KNCHR on the spot over killings

March 16, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – A section of the civil society called on Monday for the disbandment of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) due to their lack of response over the Oscar Foundation chief executive Kamau King’ara and his Project Officer Paul Oulu.

Akiba Uhaki programme coordinator Kepta Ombati said that KNCHR must live up to its responsibility by defending the rights of Kenyans and not staying silent.

“Why are they quiet about the government going round calling every other young person Mungiki? They are supposed to defend the rights of well dressed Kenyans and poorly dressed Kenyans,” he stated.

“We are telling Florence Jaoko, the chairperson, and other commissioners to either wake up or ship out,” Mr Ombati added.

He said that action by the commission would also motivate witnesses to come forward with evidence on the killings.

“We have actually received calls from University students who indicated that there are students who witnessed the shooting but they are not willing to give that evidence to any of the investigation units,” he explained.

“If it is not that KNCHR that shall be ready to receive this evidence, how are we going to unravel this?” 

At the same time, the Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO) council has joined those calling for the implementation of the Alston Report on alleged extra-judicial killings by the police.

Council Chairman Simeon Kanani said that the implementation on the report would go a long way in uniting the country.

“We need to restore fundamental human rights and freedoms, resettling IDPs, enacting laws and developing policies on security and other reforms,” he said.

Mr Kanani stressed the importance of making known to Kenyans the report into the Post election violence as well as Prof Alston’s findings.

“There is the need to make public and implement recommendations on the commission of inquiry into the post election violence and the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings.”

He also put Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua to task over his statement just before the killing of the Oscar Foundation chairman. 

Slain human rights campaigner Mr King’ara was laid to rest on Saturday at the family home in Muchatha, Kiambu.

Legislators Bonny Khalwale and Stanley Githunguri joined friends and family, including Constitutional lawyer Paul Muite and other civil society officials in calling for an independent probe into his killing.

Mr Ombati said a report (into the killings) by the two foreign investigators was likely to be more credible than one from the police whom he said were suspects in the matter.

The late Mr King’ara had accused the police of being behind the alleged extra-judicial killings of suspected Mungiki sect adherents.

He was killed nine days ago alongside his colleague Mr Oulu, the very day he organised a protest for families of missing Mungiki suspects got underway in Nairobi and Central Provinces.

The activist insisted that Dr Mutua, Police Commissioner Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali and Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe ought to step aside while the probe is conducted.

Hours before Mr King’ara was killed Dr Mutua claimed that the government had evidence that the Oscar Foundation was involved with the outlawed Mungiki sect and warned that action would be taken against the organisation, including deregistration.


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