Raila meets Waki tribunal deadline

December 17, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has signed his part of the agreement to set up the special tribunal to try suspects listed in the Waki report.

He signed it ahead of the expiry of the deadline to set up the tribunal as directed in the Waki Commission findings on post election violence.

Sources close to the PM’s office say he signed the agreement on Tuesday evening. The deadline for President Mwai Kibaki, the PM and chief mediator Kofi Annan to sign the document was due to expire on Wednesday.

The issue of a tribunal has drawn sharp lines in government, with some MPs insisting it will plunge the country into even more chaos than experienced at the beginning of the year, while others adamant that the conviction of those involved in the post poll violence was the only way to exorcise the demon that is impunity.

The failure to reach a conclusion had worried members of the public and civil society on whether the government would be able to implement the Waki findings, as promised, ahead of a deadline stipulated in the report for action to be taken.

But on Tuesday afternoon, Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula reaffirmed the state’s commitment to implement the report.

He said that there is no cause for panic.

“The recommendations in the Waki report, are recommendations. They do not have penal sanctions if the timeline is not met. What is needed is the commitment of the Cabinet, of Parliament, of the Government and Kenyans, to implement this report,” said the Minister.

Mr Wetangula told a news conference that the report was still pending at a Cabinet committee tasked with coming up with an implementation strategy.

“The implementation of these reports is not optional. If we want to have a better Kenya tomorrow, we should not take the lull and use it to sweep things under the carpet. And I just hope and pray, and believe that all my colleagues affected or unaffected, will stay the course.”



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