NO FORGIVENESS

'Don't force me to forgive Moi' – Nyayo House detainee

“Moi's era was not a peaceful era and Kenya was not united."

In Summary

• Kitur says it is okay for Raila to forgive because he is wealthy unlike other detainees whose lives were totally destroyed 

• Kitur says the government is not serious about truth, justice and reconciliation

A former Nyayo House detainee has dismissed demands that he should forgive departed former president Daniel arap Moi.

Tirop Kitur, who was held at the infamous torture chambers in June 1986, added that it is unfair to ask former detainees to forgive the former president.

“It is okay for ODM leader Raila Odinga to forgive Moi. He has everything he needs. He was a prime minister, he is wealthy. Ask the poor people who sacrificed their lives if they want to forgive Moi. Some died and were forgotten. Others became alcoholics, their lives and families destroyed,” Kitur, a former commissioner with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said.

Raila said he was a victim of one of the late and former President Daniel Moi's mistakes, but decided to forgive and move forward.He Raila was among politicians who were arrested and detained for organising a political rally without a permit in 1990.

Kitur added that past government efforts have shown that it is not serious about forgiveness and healing.

“Why are we being forced to forgive Moi? The government made it hard for us to forgive Moi by appointing Wagalla massacre perpetrator to head the TJRC,” Kitur, who was expelled in his second year at the University of Nairobi said.

Kitur was speaking during an interactive session at PAWA254 on Wednesday. The session brought together former political detainees during Moi's 24-year reign.

Kenyan linguist Kimani Njogu who criticised efforts to paint the former leader as a peacemaker.

“Moi's era was not a peaceful era and Kenya was not united. Moi intensified tribal division as a ruling tactic,” Njogu said.

Kitur was arrested alongside former secretary general of Release Political Prisoners Karimi Nduthu in June 1986 after almost four months of a cat-and-mouse chase with the police.

He was thereafter held at Nyayo House for 18 days before both were arraigned in a Naivasha court on charges of sedition and destruction of property.

 
 

Although he was sent to jail for 15 years – eight years for sedition and seven years for property destruction – Kitur only served six years at the Naivasha Maximum Prison.

Moi's death has divided Kenyans on his legacy with his supporters pointing to the stability of Kenya as an island of peace in a sea of chaos in the Eastern African region.

His opponents have however dismissed the plaudits as efforts to revise history and sanitise the former president's reign that was marked by human rights violations and corruption.