Ministers linked to poll chaos

August 8, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, August 8 – Five Cabinet Ministers and 13 Members of Parliament (MPs) are among leaders who have been implicated in the post-election violence by a report of the state-funded human rights watchdog.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said on Friday it had documented evidence on some 200 leaders who allegedly funded, incited, participated or organized the violence that claimed the lives of a reported 1,500 people.

KNCHR Chairperson Florence Jaoko said the report was an account of respondents drawn from 136 constituencies in the country.

“The commission is providing this list, together with the report to the President, Prime Minister, the Attorney General and the commissioner of Police for further action,” she said.

Jaoko said they had also implicated some senior police officers, five religious leaders and five vernacular radio stations.

The Chair said she was due to testify at the Commission of Inquiry into Post Election Violence (CIPEV) where she pledged to spill the beans.

“We are prepared to provide this information to the relevant authorities to ensure appropriate action is taken. I will be naming them at CIPEV,” she said.

The commission’s investigation established that there were numerous atrocities and crimes against humanity committed by security forces on civilians.

It recommends the intervention of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor who would carry out impartial investigations and prosecutions.

Murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population and rape are some of the violations named in the report requiring the ICC action.

In view of the above, the report states, at a point when Kenyans required the most protection, the government of Kenya retrogressed in the fulfilment of its obligations under various human rights conventions, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) among others.

“The prosecutor of the ICC should open up investigations on Kenya to determine who bears the greatest responsibility in the commission of crimes against humanity detailed in this report,” Jaoko said.

The commission recommends an undertaking of comprehensive investigations in accordance with Section 26 of the Constitution.

Friday’s report was no different from previous ones by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) which accused security forces of using excessive force in quelling the violence.

It recommends a probe on security forces by a team of special investigators and prosecuted by a special prosecutor appointed for that purpose.

It states: “The President should cause these two special offices to be established.”



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