Kenya must get local tribunal, says Kabeberi

November 17, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17- The Centre for Multiparty Democracy -Kenya (CMD) believes that the Kenyan leadership should be held accountable if a local tribunal to try masterminds of last year’s post election violence flops.

CMD Director Njeri Kabeberi told Capital News that President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga should take the blame for failing to take a lead in punishing those who sponsored crimes that led to the killing of over 1,500 people and displacement of thousands of others.

“I call upon the leadership, if they any way care for Kenya, to establish a local tribunal. If they don’t, they should be held accountable for the crimes committed,” she said.

Ms Kabeberi believed the two principals should likewise go to The Hague if the government refuses to establish a local tribunal and also give the International Criminal Court (ICC) the assistance it will require when it starts investigating chief perpetrators.

She warned them that the world was watching to see Kenya’s commitment to fight impunity and reconcile the country.

The activist also rested the ball on Parliament telling the MPs that formation of a local tribunal will be a big test that will judge the authenticity of their leadership.

She said the Bill tabled before the House last week addressed concerns that led to the rejection of the two government Bills and explained that they had no excuse to reject the bill this time.

“Parliament will also be judged if it does not pass the Imanyara Bill, ICC will only take not more than five people, what happens to the rest? We are watching the MPs, the public should also be keen to see who is refusing to attend the sessions during important debate like this one and vote them out,” she stated.

Ms Kabeberi said it will be a total disgrace if Parliament goes on recess without establishing a local mechanism after having committed to do so by adopting the Kriegler and the Waki reports.

By Parliament also amending the Constitution to form a coalition government, the human rights activist said it will be an indication of selfishness and greed for power since their concern was just their positions and not the interests of the people.

Apart from that, Ms Kabeberi also drew her concerns to the levels of crime in the country.

She said crime in Kenya had advanced leading to unfamiliar tactics of kidnapping and daytime killings.

“A few years ago, we had crimes of mugging, but now you can get mugged, raped, killed, kidnapped, and shocking is that people get shot in the day light at the middle of streets full of people,” she said.

She was especially concerned that it was hard to distinguish if it was criminals being killed or innocent people being killed politically.

Acknowledging that there was freedom after the Moi era, she said extra judicial killings in the country were more worrying than the freedom assured even after the death penalty was removed.

“In Moi’s time, people were being arrested and tortured, but now people are being killed, even activists, this is very terrifying,” she expressed

She appealed to the Police Commissioner to work hard to restore security and respect for the rule of law.

“The police must lead, then others can follow, crime is increasing because of excessive use of force by the very same people who don’t follow law in this country,” she said.

Ms Kababeri recently received the City of Hague Award for her commitment to democracy and freedom. She picked it in Netherlands early this month.

She also received a second recognition in Australia where she was appointed Ambassador for Global Defenders in human rights and freedom.

The Chamber of Law for Outstanding Service in Frankfurt, Germany has also recognized Ms Kabeberi for her work.


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