NAIROBI, October 15 – The politicians, business leaders and senior government officials who funded or organised mass murder and wanton destruction of property early this year following the 2007 disputed poll will remain secret for now.,
The Waki Commission of Inquiry into Post Election Violence (CIPEV) fell short of naming the perpetrators when it handed its report to President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday, and said it was not appropriate due to legal implications but recommended formation of a special tribunal to investigate, prosecute and sentence those implicated.
The names are instead contained in a separate sealed report that will be presented to the Chairman of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities, Kofi Annan on Friday.
“The names we felt we should put forward are those against whom there was supportive evidence and in that regard those may not be many. Only the commissioners know about them, the government will not know about them and the Panel of Eminent (African) Personalities will not know about them until the tribunal is formed,” Justice Waki said.
Many of the politicians implicated in the secret report are sitting Members of Parliament and some Cabinet Ministers whom, the commission was told, participated in inciting communities against others.
The CIPEV report only gives an overview of the acts of violence which were witnessed in the country after the disputed presidential elections. It concludes that the violence was spontaneous in some geographical areas.
“It was a result of planning and organisation in other areas, often with the involvement of politicians and business leaders,” the report states. “It was by far the most deadly and the most destructive violence ever experienced in Kenya.”
The commission was chaired by Court of Appeal judge Philip Waki assisted by commissioners Gavin Alistair McFayden from New Zealand and Pascal Kalume Kambale of the Democratic Republic of Congo. George Kegoro was the Commission’s Secretary, while human rights lawyer David Majanja served as assisting counsel.
President Mwai Kibaki who received the report at his Harambee House office on Wednesday afternoon ordered that it be made public immediately, adding that it will be tabled before the Cabinet next week and in parliament thereafter. (The public can access it at www.dialoguekenya.org)
“I want to assure all fellow Kenyans that the government will study the report’s findings and recommendations very carefully,” President Kibaki said and added; “this report provides us with an opportunity to learn from the past in order to avoid future pitfalls.”
According to the CIPEV report, the Special Tribunal for Kenya is to be set up as a court that will sit within the territorial boundaries of Kenya and seek accountability against persons bearing the greatest responsibility for crimes, particularly against humanity, relating to the 2007 General Elections.
The Special Tribunal, the report continues, shall achieve this through the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of such crimes.
“It shall apply Kenyan law and also the International Crimes Bill, and shall have Kenyan and international judges, as well as Kenyan and international staff.”
The report states that all persons holding public office and public servants charged with criminal offences related to post-election violence will be suspended from duty until the matter is fully adjudicated.
“Upon conviction of any person charged with post-election violence offences of any nature, such persons shall be barred from holding any public office or contesting any electoral position,” Justice Waki said.
Specific recommendations for the Police
Other key recommendations outlined in the report include a ‘total overhaul’ of top leadership in key security organs like the Kenya Police and Administration Police which were widely accused of having failed in their duties.
The reforms will involve a complete audit of the current police management, structures, policies, practices and procedures. It will be carried out after extensive consultation with a wide variety of national and international stakeholders.
“We recommend an examination and consideration of applicable International law and best practices which will include a thorough examination, review and revision of all tactics, weapons and use of force employed by the Kenyan police,” Justice Waki said.
The commission’s findings show that of 1,133 people killed during the post election violence, 406 were shot dead by the police under unexplained circumstances.
The others were clobbered, burnt, shot with arrows or stoned to death, mainly in the Rift Valley Province.
Justice Waki said all the recommendations made will be implemented under the auspices of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities acting in consultation with the President and the Prime Minister with the full co-operation of Parliament, the Judiciary and the office of the Attorney General.