, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 15 – Cabinet Minister James Orengo on Monday turned the heat on the two witnesses who admitted that they were influenced to give false evidence about the post election violence to Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR).
Mr Orengo who is a member of the Cabinet committee on International Criminal Court (ICC) matters said the two witnesses should be prosecuted and charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.
“Today you say this because you were coached, tomorrow you say something else… that is an offence, if you fabricate evidence that is an offence. This is one of the things I am going to take up myself,” he said.
The Minister said giving false evidence about the violence that claimed about 1,500 lives and displaced 350, 000 others was a grave offence since the country suffered greatly and is also in search of justice.
“If any of them are found receiving a bribe or corruptly attains any money for himself, that is an offence under the Kenyan law,” he said.
The Ugenya MP also warned suspects against taking the ICC investigations for granted saying nothing could stop the process which had already began.
He also said the court carries out its own independent investigations and does not have to rely on any organisations or individuals.
“The latest visit to The Hague or other visits, (are coming after the prosecutor) gave this offer last year, so when people are going to The Hague now, they are going one year after the offer. People may be playing games with this visit to The Hague… you are going there because the Prosecutor knows his mandate!” he said.
He reminded Members of Parliament who rejected a local tribunal that the international court was on course and the investigations were a reality which will take a shorter time than they thought when they decided The Hague was the better option.
He said: “At the beginning there were people opposed to a local tribunal and they said, ‘Don’t be vague, go to The Hague’ and they thought that process would take 20 years. Two years down the line the people opposed to a local tribunal are now saying we want a local tribunal.”
Mr Orengo who is also a member of the national dialogue team that negotiated Kenya’s Peace Accord said the country had not resettled all internally displaced persons, failed to form a local tribunal while the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) faced credibility doubts.
He called for the disbandment of the TJRC which he said had not passed the integrity test which was the basis requirement of its formation.
The Minister was speaking during the opening of a two-week media training workshop on the ICC, Local Tribunal and Reconciliation Mechanisms.
German Ambassador Margit Hellwig-Boette urged the Kenyan media to be vibrant to fight impunity, tribalism and push for justice especially in relation to the 2008 post election violence.
She also urged Kenya to deal with the root problems of the violence and cultivate justice and stable peace.
“It shows for me that the past will not just vanish. You cannot run away from it. Injustices have to be phased out and dealt with in an appropriate way, otherwise they will pop up, again stir trouble and prevent national healing and cohesion,” she said.