NCCK happy with tough Hague rules

April 7, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has welcomed the strict conditions placed on the Ocampo Six by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, saying Kenyans should allow the court to run its course.

The judges on Thursday warned the six suspects to guard their language, threatening to issue arrest warrants should the court feel that the suspects were reigniting violence in the country.

NCCK Secretary General Peter Karanja said the tough demands placed on the suspects would help crack down impunity in the country.

"And if the suspects don\’t think that the demands are fair, they should apply for the provisions within the applicable law to seek for redress at the ICC," he charged.

At the same time, the NCCK has demanded an independent audit into how funds meant for the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons were spent.

Canon Karanja said that Kenyans deserved a detailed account of how the money was spent as well as the exact number of people who were displaced during the 2008 post election violence.

He added that it would be prudent for the government to look into claims that there were fraudsters, posing as IDPs, who had been milking funds meant for the resettlement exercise.

"Kenyans should know how much of the monies intended for the IDPs actually ended with the IDPs. And we may not consider the government competent and able to be the creators of the IDPs\’ situation and their retention in camps and to be the ones telling us where we are in that process," he argued.

Canon Karanja also took issue with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission saying it had failed in its duty as the hate speech watchdog.

He added that the commission\’s Act should be reviewed to give it more responsibilities and its budgetary allocation revised upwards.

"The commission must change its mode of operation to focus more on providing solutions and answers to the problems we are facing rather than merely chronicling gaps and lamenting like every other Kenyan," he said.

The church further expressed concern with the ethnic rhetoric that had, in recent pasts, become synonymous with political rallies. Canon Karanja argued that statements which divided Kenyans along tribal lines should be shunned.

"It will be highly irresponsible for us as Kenyans to be tricked into ethnic balkanisation a second time. Kenyans should not allow themselves to be incited by politicians but should instead focus on productive activities," he said.

The church also called on the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution as well as that on Revenue Allocation to fast track the process. Cannon Karanja argued that time was running out on Kenyans and that laws meant to govern next year\’s elections ought to be in place.

He explained that the NCCK had set up a task force on the implementation of the constitution so as to spearhead the church\’s participation in the process.

"The preparations should be inclusive so as to avoid a repeat of the scenario we had during the build up to the 2007 elections. We don\’t want a situation where election results are rejected on the basis that the laws and judicial systems did not provide a level playing field," he noted.

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