Kenya VP roots for local tribunal

July 21, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has expressed support for a local mechanism to achieve justice for the victims of last year’s post election violence.

Mr Musyoka said to support the ‘Hague’ option would be to admit that Kenya’s Judicial system has failed and by extension implies that Kenya is a failed state.

"The Grand Coalition Government is not divided and will work together to steer the country forward and especially conclude on the Agenda Four of the Serena talks," said the VP.

The Vice President made the remarks on Tuesday when he met the Federation of Women lawyers (FIDA) Kenya, at his Jogoo House Office, led by their Chairperson, Naomi Wagereka, who presented him with a memorandum.

Mr Musyoka said there was need for reforms in the country’s judicial system, noting that there was a backlog of cases yet to be heard.

At the same time, he noted that the Judiciary was underfunded hence failure to facilitate its operations.

The Vice President observed that the Judiciary should be granted its full independence such as that enjoyed by other arms of the government like the Legislature.

Mr Musyoka appealed to Kenyans and particularly the professionals to support the constitutional review process, saying it was important for Kenyans to hold a non-contested referendum to ensure consensus and realisation of a new constitution in the shortest time possible.

The Vice President assured that the ongoing reforms in the country’s penal institution would continue and indicated that the Prisons Act needs to be amended to ensure observance of basic human rights and guarantee habitable conditions in the institution.

On general development, Mr Musyoka said the government was exploring ways of constructing water in arid and semi arid lands to avoid over dependence on rains in order to ensure availability of water for both domestic and irrigation throughout the year.

In their Memorandum read by the Chairperson, FIDA called for the Cabinet to forge a united front in confronting the many challenges facing the country including institutional reforms and peace building.

They pointed out that there was need for the country’s leadership to show the way forward in the ongoing reforms in order to transform the country into a vibrant and an all-inclusive democracy.

FIDA called on Kenyans to confront the culture of impunity and shun the notion that Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission can be a substitute to a tribunal to try perpetrators of post election violence.

FIDA Executive Director, Patricia Nyaundi, was also present at the talks.


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