Orengo, Balala differ on trials

July 18, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18 -Lands Minister James Orengo on Saturday differed with his Cabinet colleague Najib Balala over the prosecution of suspects linked to the post-election violence.

Mr Orengo said those adversely mentioned in the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) over possible links to the violence should resign and face trial.

‘’The leaders must first face trial and be allowed to ask for forgiveness, let them lead by example since Kenyans have come of age’’ He said.

He emphasised that the government has a huge responsibility to fight impunity saying reconciliation and forgiveness was not sufficient enough to ensure justice.

Speaking in Lunga Lunga in Msambweni constituency when he handed over 2,000 title deeds in the area, Mr Orengo said the government must fight impunity before talking about reconciliation and forgiveness.

He said days when leaders were above the law are long gone and called on those elected to public office to be at the forefront in respecting the law.

However, Mr Balala who is among those adversely mentioned in the report said he will not resign but will instead sue KNCHR for linking him to the post elections skirmishes.

He said KNCHR lacked the capacity to conduct such investigations, and based its findings on malice and hearsay.        

The Mvita MP claimed the report was a scheme to clip his political fortunes.

"I had banned the culture of hand outs in my constituency and when I took to the streets to protest they rigged election, I was within my  democratic right to do so’’  he stated.      

Should he move to court he will become the second cabinet Minister to sue KNCHR over their involvement in the 2007 post poll violence.

On Friday the commission released a report in which 219 suspects were listed.

7 cabinet Ministers and 11 MPs were in the list which also named religious leaders, politicians, businesspeople and some vernacular radio stations.

They are alleged to have led to the killings of 1,300 people and displacement of about 600,000 others.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan already handed over the secret envelope to International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo who has already opened the envelope.


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