You will face the music: Annan

October 17, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 17 – Former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan received the report by the Commission of Inquiry Into Post Election Violence on Friday and warned perpetrators named in it to be prepared to face the consequences.

Dr Annan who received a secret envelope containing the names of top politicians, government officials and influential businessmen implicated in organising the mayhem following disputed polls in 2007 said each one of them would be held personally liable.

“I know there will be temptations to speculate about who is on the list and who is not. It is not going to get you anywhere so try and avoid that kind of speculation until the prosecutor or the judge opens it and does his or her work,” he said moments after receiving and confidential note from the commission’s chairman Justice Philip Waki.

He said he had already perused the findings and recommendations in the 500-page report which he described as ‘formidable and comprehensive’.

“I think this is the beginning of a new Kenya where the message must go out that impunity will no longer be allowed to stand and people who get into these activities; who commit criminal activities and commit gross and systematic abuse of human rights, will be held into account,” he warned.

Dr Annan who spoke moments after receiving an honorary degree at the University of Nairobi said he was confident President Mwai Kibaki would implement the Waki report.

“And you the people of Kenya who are potentially also victims would want to support and press for the implementation of the recommendations,” he said.

He said the report formed part of the agreement signed by the National Dialogue and Reconciliation team which drew membership from both Coalition members and representatives of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities.

Justice Waki on his part said his commission had done its best in investigating, analysing and preparing a detailed report containing findings and recommendations that will form the basis of instituting reforms in the country.

“We did our best and we have now handed over the report for appropriate action. I thank my fellow commissioners and staff who dedicated themselves in coming up with this report,” he said, marking the end of the commission’s mandate.

The first step towards implementation of the report was seen Friday when the Police Commissioner Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali announced the formation of a Special Task Force composed of senior female Police officers to investigate all cases of violence against women and particularly those that occurred during the post-election violence.

A dispatch from police headquarters urged rape survivors to report all cases to a special team of senior police officers appointed to investigate the crime.

“The Commissioner of Police is personally urging all women in the affected areas with any complaint to come forward and report to the Task Force. The itinerary of the Task Force showing dates and venues will be advertised on radio and in the newspapers,” the statement by Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe said.

Within the context of the Police reforms, it stated, plans are already underway to enlarge the Gender Offices that will be manned by female Police Officers at all police stations to enable victims to report all gender-related crimes with the guaranteed confidentiality and the sensitivity that such cases deserve.

The police department was severely implicated in the report for numerous commissions and omissions, including the killing of some 400 people who were shot by officers.

It is also accused of having failed to document rape cases committed during the post election violence, including those committed by the police themselves.

It called for radical changes in the top leadership of the regular and administration police which it said failed to show proper guidance before, during and after the 2007 general elections.



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