Kenya rights body wants Accord revised

February 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) now says there is need to re-look at the National Accord to resolve the current political impasse.

Chairperson Florence Jaoko emphasised the importance of clearly defining the roles of the two Principals in the accord.

“All we know is that the Prime Minister coordinates and supervises and the President writes a letter of appointment. How they work has never been made known to the public,” she stated saying that it would have been important for the coalition to come up with a document other than the Accord explaining to citizens how they work and reach decisions.

She claims Prime Minister Raila Odinga was within his mandate in suspending Education Minister Sam Ongeri and his Agriculture counterpart William Ruto. Although she contends that there should have been consultations between the two principals, Ms Jaoko said that the lack of powers to suspend would render the PM ineffective.

She stressed the need for the ministers implicated in graft to step aside and allow for investigations to be undertaken.

“(Mr Odinga) did not sack the ministers; he suspended them which is the right way to go since you cannot dismiss somebody before you have the right information,” she explained.

“The question that we now have to grapple with is whether you can supervise people and coordinate them effectively if you have absolutely no power to even ask them to step aside,” she pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Association of Professional Societies of East Africa (APSEA) has blamed the current state of affairs on the top advisors of the two principals.

Chairman Daniel Ichang’i says that they are responsible to a large extent for the actions of the President and the Prime Minister. He wants them to be properly vetted to ensure that they always consider the best interests of the country.

Mr Ichang’i also wants the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission to be strengthened so as to deal effectively with graft.

“We are calling for the ethics and integrity commission to be a constitutional commission so that we can have a very clear framework to address the question of ethics and integrity in governance where the fight against graft is an important par.”


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