Karua to broach Kenya Tribunal Bill again

February 3, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – Justice Minister Martha Karua was on Tuesday expected to bring a Bill for the establishment of a Special Tribunal and a Constitutional Amendment to entrench the Tribunal in the Constitution to Parliament.

Discussion on the two Bills was thwarted last Thursday after Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara said the Bills had not reached the required maturity of 14 days.

He further claimed that the public and the civil society had not been given a chance to read the Bills upon their publication.

Minister Karua last Thursday moved a motion to have the time of publication slashed to one day, to enable the government beat last Friday’s deadline, before the Waki envelop was sent to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende ruled then that Mr Imanyara was in order, since he had the support of two members, as required by the Standing Orders.

It was unclear if the Bills would be debated on Tuesday afternoon, since the two weeks were not yet over.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga said on Saturday that he had discussed the delay in forming the local tribunal with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

"I have discussed the matter with Kofi Annan on the progress we have made towards this initiative and I expect the former UN Secretary General to get more highlights from President Mwai Kibaki," the Premier said.

It has been the feeling of several MPs that a local tribunal will be manipulated by those in power and whom have been implicated in the Waki report to have been involved in the 2007 post election violence.

That’s why several MPs led by Mr Imanyara have vowed to block the formation of the local tribunal, so that the perpetrators are taken to The Hague.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) was on Tuesday afternoon expected to table in Parliament a list of local experts to work on a new constitution.

University Lecturer Ekuro Arukot was appointed as the director of the review team.

Lawyer Otiende Amollo, Abdi Rashid Abdulahi, Bobby Mkangi, former nominated MP Njoki Ndungu, Atsango Chesoni, and lawyer Nzamba Kitonga would be part of the team.

PSC Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed said the committee had been vetting more than 300 applications.
The six will join three foreign experts to form a nine-member committee of experts.

They include constitutional lawyers Christian Murray of South Africa, Chaloka Beyani from Zambia and Fredrick Ssempembwa of Uganda.


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