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Waki: Patience please, pleads Karua

NAIROBI, November 14 – Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua has urged Kenyans patiently await a Cabinet decision on the Waki report.

Ms Karua whose ministry will play a crucial role if the report is to be implemented locally, said on Friday she was confident that the stand to be taken by the country’s top decision making organ would be in the best interest of  Kenyans.

“We have not failed so far to come together and agree on issues however difficult.  So I assure you that we will find a way forward on both the Kriegler and Waki reports,” she said.

The Minister stated that the government would proceed with all the agenda items negotiated during the Serena peace talks earlier in the year, including the constitutional review process.

Ms Karua however said she did not have an explanation why the post election report was not discussed during Thursday’s meeting at State House Nairobi. The Minister said she was in Geneva for official duty and could not speculate why it was not discussed as expected.

“I was attending the United Nations Commission on Human Rights conference were I presented Kenya’s first ever report on the convention on torture. I came back this morning (Friday),” Ms Karua said.

Thursday’s Cabinet meeting side-stepped discussion on the Waki report amid emerging sharp divisions among the top political leadership whether to reject or implement the recommendations handed to President Mwai Kibaki a month ago.

Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi was also at pains to explain why the report was not discussed but said the Cabinet and Parliament would look at the Waki report at the appropriate time.

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Meanwhile, the National Council of Non-Governmental Organisations on Friday said it supported the full implementation of the Waki and Kriegler reports without further delay.

Council chairman Dr George Gitau Wainana said failure by the government to implement the report would encourage politicians to participate in organising violence in future.

“The council fully believes that the implementation of the report will deal with historical injustices that have been exercised in this country since independence,” he said.

At a press conference, Dr Wainaina said his position was supported by 6,000 members across the country who wanted President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to initiate an implementation process.

“Justice Waki has done Kenya proud. No other head of a commission has had the courage to come out and point to the very core of the problem and then come up with effective solutions. His report cannot be ignored,” he said.

Dr Wainaina said the council planned to table the two reports at its Annual General Meeting scheduled for Saturday for further deliberation.

“It is hoped that they meeting will come up with a joint strategy for civil society organisations to push for full implementation of the reports,” he said

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