Mutua, ODM cross paths once again

May 30, 2009 12:00 am

, KISUMU, Kenya, May 30 – The office of the Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua appears to be on the collision path with a coalition member once again, this time over the government’s stand on a damning UN report on Kenya’s security agencies.

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Saturday distanced itself from a statement by Dr Mutua, which rejected Professor Philip Alston’s report terming it ‘unhelpful’.

ODM Secretary General Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o said that the party had learnt of the government’s stand through Dr Mutua’s press statement and complained that they had not been consulted over the issue.

“Let it be known that ODM as a member of the Grand Coalition Government has not been consulted by the so called government communications office and does not support this dismissive stance,” Mr Nyong’o said.

He stated that ODM expected the report to be submitted to the Grand Coalition Management Committee and the Cabinet before a government position is pronounced.

“Let it be noted that the extrajudicial killings and problems on impunity on our criminal justice system are issues that cannot be dealt with whimsically if the Grand Coalition Government is going to approach agenda number 4 in the National Accord with some degree of seriousness,” he said.
On Thursday, Mr Mutua said calls by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings for the sacking of the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General’s resignation were paternalistic and ‘uncalled for’.

Prof Alston had also recommended that the Kenyan military be barred from participating in peace keeping missions abroad.

In a report released on Tuesday, Prof Alston said that he had conducted comprehensive investigations since February and established that the military was involved in extrajudicial executions and other human rights abuses, during an offensive operation that targeted members of the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) in Mount Elgon between 2006 and 2008.

In compiling his report, Prof Alston said that he also relied on reports released by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and other lobby groups, which documented evidence.

Prof Alston’s Senior Advisor Sarah Knuckey told Capital News that the report would be officially released next week.

The report particularly takes issue with some 300 soldiers from the Alpha Company of the First Kenya Rifles and the Alpha Company of the 20 para Battalion, who were deployed to Mt Kenya.


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