resented for their dominance of Kenya's economy and politics. Hundreds of Kikuyus have been killed, and members of the group account for more than half of the 300,000 chased from their homes, most in the Rift Valley. Human rights groups and others accuse politicians of orchestrating some of the violence. The top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer, said Wednesday that she believed the month of violence has descended into ethnic cleansing. But Frazer said she did not consider the killings genocide.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I read the reports of this second MP's death, my first thought was that the story I read of a "Love Triangle" is one of complete fabrication.

The details were too intense for this story, and the details were too soon after the incident. An investigation to sort of the last movements of the MP would take days if not weeks, but here it all was in under 24 hours.

One has to wonder why The Nation has changed from being the bearer of semblences of truth to one who would knowingly publish this complete novelette.

I am completely disturbed on this issue.

your reader in New Zealand