MPs insist on The Hague option

July 19, 2009 12:00 am


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19 – Pressure to have perpetrators of post-election violence tried at The Hague continues to mount.

Six Members of Parliament (MPs) mainly from the Mount Kenya region on Saturday accused their colleagues in Parliament for what they termed a move to protect impunity by pushing for a local tribunal.

The MPs led by Assistant Minister Peter Kenneth said they were sceptical on the independence of the proposed local tribunal.

"Anybody who was involved in perpetrating post election violence must be prosecuted. The leaders of such violence must be taken to The Hague," said Mr Kenneth.

He said that the fear that post-poll chaos suspects could be taken to the ICC at The Hague, The Netherlands, is behind the change of mind by some MPs within PNU and ODM.

"If you delay such action you encourage impunity. Perpetrators of last year’s violence must be tried under the rule of law, be it at The Hague or in Arusha," he said.

He regretted that politicians plotting to derail justice for post-poll violence victims were driven by ethnic and partisan interests.

Mr Kenneth urged politicians to redouble their efforts towards ending impunity which he said was critical to addressing the root cause of the 2008 post election violence.

"We can not deal with impunity if we choose to protect our leaders and prosecute ordinary Kenyans for such crimes," he said.

Mr Kenneth spoke during a fundraiser at Wahundura High School in Mathioya constituency hosted by area MP Clement Wambugu.

His sentiments were supported by legislators, Muiru Mburi (Tharaka), Mahmoud Ali (Moyale), Elias Mbau (Maragua), Kabando wa Kabando (Mukuruweini) and Mr Wambugu.

"All those who were involved in perpetrating violence must be prosecuted. The leaders of such violence must be taken to the Hague as that is the only place where we are assured of justice," Mr Wambugu said.

Mr Muiru urged his colleagues in Parliament to support The Hague option to ensure impunity was rooted out in the country.

"Last year certain leaders said our courts are not good yet now when Hague has become a reality they want these same local courts. What has changed?" He asked.

Mr Mahmud Ali cautioned that while justice must be served either through The Hague or a tribunal, care must be taken not to divide the country further.

Mr Mbau said Internally Displaced Persons and other victims of the deadly violence immediately after the 2007 general election want justice.

"Some leaders are now changing their stand as they thought The Hague will never come," he said.

Mr Kabando called for a hybrid solution to the violence of last year.

"I propose The Hague for the leaders, some of whom are now in government and a local tribunal for those who obeyed their command," he said.

"When justice is done the guilty are afraid, when justice is done the innocent rejoice."

Cabinet is set to hold a special session on Monday to come up with a home-based trial for the suspects.


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