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We will reform, vows Wako

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct  4 – Kenyans do not need to be threatened with sanctions or other intimidating means in order to make judicial and governmental reforms.

Speaking during the fourth paraplegic fundraising walk in Nairobi on Saturday, Attorney General Amos Wako said Kenya was committed to reforms and did not need any international pressure to achieve this.

"Let us not focus on sanctions instead let us focus on what matters.  Kenyans should now pay attention to the reforms which they have agreed to take up. That is where our energy should be and we are on the track," asserted Mr Wako.

He observed that there had been a delay in constituting various constitutional commissions required to carry out the reform agendas blaming it on the tedious statutory requirements on commissioners’ appointment methods.

"The commissions are now functioning independently and are composed of people with integrity; people who are competent to carry out the functions of those commissions. In addition the legislation which set up these commissions gives them time limits on when to deliver," noted Mr Wako.

The Attorney General also admitted that Kenya had failed to commit itself to forming a local tribunal to try post-election violence suspects and welcomed this week’s visit by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan terming it a courtesy call.

"As far as I can see it is a routine visit. The team he left behind makes quarterly reports on the progress being made. So he is coming as a friend to know how far we have gone, what remains to be done, what difficulties we are facing and how we can handle them in order to make the reforms. Therefore we should welcome him," he declared.

Mr Wako held that the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission should not be given the power to prosecute corruption cases but should instead be a constitutional independent body.

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"As far as prosecution is concerned KACC should remain an investigative body and leave matters of prosecution to the directorate of public prosecutions which should also be an independent body under our constitution with enough resources just like KACC," 

Mr Wako also strongly refuted the notion that his office had been a stumbling block to reforms saying that it had delivered its mandate.

‘The office has been at the forefront of reforms right from 1991 to the year 2009. We have never been a hindrance to reforms. It is my office which called for the appointment of a Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs in 1995 in order to de-politicise the office," he stated.

He further defended his office saying it was the one calling for the de-linking of the department of public prosecutions from the Attorney General’s chambers to be an independent and constitutional office.

"We have already organised the unit into thematic units so we are at the forefront of constitutional changes," he noted.


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