According to Reuters, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) member of parliament David Kimutai Too, was killed, along with an unidentified woman, in the Rift Valley town of Eldoret by a traffic Police officer.
“He has been shot dead, by a traffic policeman in Eldoret, we think. The circumstances are very unclear. This crisis is just getting deeper every day,” said ODM spokesman Tony Gachoka.
“He was killed by a traffic police officer,” in a suburb of Eldoret in western Kenya, a police commander told AFP in Nairobi, adding that the killing appeared to be connected to a romantic dispute.
“He was with a girl who is a police officer. He was shot by another policeman believed to be her boyfriend,” he said.
A senior police officer checks the car in which Ainamoi MP David Kimutai Too and a policewoman were driving in when they were ambushed and shot dead. Photo/ JARED NYATAYA
The policewoman is currently in ICU in at the hospital of Eldoret. Reports from Eldoret indicate that members of public have jammed the Moi Teaching and Referral mortuary following the incident. Nation reports that Police Commissioner Major General Hussein Ali assured the public that “the constable will stand charges of murder tomorrow”. He also warned the public against using the incident to incite others.
The death of Ainamoi MP, David Kimutai Too, happened only 2 days after the assassination of ODM MP Melitus Mugabe Were.
For what ever reason David Kimutai Too was killed, it demonstrates that the government is not providing protection and security for opposition politicians.Only a few days after Nobel Peace Price winner Wangari Maathai criticized the government for failing to provide security for its citizens, the Minister of Internal Security Prof George Saitoti withdrew her bodyguards on Monday.
Orange Democratic MP Melitus Mugabe Were was murdered by two gunmen as he drove up to the gate of his house with a shot in his eye and several shots in his chest. The gunmen gave no warning, nor did they try to cover it up as a robbery gone awry. There is little doubt that it was a political murder. He was murdered on the very day talks about how to regain peace in Kenya between his party and the government were suppose to start. It was a successful move by those who were aiming to prevent peace and power sharing.
Besides violence along ethnic lines and the street protest, most of the time, people who were threatened were outside the political arena: Human rights activists, critical journalists and just people who tried to oppose the violence, like the marathon runner Wesley Kimutai Ngetich Moderate and independent voices are often targeted first, since they often have enemies on both sides of the conflict.
Melitus Mugabe Were’s death brings the conflict to a new level. He was one of 900 (probably one of more than 1000) men, women and children who have been murdered since the flawed election on December 27th 2007. And he will not be the last one. Many more will be shot by the police, murdered by their neighbours for suddenly being from the wrong tribe or will die from other causes which will not be taken in the equation of the aftermath of the violence: People who will die from starvation when the economic crises takes its toll in the next months and years and people in remote place who are cut off from medical supply will suffer from drug resistance of HIV medication in some months or years.
Not one life lost is worth more than another, not one death deserves less to be mourned for. So what is the difference between the death of Melitus Mugabe Were and the thousand and more that died and will die? One difference between his death and many other Kenyans’ is that his name will be remembered by many. His death will lead to more violence and more anonymous numbers in the death count. There has been at lot of speculation and different opinions, whether the first wave of violence in the Rift valley was premeditated or fuelled by the opposition. A Human Rights Watch report and other Kenya’s human rights commission have raised allegations, which have been denied by ODM.
There is little doubt about the escalation of violence by the Police, an institution which most likely is still under government control. Demonstrators have been executed, journalists attacked and peaceful gatherings at funerals and at Melitus Mugabe Were’s compound were tear-gassed and turned into an angry mob.
And the new wave of violence was easy to foresee. More than 2 weeks ago Maina Kiai, chairman of the state-funded human rights body, said that in response to attacks on Kikuyu, government politicians have recruited the Mungiki. Kiai said the government has promised Mungiki immunity in return for protecting the Kikuyu. He said his information came from several sources including Mungiki members. Now we receive reports about Mungiki members recruiting by force to attack and kill members of other tribes and doing forced circumsitions on Kikuyus. There are also voices that state that the police did not respond in the way the could have.
Despite the above, Were’s party ODM did what many said they would not: They called upon their supporters to stay calm and not let the violence escalate. It may have been too late because they were not heard and a fresh wave of voilence occured. The police reacted yet again as most people expected: Mourners gathering at the Were’s compound were attacked with tear gas. But at least they called for calm, a commendable action.
The pressure on Kenyan’s politicians has been growing. The election of the Speaker of the Parliament was the first test of strength for the opposition which they just barely passed with 4 votes more than the government who had the support of the non-ODM MPs. The murder of an MP ensures that many will stay in line and increases the government’s marginal advantage in Parliament by one vote.
But it is hard to see who profits from the murder. Mwai Kibaki can follow any demands from the International Community and negotiate about peace and power-sharing, knowing that with the never ending violence and opposition MPs being killed that no agreement will last (What can you expect from talks about the future of Kenya, when they cannot even agree where who sits on the conference table?)
However, the uncontrolled violence might lead to a situation in which Kibaki’s authority can not be questioned from outside. He is in charge of the Police and military and therefore the only one able to do something to prevent further killings. What we already see is a totally out of control situation, moving from Molo, Nakuru, Naivasha in direction Nairobi. The militia forces unleashed here can not be calmed down on command. Support of the opposition by the international community might undermine this power Kibaki is struggling to hold on to and lead to further violence. At least this might be what the government is hoping for.
According to BBC news, Mugabe Were, a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) was attacked outside his home, police said.
An ODM spokesman called for calm and restraint following the MP’s death. Mr Were is the first leading politician to have died amid violence that has gripped Kenya since December’s poll.
Two gunmen shot Mr Were as he drove up to the gate of his house in the capital just after midnight, Kenya police spokesman Eric Kiraithe was quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying. “We are treating it as a murder but we are not ruling out anything, including political motives. We are urging everyone to remain calm,” he said.
Mr Were, who represented Nairobi’s Embakasai district, won a seat in the 27 December legislative election, which was held at the same time as the presidential vote.
ODM spokesman Tony Gachoka said: “The current situation makes one suspicious. All fingers will point at the government, and the government will have to show it is not involved.”
Another ODM spokesman, Salim Lome, called on people “to be peaceful and to only respond to this kind of violence by shunning violence”.
The appeal came amid reports of opposition supporters pouring onto the streets in several cities. In the Kibera slum in Nairobi, eyewitnesses spoke of clashes between rival ethnic groups.
Meanwhile the parties will begin formal talks on Tuesday to resolve the crisis, mediated by former UN chief Kofi Annan.
A UN spokesman said the dialogue process would start at 1600 local time (1300 GMT) at a neutral location.
We will try to provide updates on this page.