Investors not shaken by Cabinet decision

July 31, 2009

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31- The business climate in the country might not be affected by Thursday’s Cabinet decision to reject proposals to try the masterminds of last year’s post election violence but instead seek national healing and reconciliation.

Kenya Private Sector (KEPSA) Chairman Patrick Obath told Capital Business that the government’s seeming reluctance to prosecute perpetrators of the chaos would not impact negatively on investors and their willingness to put their money in the country.

“I don’t think investors will get jittery now and I don’t think it (decision) will create anything negative about the country. The only time this may have an impact is probably the election in 2012,” he said.

Mr Obath was however quick to add that all this was dependent on whether the suspects in the “Waki List” were tried at the International Criminal Court while the “minor’ offenders are prosecuted locally in the next two to three months.

To achieve this however, he said the country needed to have independent and trusted institutions which would be able to handle these cases with integrity.

In a rare press conference on Thursday, President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Act would be amended to make it an effective tool to fight impunity in the country.

Several quarters, the private sector included, have voiced their displeasure with choice of the TJRC Commissioners.

“The commission is composed of Kenyans whom some of us may not trust explicitly. Already we see other people commenting on its composition so our view is that we need a completely independent body to deliver justice,” Mr Obath stated.

He also expressed fear that the proposed reforms in the Judiciary and the police would not meet the standards as set out by Justice Philip Waki which would mean that the violence financiers would still have to be prosecuted at The Hague.

Mr Obath said the private sector would not sit back but would try to have their views on the matter heard.

His remarks came even after other groups of Kenya’s continued to react differently to the cabinet’s move which has been interpreted as a failure in leadership by many.

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