Kenyan victims' testimonies

A 47-year-old farmer

 a 47-year-old farmer I live just outside Eldoret. On Monday 31 December, my house was burnt down by the Nandi [an ethnic community in Kenya]. It was a group of 200 of them.

They reached my place and came to my house at one in the morning and told me to come outside. I heard them say, "This is the enemy." I was alone and immediately when I saw such a big group of youths, I ran. When I was running away, I was attacked.

They started shooting me with arrows, in my hands, and struck my head with a machete. I fell down and no-one helped me up. They used the club to hit me on the leg. I did not know that my leg was broken, but when I tried to stand, I found my leg was broken.

One of the ones who attacked me, I recognised, as he used to be the conductor on the bus from the town to my village. I heard him say, "Leave alone this old man," and then they left.

I saw a woman passing, and I called her with my hands. I told her to find help. They found a vehicle and they took me to the Red Cross and then the hospital. I could not even stand. That is where I was treated.

Since the attack, I have never seen the police, they didn't come into hospital. What I need is to get better, and be able to work. I am a driver and I need my legs. The leaders should try to calm down the nation so we get peace.

My home was burnt and everything was destroyed, so I have nothing to go back to. I cannot go back to this home, as I don't know the plans of these people. They may say we haven't killed them. Even if I go back, the people can kill me. I want peace, so I can go to where I was, because there is nowhere else to go.
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A 22-year-old resident of Kangemi, an informal settlement in Nairobi

 a 22-year-old resident of Kangemi It was 6:30pm on 31 December 2007 and I had left for the shop. When I came back, my gate was locked. As I was knocking to be let in, three police officers were walking past and they shot me.

All of a sudden, I fell down, and my legs were not the legs I was used to. I remember vividly, there was a security guard who is Maasai, who ran to the police officers and said "Why did you shoot her." They were Administrative Police, in uniform. I don't know them personally. They were walking and they had AK-47s.

I lifted up my head and looked around and there was no-one in the vicinity with a gun except the police. They didn’t do anything for me, they just walked away.

This day, the situation was very bad, with the riots. There was no gate open and no-one was around and it was starting to get dark. I was wearing trousers and they must have thought I was a bad person, so they shot me.  

Because the security situation was very bad, there were no vehicles driving, as there were many young men who were so violent, so no-one would risk their vehicle, even to get me to hospital.

So my neighbours carried to me to the house and I slept in the house and they brought me to the hospital the next day. When I was shot, my body went numb immediately, I didn't feel anything.

They were putting ice on my leg. Later, I started feeling the pain. Then the pain became too much, but all this time I was bleeding profusely. On arrival to hospital in the morning, they immediately took me for an X-ray, which revealed the leg was fractured in many places.

I was taken to theatre, where the small pieces of bone were taken out. They are waiting for the infection to go and then I will be operated on and the metal will be put in my bone.

My relatives reported to the police and the chief said I should get treated first and then report it to the police once I am released. Once I am out of this place, I would like to report the matter to the chief and the chief has said he will give me a letter to go to court, so that I can try and get compensation. I am a guardian of her siblings and am disabled now, so I need to get compensation.
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37-year-old worker on the flower farms, Naivasha

 37-year-old worker on the flower farms I am a Luo. I was born in Sera, past Kisumu. I have been a casual worker here in Naivasha for some time. Before then, I was working on farms in Naivasha that are owned by Kikuyus. We were used to eating together, working together.

Recently, we saw some leaflets being dropped, saying we don't want to see any Luos or Luhya's around. We didn't think it was serious, we thought it was a joke. Then a few days later, on Friday 24 January, there apparently was a meeting of Kikuyus, saying we don't want to see any Luo. I knew about the meeting, because the people who supply water went round and gave the information about the meeting.

In the evening of Friday 24 January, I saw them coming to my neighbourhood, a big group of Kikuyu men. I went to the chief's camp, but didn't find him, but I found one of his policemen. They confirmed that they are aware of this group, but that more policemen are coming as reinforcements. They told me to go back home, so I went back home, I slept well, but the following day on Saturday, that is when this group started killing people.

I saw this when I was at the chief;s area. There were about eight of us who went to the chief's house. While we were seeking refuge, we saw it happening, I saw people being chopped with machetes, and I told the police and they also saw.

These people, they cut off the head and talked to the police at the same time, it was that open. It was about 100 metres from where we were. I saw three teachers from the Marera primary school participating in the killing.

There were three people who were burnt while we were there. There was a house belonging to a Luo. While the police were there, they were guarding the house so that it was not burnt. But the police boss took one police officer called Mohamed away. He was the one who had stopped the house from being burnt.

So, when he was removed, the houses were burnt. The mob burnt three people inside the house. We were there, we saw it. People didn't come out, they died in the house. They broke the door, stood there, poured petrol, and stood there until the house collapsed.

When the house was burnt completely, the police came back. They ordered those of us who were there to put out the fire, but we argued how could we put out the fire? The police didn't ask for any statements on what we saw.

After they burnt the house, this mob wanted to attack us, the people in the chief's camp, to lynch us. They wanted the police to leave, and were talking to them in Kikuyu, which I only speak a few words of. But this policeman, Mohamed, he could see what they planned, and he was not in favour of it. He really tried to save us, so he arranged for us to be taken out of this place.

This is when we boarded a vehicle and went to town. We didn't take anything, any personal belongings. When we came to town, we saw the places where there were roadblocks – they were putting stones and human heads at the roadblock. I saw more than one human head.

We were taken to the police station, and we spent a week in town at the police station, in the open, outside, without any shelter, the rain and the sun were on us. Then they brought us to Naivasha IDP camp on Tuesday 5 February 2008.
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