Kenya’s PM due back on campaign trail

July 26, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga is set to rejoin the campaign trail to push for the passage of the proposed Constitution before the official campaign period ends.

Speaking at his Karen residence on Monday, the PM who has been recuperating following a minor operation last month said that his doctors would clear him to resume official duties before Monday when campaigns formally close.

"I want to also assure you that I’m recovering. The records are very positive according to the doctors. I have only been asked to stay indoors for another few days and shortly I am going to be able to come and be with you people out in the field," he told a group of Nyayo House torture chambers survivors.

The PM underwent head surgery to relieve a build-up of pressure near his brain late last month. Doctors advised him to rest for a couple of days to facilitate healing.

Advocate Rumba Kinuthia who was one of the torture victims pledged to support the proposed law criticised their former colleague Kiogi wa Wamwere for joining former President Daniel arap Moi in campaigning against the draft.

"Moi wants to see the old Constitution which he used to oppress us. We are ready to suffer again to ensure that children are not led by laws that oppressed us, that saw resources grabbed and looted,” he said.

"It is painful for us to see someone like Moi going about opposing the freedom of expression, the same freedom he denied us, is the same thing he is enjoying but I feel even sorrier for our friend who has since joined him and is saying he held him justifiably," said Israel Agina, a former detainee.

Meanwhile, Mr Odinga has asked the Attorney General to pursue an out-of-court settlement of all pending cases for compensation that had been filed by the torture victims.

The PM said that those who participated in the second liberation should be treated as heroes for standing up to the dictatorial regime.

"This is about the rights of a few Kenyans who have suffered to get this country where it is today, what was awarded was a token," he said.

The High Court last week awarded 21 survivors Sh40 million as compensation for illegal detention, but the AG said he would appeal against the ruling..

Mr Kinuthia accused the AG of applying delay tactics by appealing the verdict.

Lands Minister James Orengo led the former detainees in demanding a public apology from retired President Daniel arap Moi.

"In most experiences where there is a shift to a new democratic dispensation… when an old order wants to join the new order, if they don’t go to prison they have to account and apologise. The least that Moi can do is apologise for those 24 years he tortured and persecuted Kenyans," he said.


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