ACK faults govt over Mau evictions

November 28, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 28 – The Anglican Church has faulted the government’s Mau Forest Eviction programme saying so far it has been inhumane.

ACK Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said the government had a duty to ensure that the evictees’ basic rights were not abused in the process of restoring the water tower.

“We recognize that the government has duty to protect the environment. To this end the intention to reverse the destruction of Mau complex is noble. However it is grossly inhuman that people removed from the water tower are left to live on road sides. Such people should be given alternative settlements as soon as possible to reduce their suffering,” he observed.

The Anglican Archbishop also said Parliamentarians should stop politicising the evictions saying that their misplaced remarks over the water tower were only worsening an already sensitive issue.

“We strongly call upon all politicians to stop playing politics with this issue. Protection of the people of Kenya and the environment are not just matters of politics but of life and death. Politics should not be played either in going to preserve the forest or in making harambees (fundraisers). Let that be done with a motive of helping people,” he observed.

The church added that time had come for the Kenyan government to depict the true meaning of law and order by trying all the perpetrators of the post election violence. The Archbishop said the Kenyan government had to de-link itself from perpetrators of the chaos so as to provide justice to all the victims.

“A man tormented by the guilt of murder will be a fugitive till death. Let no one support him. We as a nation must come to a point where every crime is punished regardless of who the victim or perpetrator is. We (ACK church) support the steps so far taken by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. This will go a long way in eradicating impunity from our land,” he said.

He also said that the government had grossly breached its mandate to provide justice for the victims of the post election violence.

“Two years after the post election violence, thousands of Kenyans remain in IDP camps while hundreds of others live as squatters with their friends and relatives. The government therefore has to reverse this injustice. When will these people resume their normal lives?” he posed.

He further asked the government to establish an independent local tribunal to try other offenders of the 2007/08 violence who will not be tried at The Hague.

“We are requesting the government and particularly parliament to set up a special tribunal to try all other perpetrators of the violence,” he urged.

Archbishop Wabukala who was in the company of about 20 other Anglican church leaders also said insecurity was rife countrywide.

“Kenya is greatly oppressed by an ever thickening shadow of insecurity. There are very few people who are certain that they will live to see the morning or the evening. Savings and investments are lost to criminals that the government seems incapable of dealing with,” he said. “The show of might displayed by the Police and the Military during national day celebrations should be directed towards assuring the security of Kenyans.”

The Archbishop was addressing journalists in Limuru where he expressed the Church’s governance views on behalf of all Anglican Church Bishops in Kenya.


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