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Waki report now before Parliament

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 4 – Justice Minister Martha Karua has finally tabled the Waki Report on post-election violence in Parliament.

Ms Karua tabled the report on Thursday more than one and half months after it was completed and handed to President Mwai Kibaki for implementation. While tabling the document, she gave notice of a Motion for the House to adopt the report.

The document is now expected to come up for debate next week before Members of Parliament break for the Christmas festivities. The report has generated deep divisions among the political class and is likely to elicit interesting debate in the House.

MPs are expected to pass the necessary legislation for setting up a tribunal to try the perpetrators of the post-poll violence.

A section of politicians have rejected the report’s proposals saying if implemented, it could reignite tension in the country. Another group has fronted a tribunal widely controlled by Kenyans.

The Cabinet last week approved the implementation of the controversial document and named a 10-member committee to spearhead the process.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga were tasked with the responsibility of preparing an implementation work-plan to beat the Waki deadline of March 1, 2009 before the perpetrators are hauled to the International Criminal Court in the Hague to face trial.

The two leaders were to work closely with Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and Ministers Karua of the Justice Ministry, James Orengo of Lands and Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula.

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Others are Higher Education Minister Dr Sally Kosgey, Prof Sam Ongeri of Education, Agriculture Minister William Ruto and Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Mutula Kilonzo.

The report widely publicised by the local media calls for the prosecution of key suspects named in a secret list handed over to former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Those on the list include at least six Cabinet ministers, politicians and prominent businessmen who allegedly either funded or organised the post-election violence that left at least 1,500 people dead and the displacement of 300,000 others.

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