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Bill on Waki Tribunal ready for Cabinet

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9 – Members of a Cabinet committee seeking ways to implement the Waki Commission will present their recommendations on the setting up of a special tribunal to the Cabinet on Thursday.

Speaking after a meeting on Tuesday, Committee Chairman Musalia Mudavadi said they had discussed the statutes of the Bill in detail adding that they would continue deliberations on amendments surrounding the Special Tribunal Bill on Wednesday.

“Even before you look at the statutes there are basic principles that must be clearly understood by the committee so that they can also be argued,” Mr Mudavadi said.

The team began meeting last Wednesday and announced that they were eager to speed up the law that will create a local tribunal before the December 17 deadline set out in the Waki Report on post-election violence.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the team that negotiated the National Accord did not discuss amnesty for perpetrators of the post election violence as had been reported in a section of the media.

“We have to be very clear on the principles and see that they conform to logic then move on to a draft Bill and what kind of amendments we will be pushing or recommending specifically,” Mr Mudavadi said after the meeting held at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Headquarters.

The committee had earlier stated that the report would be ready by Tuesday in readiness for Cabinet approval but Mr Mudavadi explained that the team needed to seal all the loopholes in the law.

Other members of the committee are Cabinet Ministers Martha Karua, James Orengo, William Ruto, Moses Wetangula, Sally Kosgei, Sam Ongeri and Mutula Kilonzo

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According to the Waki report timetable, after December 17, the Government will have 45 days within which to set up the local tribunal.

This includes the appointment of the three judges in each of the tribunal’s two chambers; the naming of a prosecutor and setting up a secretariat for the tribunal.

After this, the tribunal must start work within the next 30 days, meaning that it must be sitting by March 1 next year.

If this does not happen, a list of 11 suspects suspected to have organised or funded the violence will be handed to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

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