Friday, July 18, 2008



the Standard
July 18, 2008
By Kipngeno Cheruiyot

THE National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) says it prepared and presented two scenarios based on analysis of likely reactions to the results of the 2007 general election.

Underpinning the analysis was the level of violence depending on who between the two leading presidential candidates, President Mwai Kibaki of Party of National Unity (PNU) and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga would emerge victorious.

Testifying before the Commission of Inquiry into the post-election violence chaired by Justice Philip waki, top NSIS officials said that they anticipated higher levels of violence in the event that Kibaki won and Raila lost.

They based their predictions at the time on what they said was the high level of political organisation and mobilisation within ODM and the lack of the same on the part of PNU.

NSIS Director Major General Micheal Gichangi in his submission to the Waki commission yesterday said they anticipated the skirmishes since their reports pointed to a close contest between the two main Presidential contenders.

In the event of a Kibaki win, Gichangi said, a combined opposition was likely to dispute the results and incite supporters to violence in major towns across the country as was the case.

"After the election, if the winning candidate for the Presidency will have a slim margin against his closest opponent, the results may be disputed--- with a possibility of a break out of violence, depending on how expeditiously the situation will be handled," he said in a report compiled prior to the election.

He added, "Incitement of their (ODM) supporters to violence especially in major towns such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Kakamega and other urban areas where criminal elements could capitalise on the shaky environment to perpetuate crime was a likelihood ."

The analysis further noted that a Raila win would have generated less violence, more so if PNU conceded defeat. But the NSIS reports indicates that in the event of a Kibaki defeat, diehard supporters of the President would have rejected the result and put him under siege not to hand over power, thus leading to civil strife.

The intelligence agency further warned of a possible attempt to form a parallel government by ODM in the event that they lost the election. Another option for ODM in the event of a defeat would have to seek legal redress.

It also warned of possible explosion of spontaneous ethnic clashes mostly in traditional hotspot areas and heightened activities by criminal gangs like Mungiki, Taliban, Kamjesh, Chinkororo, Sabaot Lnads Defence Force among other vigilantes. The intelligence service, which was also represented by Director of Analysis and Production Justus Osoro, blamed inter-ethnic rivalry dating back to the dawn of multiparty politics in 1992 for the skirmishes.

Said Osoro: "We were alert through out the year due to the charged political activities and events in the country, said Osoro. "We compiled reports and shared information with all security agencies at all times."

Osoro who made a power point presentation that included confidential letters to relevant arms of government said they had intelligence reports that violence would erupt whatever the outcome of the presidential election, but noted that the intensity and magnitude of the violence would be less if ODM had been declared winner.

He said the department advised the government accordingly and even predicted reactions of the two main political parties that contested for the Presidency-PNU and ODM.

The agency further advised the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) to guarantee free and fair elections since the agency’s assessment then pointed to a likelihood of "political instability of unprecedented proportions" if the process was seen to be flawed.

They also warned that security agencies could be overwhelmed by possible high intensity and widespread lawlessness in the face of an overstretched Police Force, partisan Public Service and a Provincial Administration perceived to be involved in campaigns. Lawyer representing the NSIS, John Katiku, had wanted the commission to hear the rest of the evidence in camera, arguing that it contained sensitive and highly classified information.

Mr Justice Philip Waki who is chairing the commission, however, ruled that the commission would only adjourn for two hours to consult and review some of the evidence before making a decision on whether to go into a private session with the NSIS boss.

The officers privy to the information on the situation analysis include the Vice President, Ministers for Internal Security, Finance, Planning and National Development, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Attorney General, Commissioner of Police among other senior staff in relevant ministries.

Gichangi said the stage for the violence witnessed in the post-lection period was set during the fallout in the NARC Government over the MoU and reinforced during the 2005 referendum which the ODM side won comprehensively.