NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – The Judicial Commission formed to probe killings that left more than 150 dead in the Tana Delta presented its report to President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday.
In its report, the commission identified, “conflict over resources,” as the reason behind the ethnic clashes that caused the death toll and called for the prosecution of those who instigated the clashes.
The president assured the Justice Grace Nzioka-led commission and Kenyans at large that he would study the report and, “take the appropriate action,” a statement from the Presidential Press Service indicated.
The Inspector General of Police, David Kimaiyo, had in January said that he believed politicians were behind the clashes and at the formation of the Judicial Commission in September 2012, the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko assured the commission that he would, “deal firmly,” with those found to be responsible for the clashes.
Former Galole Member of Parliament Dhadho Godhana was sacked as Livestock Assistant Minister, before the formation of the commission, on suspicion of being one of those behind the clashes but he went on to be acquitted by the High Court.
The politician went on to sue the State when he lost his parliamentary seat following the March 4 General Election: “While I was in court people were saying Godhana is not running for the parliamentary seat; he is going to jail. This is a lifetime loss and to regain it will take a lot of effort which is not easy,” Godhana said at the time.
The seven-member commission submitted its report five months after the deadline initially given by the immediate former President Mwai Kibaki. “In accordance with section 7(1) of The Commissions Of Inquiry Act, the commission should report thereon as soon as reasonably practicable, but not later than the 30 days from the date of being sworn in into office or any such other reasonable extension as I may in writing extend,” the commission’s letter of appointment read.
Apart from the reasons for the killings, the commission’s report includes a review of how law enforcement agents handled the crisis and makes recommendations on how such incidents can be averted and the body count minimised in future.