Reparation for families of political detainees

November 1, 2011 3:24 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has directed the Ministry of Gender to factor all mothers of political prisoners in the ongoing cash transfer programme. 

He asked the Release Political Prisoners (RPP) organisation to furnish the Ministry with the full list of eligible beneficiaries.

The PM said the government will also work out ways of developing a compensation package for the victims.

The premier regretted that the plight of those who suffered political repression during the first and second liberation was taken for granted and stressed on the need to mind their welfare.

He said the victims, including the women who joined the late Wangari Maathai in stripping at the Uhuru Park freedom corner to push for the release of their sons must reap the fruits of their struggles.

Odinga issued the directive at his office on Tuesday when a section of the mothers of political prisoners who also staged protests with the late Prof Maathai at Freedom Corner paid him a call to express their frustrations and disappointments.

Among those present was Ruth Wangari Thungu, the mother of political detainee Wakaba Thungu and Veronicah Wambui Nduthu whose son Karimi Nduthu was killed for political reasons in 1996.

The mothers lamented that some lawyers have conned them out of money they were awarded by courts, while some of their cases have stalled for no clear reasons.

Odinga promised to ask the Attorney General to prepare a policy paper that could establish an automatic uniform compensation for the victims who have lately lost patience with protracted cases they filed in local courts.

“We want them compensated without engaging long legal battles to save time wasted in endless courts sessions. Some victims have even died before the outcome of the trails is out,” he said.

The PM said the policy on the compensation package will later be submitted to the cabinet for approval to ensure that the effort of the liberators were not in vain. 

Odinga who was himself a political detainee for close to nine years expressed fears that detention condition in the post independence Kenya was worse than during the colonial times.


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