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Parties strategise over Waki findings

NAIROBI, October 27 – Two political parties will hold parliamentary group (PG) meetings on Tuesday to discuss the report by the Commission of Inquiry into Post Election Violence which has elicited sharp divisions across the country.

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is to hold its PG meeting at Parliament buildings to debate whether or not to implement the controversial report by the commission, which was headed by Justice Phillip Waki.

ODM Deputy Leader Musalia Mudavadi said on Monday that the meeting should resolve differences within the party over the report, handed to President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga two weeks ago.  Members of Parliament at the meeting will be free to express their views on the controversial report before a common stand is adopted.

“We are going to deliberate but ultimately the decision will be made on the basis of what the Cabinet decides.  We could even push the debate further to Parliament,” Mr Mudavadi told journalists.

The Cabinet is yet to discuss the report but is scheduled to do so and make a decision on the report during its sitting on Thursday.

ODM leaders, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Agriculture Minister William Ruto, have differed on the implementation of the report, with the PM saying post-election violence suspects must answer for their alleged crimes at the Special Tribunal for Kenya or the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Mr Ruto has however trashed the Report describing it as useless and accusing the Waki team of not meeting its mandate.

The Agriculture minister who was the first government official to dismiss the report has criticised the Commission for drawing up a list of suspects without exhaustively investigating their role in the post-election violence.

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The Tuesday meeting is also expected to discuss the upcoming ODM Grassroots elections and general party affairs.

Elsewhere Ford-Kenya Chairman Muskari Kombo on Monday said the party would be issuing a statement on the Waki findings after a PG to be held at the party headquarters.

In an interview with Capital News Mr Kombo said: “The report must be implemented and I believe Ford-Kenya will be saying no more impunity.”

Meanwhile ODM-Kenya Chairman Samuel Poghisio has also called a party meeting to take a stand on the matter later in the week.

Mr Poghisio has said the Waki report was part of the long process of dealing with healing and reconciliation and it was crucial for the party to take a deep look at the report and understand it before making a statement.

The Party of National Unity (PNU) has held a series of meetings, attended by Cabinet Ministers affiliated to the party, and called for the implementation of the report.

PNU Spokesperson George Nyamweya told Capital News that the recommendations of the report should be respected and implemented since a lot of time and taxpayers money had been used to draw up the report.

“Further investigations should be carried out against those who are implicated charged and then given the right to a fair trial, before we start talking of amnesty,” he poised.

Mr Nyamweya also said PNU would soon hold be holding its grassroots elections after completing the ongoing recruitment exercise launched in September.

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