In Summary
  • Investigations by the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence headed by Mr Justice Philip Waki documented witness accounts on how the church attack was executed by the raiders.
  • Wednesday, one of the victims who claims to have been inside the church when the attackers raided it was the first witness against Mr Ruto at The Hague.

Details of the deadly attack inside an Eldoret church on January 1, 2008, are now part of the trial facing Deputy President William Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang.

The incident at the Kenya Assemblies of God Church Kiambaa where 38 people were burnt to death during the post-election violence stunned the world.

A total of 1,133 people were killed countrywide during the violence.

Investigations by the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence headed by Mr Justice Philip Waki documented witness accounts on how the church attack was executed by the raiders.

“Among these many tragic stories, the incident which captured the attention of both Kenyans and the world was the deliberate burning alive of mostly Kikuyu women and children huddled together in a church in Kiambaa on January 1, 2008,” says the Waki report.

The Waki report says the women and children had fled Kimuri village in the neighbourhood and sought refuge in the church following a massive attack in the area the previous night.

The fleeing victims felt safe inside the church. They thought the attackers would spare it.

The document further says: “According to reports, including witness testimony, mattresses and blankets were set ablaze with petrol and thrown into the building while mothers and babies who were trying to flee the inferno were pushed back into the church.”

The commission also reported that men attempting to defend their church and loved ones were hacked to death with machetes, shot with arrows, or pursued and killed.

Wednesday, one of the victims who claims to have been inside the church when the attackers raided it was the first witness against Mr Ruto at The Hague.

The woman whose testimony was relayed live from The Hague, however, declined to testify against Mr Sang, arguing that Kass FM, which the former radio presenter worked for, transmitted programmes in Kalenjin, a language she did not understand.