PNU to block ODM tribunal push

March 29, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – A new battle front on Post election violence trials has been drawn in the coalition government with the Party of National Unity (PNU) declaring it will block an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) sponsored local tribunal Bill to try suspected masterminds of the violence.

Public Health Minister Beth Mugo and Assistant Minister for Medical Services Kazungu Kambi said their party does not trust ODM‘s push for local trials as it has always championed for the International Criminal Court (ICC) process.

“They are traitors who are out to implicate innocent people in order to gain political edge over their rivals for political mileage,” Mrs Mugo asserted.

She accused ODM of working with western powers and the ICC to hatch the political plot to eliminate some 2012 Presidential hopefuls.

“The ICC is a Kangaroo political court established by the western world for the Africans where the western powers are not members,” she added.

The two want Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo to sponsor such a Bill.

“When we were supporting The Hague trial we did not have a new Constitution and we had no faith in our institutions but now we have our own Constitution which was endorsed by the majority,” Mr Kazungu said.

ODM has opposed a bid by PNU to lobby the United Nations Security Council have the ICC cases deferred for a year to allow the country undertake local trials. ODM has sent an opposition letter to the council rendering a blow to the request that is being pushed by a section of leaders from the PNU side of the government.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga last weekend maintained that the suspects in the 2008 post-election violence must be tried at the ICC, unless the government agrees to put in place a competent local mechanism controlled by foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators.

In an interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW), Mr Odinga said his ODM party feared that a local justice system controlled by Kenyans would be manipulated by the suspects.

“We will not accept a tribunal of foreigners,” said Mrs Mugo.

Those facing trials at The Hague and summoned to appear at the court next week include Head of Civil service Amb Francis Muthaura, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former Police Commission Major Hussein Ali. Others are ODM deputy party leader William Ruto, Chairman Henry Kosgey and Radio journalist Joshua arap Sang who is said to be an ODM member.

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