Kenya Special Tribunal hours away

January 29, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – President Mwai Kibaki was on Thursday afternoon expected to attend Parliament during debate on the Special Tribunal for Kenya Bill and an amendment to entrench it in the constitution.

President Kibaki has in the past two days attended informal sessions of Parliament (kamukunji) to build consensus among legislators, so that the local tribunal to try those behind the 2007 post-election violence, is put in place on time.

He was last in Parliament in March during the legislation of the National Accord.

His presence in Parliament would also mark the beginning of an important step in acting on the Waki timelines.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua is expected to present the Constitutional amendment and the Special Tribunal for Kenya Bills Thursday afternoon.

According to Thursday’s Parliamentary Order Paper, the government was also to move a motion to reduce the publication period of the two Bills from 14 days to one day.

"Pursuant to the provision of Standing Order 98, this House orders that the publication period of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment Bill and the Special Tribunal for Kenya Bill be reduced from fourteen days to one day," it read.

Lawmakers held two informal meetings earlier in the week to build a consensus to ensure the two Bills were passed when taken to the floor of the House.

Following the meetings, MPs agreed that those implicated in the Waki report would only step down upon indictment by the Tribunal\’s prosecutor.

Also in contention was the issue of reconciliation where some MPs were pushing for amnesty.

However after Wednesday\’s meeting, they agreed there will be no amnesty.

Kimunya\’s re-appointment

Also listed on the Order Paper was resumption of the debate on the adoption of the report of the Finance, Planning and Trade Committee on the sale of the Grand Regency Hotel.

On Wednesday, Nambale MP Chris Okemo who chaired the committee, said that former Finance Minister Amos Kimunya should be reprimanded for his actions in the sale of the hotel.

Mr Kimunya rubbished the report saying it lacked credibility and was only aimed at settling political scores.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende was also expected to make a ruling on the re-appointment of Mr Kimunya to the Cabinet since Parliament had previously passed a vote of no confidence against him.

Ikolomani MP Dr Bonny Khalwale and Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara had questioned his comeback saying he had not been cleared and that Parliament had indicted him.


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