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IDPs readied for poll chaos testimonies

NYAHURURU, Kenya, Dec 22 – Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua has asked internally displaced persons to be ready to give evidence to the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) when it starts work early next year.

Ms Karua observed that victims of the post election violence were critical in establishing what really happened during the skirmishes, and said their contribution would also assist in the reconciliation process.

Speaking while touring a Mawingo IDP settlement in Ol-Kalou, the Minister maintained that the government had no choice but to implement what was agreed upon during the peace talks.

“Parliament and the coalition partners have moved fast in the last one month to put in place legal measures for constitutional and institutional reforms because it is our intention to implement the Waki report,” she assured.

The Minister added that deliberations on setting up a tribunal to try those mentioned in the Waki report were in progress, ‘and justice must be done to all those mentioned in the report.’

Last week, President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga signed an agreement that would pave the way for an election violence tribunal, a move lauded by former United Nations (UN) chief Kofi Annan.

In a statement issued in Nairobi, Mr Annan, who mediated talks that led to the formation of a coalition government in Kenya, said the agreement for the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence (CIPEV) would end the culture of impunity and shepherd institutional reforms in Kenya.

The court will seek to try the ringleaders of the violence, whose names are contained in a special envelope in the custody of Mr Annan.

Parliament now has 45 days to set it up and begin hearings by March, or risk having the International Criminal Court (ICC) take over the matter.

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The deadline for Wednesday’s agreement was set out by CIPEV, a commission chaired by Justice Phillip Waki, which released its damning report in October.

Meanwhile, the Justice Minister who has declared her interest to run for the Presidency in 2012, has said her party had embarked on plans to recruit more members to build a strong basis for the flower outfit.

Speaking in Nyahururu, Ms Karua who is also the Narc-Kenya Chairperson said she was committed to steering the party to attain its agenda for the 2012 General Elections.


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