Probe starts in Kenya Constitution fiasco

May 13, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – A special team of investigators has been established to probe how the Government Printer produced two contentious sets of the Proposed Constitution.

Sources said the eight officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) are under firm instructions to unmask forces behind the illegal editing and printing of an estimated 20,000 illegal copies of the draft document.

The investigation follows an admission by Attorney General Amos Wako on Thursday that there were two sets of the proposed law in circulation and that both had been printed by the Government Printer.

He disclosed that the flawed document had been tampered with under Chapter Four which covers the Bill of Rights specifically under Article 24 [d] where the words "national security" were inserted.

The AG has denied responsibility for the illegal insertion and instead blamed the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) which, he said, had approached him to have the section amended.

He then asked the police to step in and investigate the issue.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said the investigation would be carried out expeditiously and those found culpable prosecuted.

“Whoever did it wanted to derail this process but the truth will be known soon," he said. "Those behind it will definitely face appropriate action."

The police chief did not, however, reveal the specific people or group of persons targeted by the investigators.

Deputy CID Director Peter Eregae spent the better part of Thursday in meetings with officers tasked to carry out the investigation.

Well placed sources at the CID headquarters told Capital News that the detectives had begun auditing the trail of the original document that left the AG\’s office two weeks ago to the Government Printing Press on Haille Selassie Avenue.

"The officers will question all the people responsible along that channel up to the time it was released for printing," one CID source said without elaborating.

He said the officers tasked to investigate the matter were under instructions not to spare anyone in the course of their probe, however senior the individuals are.

Our source was non-committal in explaining whether the officers will record a statement from the AG himself, but confirmed to us that some three senior officers in his chambers had been asked to get in touch with the investigators.

It is the AG\’s office that recommends prosecutions in all criminal investigations carried out by the police, which means Mr Wako will in this particular case be required to recommend prosecution on a case touching on his office.

Our source said the team of investigators were also worried about how to approach the investigation because they were mandated to question officials at the NSIS because, the AG had indicated they approached him to make an amendment in one chapter of the proposed constitution which was later found to have been tampered with.

By Thursday evening, no official had recorded a statement with the police as investigators mapped out their strategy of the probe.

Some police officers were however, reported to have visited the Government Printer to observe the actual process of printing of official documents submitted by various government departments.

Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua, in his weekly briefing on Thursday absolved the NSIS from any blame in the scandal which rattled the Constitution making process.


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