Muite backs Waki report

October 16, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 16 – The report by the Commission of Inquiry into Post Election Violence has received the backing of former Kabete MP Paul Muite.

He told Capital News in an interview that the report that was handed over by Justice Philip Waki and his team to the President on Wednesday was good since it is the first time that a tribunal had provided specifics on implementation of its recommendations.

“It’s a very good report indeed.  I would give it a B+ (rating),” Mr Muite who is a Senior Counsel said.

He however pointed out that he expected challenges in the implementation of the recommendations.

“The Waki commission indicates that Cabinet ministers were involved; high ranking government officials and the police were involved.  This poses a major challenge because you don’t expect the individuals to lie back and meekly go to the slaughter house.  They are going to fight back to sabotage implementation of the report,” he said.

He said that the report had highlighted the culture of impunity which has dogged the country since independence but noted that the tradition could only be broken if the concerned individuals were punished, jailed and barred from holding public office.

“Let’s hope that the implementation of this report will open the door for the much more important commission which is the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission because we must look at historical injustices.  We’ve got to go back to 1963.  That’s when the culture of impunity started,” he said.

He was confident that the legislation to establish the Special Tribunal would be passed by Parliament since no lawmaker was ready to appear to block its enactment.

“But the Kenyan people need to assume responsibility for their destiny.  There is no need to messiahs.  The tribunal will have to be anchored in the constitution to ensure there is no conflict with existing laws,” he said.

He said he supported the decision by the commission not to name those who had been implicated during the investigation.

“There was a time when naming people used to act as a deterrent.  That is no longer the case.  People were named before (in previous commissions) but they continued to hold Cabinet positions.  That is when impunity was acquired.”

He added: “It is very commendable that Mr Justice Waki and his team were in a very subtle way sending a powerful message to the President, the Prime Minister and the government that nobody will get away with slow-puncturing implementation of the recommendations that were made in this report.”

He said that if establishment of the tribunal was not done within the stipulated period, there was the option of sending the names of those implicated to the International Criminal Court.

“The ICC under the statute of Rome can set up that tribunal anywhere in the world and if any of the individuals indicted and against whom a warrant of arrest is issued travels to any other country, the law requires that country to grab that person and take them for trial.”

The CIPEV report which was released on Wednesday said the recommendations would be implemented under the auspices of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities in consultation with the President and the Prime Minister; with the full co-operation of Parliament, the Judiciary and the office of the Attorney General.

Once legislation is enacted, individuals who will be tried in a three-member team headed by a Kenyan judge, and will be able to challenge any rulings in an appeal chamber and not in Kenyan courts.

“A special prosecutor will also be appointed and will take custody of all the

“The head of investigations and not less than three other members of the investigation team shall be non-Kenyan so as to provide an independent approach to the investigation function of the Tribunal,” the CIPEV report said in part.

 The Special Tribunal will take custody of all investigative material and witness statements and testimony collected and recorded by the Waki Commission.


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