No amnesty, say Church and lobbyists

October 27, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 27 – Church leaders and members of the civil society have jointly called for the full implementation of the report  by the Commission of Inquiry into Post Election Violence.

Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi said perpetrators of post elections violence should not be granted amnesty.

Archbishop Nzimbi said persons named in the report by the commission which was headed by Justice Philip Waki should face the full force of the law for the role they played in the violence.

He said: “If you commit an action which is wrong you must pay for it. We can forgive you the bitterness we have but the consequences must follow.”

Speaking after the Sunday service at All Saints Cathedral Archbishop Nzimbi called on the government to implement both the Waki and Kriegler reports as Kenyans and the international community were anxiously waiting.

He said the reports were well researched and written and the interests of politicians should not come before those of the Kenyans, as the report was done in the public interest.

“While we laud the governments move to form a task force to implement the Kriegler (report) and a special tribunal for the Waki report, we recognise the reports are the property of Kenyans hence the people must be satisfied that their interest are secured in the implementation,” he said.

Archbishop Nzimbi at the same time said the Electoral Commission of Kenya must be replaced by a cleaner and leaner outfit that had public confidence unlike the current one that had lost public confidence.

Meanwhile a section of the civil society threatened to push for the International Criminal Court to step in and prosecute alleged post-poll instigators and financers if the government failed to appoint a tribunal within 60 days.

Speaking on behalf of the groups, Release Political Prisoners (RPP) Executive Co-ordinator Stephen Musau cited past reports such as the Akiwumi Commission and the Kiliku Parliamentary Committee reports which have never been implemented.

“Instead the story ends with those ‘adversely mentioned’ as perpetrators to be ‘further investigated actions’ that never see the light at the end,” Mr Musau said.

He said truth, justice and accountability must be used as the guiding principles in the implementation of the report.

The civil society differed with a section of government officials who have dismissed the report, saying: “The report reflected the true face of the country where serious human rights violations have been allowed to continue with amnesty and calls for impunity.”

The group also warned politicians against using the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Bill to circumvent the justice system.

The Bill was passed by the National Assembly on Thursday.

RPP expressed fear that politicians might influence the appointment of the commissioners in order to manipulate the process. “Because they know too well that the TJRC will subject to our laws, the politicians might find it to be a quick way to say that the Waki Report be part and parcel of the TJRC,” he said.

In its report, the Waki Commission had warned: “If either an agreement for the establishment of the Special Tribunal is not signed, or the Statute for the Special Tribunal fails to be enacted, or the Special Tribunal fails to commence functioning as contemplated above, or having commenced operating its purposes are subverted, a list containing names of and relevant information on those suspected to bear the greatest responsibility for crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the proposed Special Tribunal shall be forwarded to the Special Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.”

The Special Prosecutor shall be requested to analyse the seriousness of the information received with a view to proceeding with an investigation and prosecuting such suspected persons.


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