We'll take you to ICC, Kenya opposition leader warns police chiefs

Tuesday July 25 2023
Azimio leaders led by Raila Odinga address journalists at SKM Command Centre on July 4, 2023.

Azimio leaders led by Raila Odinga (C) address journalists at SKM Command Centre in Nairobi, Kenya on July 25, 2023. PHOTO | NMG


Kenya Opposition leader Raila Odinga now claims that the country is in the formative stages of genocide and political persecution.

Odinga told an international press conference on Tuesday in Nairobi that the opposition was now collecting evidence that will be presented to the International Court of Justice (ICC) in The Hague against “police-sanctioned atrocities” in Kenya and appeal to the court to open a file on the matter.

“We are currently assembling more evidence which we will shortly present to the ICC with an appeal to the court to open a file on State-sanctioned police atrocities in Kenya,” warned Odinga.

According to the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party leader, the ongoing protests have taken a life of their own over the punitive taxation and high cost of living and were no longer about them.

He accused the police of being partisan and pursuing an ethnic agenda in parts of the country in the disguise of quelling demonstrations.

Read: Two killed, hundreds arrested in new round of Kenya protests


He regretted the violence the State has unleashed on Kenyans demonstrating against the Finance Law.

Illegal detention

He took issue with arbitrary arrests and illegal detention of Azimio leaders, supporters with some put under house arrest, constant surveillance and persistent threats.

Some of the arrested leaders include MPs Babu Owino (Embakasi East), Antony Oluoch (Mathare), Ken Chonga (Kilifi South) and Kilifi Speaker Teddy Mwambire, ex-Mungiki leader Maina Njenga, blogger Pauline Njoroge and Raila Odinga’s bodyguard Maurice Ogeta, among others.

According to him, the skewed deployment of police officers in parts of the country including Nairobi depict a determination by the State to perpetuate ethnic cleansing.

Read: Kenya politicians continue using ethnicity to divide and rule

“We believe Kenya is on a wrong path that could impact any countries in the region and lead to a major instability. Ethnic divisions and tensions are building up especially after the regime declared that the country is a company of limited shares, pegged on how one voted. As things stand, I fear we are marching down a very slippery path,” he said.

Outlaw protests

“We never anticipated the unprecedented horrors of police brutality against protectors. With constitutional guaranteed for protestors, we never imagined that police would outlaw protests, confront protests and kill so many,” said Odinga.

“Although the tax protests were initiated by Azimio, it has since gone beyond the party,” he added.

He maintained that there was no justification for the police to use excessive force, including getting into people’s homes and shooting them or clobbering some, as witnessed in Kisumu and the slums of Nairobi.

Although admitted that the high cost of living is not only a Kenyan issue as well as debt repayment, he said the government could come up with measures to ease the suffering of the citizens.

The Azimio leader also faulted President William Ruto’s administration against sustained constant verbal attacks on former president Uhuru Kenyatta, the withdrawal of security of his mother Mama Ngina Kenyatta and his son Jomo Kenyatta by uninformed people claiming to be police and the invasion of northlands farm.

Read: Ruto bullish stance makes political settlement hard

“As a country, we developed the unwritten rule that for the sake of stability and dignity of our nation, we shall as much as possible let retired presidents live in peace,” revealed Raila.

He recounted that the same applied to retired late presidents Mwai Kibaki and Daniel Arap Moi.