A leader of the persons who were internally displaced (IDP’s) following the post election violence (PEV) of 2007/2008 and who are currently residing in Rongai, has welcomed the termination of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Robert Opiyo who is the Secretary General of the victims who got settled at the Gicheha Farm says he is happy with the decision and now looks forward towards the termination of the case involving Uhuru’s Deputy William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang.
“I welcome the decision. Most of our members are also for the decision,” Opiyo told Kenya Monitor.
ICC’s Trial Chamber V(B) terminated the case against Kenyatta as well as the proceedings in his case on March 13 this year. The chamber also terminated sermons against him to appear before The Hague based court to answer to charges. But the chamber cautioned against the interference of witnesses and or victims although it did not say if the victims in the case would receive reparation.
It will be noted that in 2007 the victims at the Gicheha Farm which is associated with the Kenyatta family were perceived to be supporters of Raila Odinga led Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). Therefore they were likely a representative block of the victims in the Kenyatta case, at least from a general perspective and may have been part of those to receive reparation had the case proceeded to full trial and a verdict given.
Opiyo says they are comfortable with the decision to terminate the case even though they may never receive reparation from the ICC.
“We are aware that we have no reparation now. But we can get it from well wishers without basing it on the decision of the case.”
According to him the decision is enough reparation to them. He says it brings them much desired peace.
“There is no need for me to receive reparation when there is no peace,”
he said making the inference that an otherwise decision on the case would have stirred the state of tranquility currently being witnessed in Nakuru, Naivasha, and Rongai regions which is known to be stirred by political waves in the country.
“We are now living in harmony. We have reconciled. Without peace reparation would have made no sense,” he added.
Opiyo is now urging the government to also look into affairs of all the victims who did not go to camps but sought refuge among family members and friends during the chaos that rocked the country 7 years ago.
“We are asking that all integrated families that were never considered for resettlement to be resettled now. Its only those IDP’s who formed self-help groups who were resettled,” he says.
He is also advocating for a speedy conclusion of all court cases involving farms on which IDP’s have since been resettled. Some of these farms include the Mohu Farm in Nyandarua where IDP’s are still living in tents as they cannot build permanent structures until the case is concluded.
Kenyatta has since apologized to Kenyans for the 2007 crimes that claimed more than 1,000 lives and left more than 650,000 persons displaced.