Thumbs up for Waki report

October 16, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 16 – The Justice Phillip Waki report into Post-Election Violence was largely greeted with calls for speedy implementation by political leaders, a day after its release.

Government representatives, the diplomatic community and lawyers associations while admitting they were still studying the document, all agreed that the commission had done a good job.

Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi said on Thursday that the Waki report could not be implemented in isolation of the Kriegler document, which highlighted proposals for a more efficient electoral system.

“Now that the Cabinet has set the precedent of adopting (the Kriegler report) and it has also been tabled in Parliament, then the logical step would be to do the same for this report from Justice Waki,” Mr Mudavadi recommended.

“It really will be the drawing line, in my view, between being able to deal with any excesses of any violence in future elections (or failing to contain it).”

Hours after his remarks, 25 Nairobi-based diplomats also called for the adoption of the Waki proposals.

The envoys praised the Waki Commission as impartial in their work and “(engaged) constructively with representatives of the government, civil society and the public” during their hearings.

The signatories included France, that holds the presidency of the European Union, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands.
“As a critical part of the National Dialogue and Reconciliation process, the recommendations of the (commission) will need to be taken alongside the formation of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and the carrying out of the Constitutional Review process and other reforms,” the statement read in part.

Legal fraternity

While, the report was largely praised by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), they worried over what they called “an assumption of too much political goodwill” in the implementation of the report.

Citing the enactment of legislation to create the framework for the document, ICJ Acting Executive Director Priscilla Nyokabi said the Waki team had assumed that politicians, a section of whom have been implicated in stirring the violence in the first place, would turn around and do the ‘right thing’ this time.

Ms Nyokabi also criticised a proposal on the appointment of members to the Special Tribunal. She argues the requirement that the officers be appointed by the President and the Prime Minister would compromise their independence.

Elsewhere, the Kenyan chapter of the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) said the proposed tribunal was the only way to safeguard “justice, the foundation of peace and stability.”

Their only criticism was that not many women appeared before the commission to testify on their experiences during the crisis period.

In a statement FIDA Executive Director Patricia Nyaundi also said: “The commission did not go to all parts of the country. Violence that occurred in parts of the Rift Valley province and Mount Elgon district over the last few years is not reflected in the report either.” 

The Waki report is available on .



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