Outrage over Kenya activist murder

March 6, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – Public outrage on Friday followed the brutal murder of human rights activist Kamau King’ara and his colleague on Thursday with calls for independent investigations.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga condemned the killings but expressed skepticism that the police could carry out objective investigations.

The Premier said: “Since police are suspects in these killings, it is necessary to have an independent agency to carry out investigations into this murder.”

Mr King’ara, the Oscar Foundation Executive Director was shot dead by unknown assailants on Thursday evening in the company of his Programmes Coordinator Paul Oulu as they drove on State House Road hours after government spokesman Alfred Mutua linked his organisation to the Mungiki sect.

 Mr Odinga turned the heat on Dr Mutua even denouncing him as part of the coalition government.

“I wish to state that Dr Mutua does not speak for the Grand Coalition Government. He alone knows whom he speaks for. The Grand Coalition Government was founded on the principle of consultation. Whatever goes out as a government position must have been discussed by the parties and agreed on before it is announced.”

State-sponsored Kenya National Commission on Human Rights joined in the condemnation and called for Dr Mutua’s resignation and investigation.

“It’s not a coincidence that the killing happened after Dr Mutua publicly denounced the Oscar Foundation for its alleged links with the (Mungiki) sect and promised unspecified action against them.”

“We are demanding an explanation on whoever was behind it; if it was the security forces cant we follow the proper procedure of the court. Is this part of the impunity?” NGO Council chairman Simeon Kanani inquired.

During his weekly briefing, Dr. Mutua claimed that the Oscar Foundation was funding the activities of the illegal sect. His sentiments followed protests that had paralysed transport in the parts of Central and Nairobi provinces and were linked to Mungiki.Prior to his death Mr King’ara had confessed to Capital News that he had organised the protests together with that were organised for the relatives of those who had been killed by police in the last two years.

The protests were a backing for calls for the dismissal of the Police Commisoner Major General Hussein Ali following indictment by a UN Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings.

Prof Philip Alston, the UN official, in his preliminary report, accused police of executing suspects without trial and recommended Major General Ali’s sacking and the resignation of Attorney-General Amos Wako.


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