Govt rejects Alston report

February 25, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – The government announced late Wednesday its total rejection of a report released by the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Professor Philip Alston, and branded it a sham.

An official statement posted on the Government Spokesman’s website said Prof Alston did not meet the required international standards in releasing his report, which among other things, calls for the sacking of Police Commissioner Major General Hussein Ali.

“The Government rejects the findings and recommendations made in a press statement made by the UN Special Rapporteur Prof Philip Alston,’ the statement by Dr Alfred Mutua pronounced.

He added that the Government was particularly concerned with what is referred to in the statement as ‘far reaching’ conclusions and recommendations on the basis of his interim report.

The Government, he said, is further concerned that such a report had been released without having sought a Government response in accordance to the principles of natural justice, and international practice.

He said the preliminary report by Prof Alston had gone beyond his mandate, ‘does not encourage dialogue and appears to have been made in bad faith almost impinging on matters of sovereignty, especially as it relates to executive prerogative to appoint.’

“The Government finds it inconceivable that someone who has been in the country for less than ten days can purport to have conducted comprehensive and accurate research on such a serious matter, as to arrive at the recommendations he made,” Dr Mutua said.

Prof Alston is in the country at the invitation of the government to investigate the alleged extra-judicial killings by security forces and has visited various parts of the country where he held a series of meetings with witnesses and affected families.

He said he had also met top government officials including Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, legislators and the top leadership in the security departments.

In his report issued at the UN headquarters, Prof Alston questions the continued silence by President Mwai Kibaki whom he accused of having failed to institute reforms in the police department despite having received recommendations from various civil rights organizations and the Waki commission which documented the post election violence.

“His (the President) silence to date on this issue is both conspicuous and problematic. The reforms should begin with the immediate dismissal of the police commissioner,” he said.

“Any serious commitment impunity that currently reigns in relation to the widespread and systematic killings by the police should begin with the immediate dismissal of the Police Commissioner,” Prof Alston recommended.

The UN envoy expressed frustrations with the arrogance of security agencies, who have denied the existence of the illegal killings.

He also said that Kenya’s police force lacks a system of accountability.

"The Kenyan Police are a law unto themselves and they kill often with impunity. There is no system of internal accountability in the Kenyan police. The police who kill are the same who investigate these killings!”

He said the resignation of the Attorney General will help restore integrity in the prosecution department and would end the culture of impunity in Kenya.


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