Uhuru to get TJRC, Tana reports in 14 days – Muigai

May 16, 2013 3:49 pm
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He said the TJRC and the inquiry into the Tana Delta clashes were examples of actions that Kenya initiated in its quest to defend human rights and investigate torture/FILE
He said the TJRC and the inquiry into the Tana Delta clashes were examples of actions that Kenya initiated in its quest to defend human rights and investigate torture/FILE
GENEVA, Switzerland, 16 – Attorney General Githu Muigai on Thursday told the Committee Against Torture (CAT) in Geneva that the president will receive the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Report within the next 14 days.

Speaking when he defended Kenya against allegations of laxity in ensuring human rights are upheld, Muigai further said the Tana Delta report is also ready and will be received by the president within the next two weeks.

“TJRC and inquiry into Tana Delta are initiatives of the government done in public. Witnesses spoke freely without fear or intimidation. The reports are ready, in less than 14 days from today they will be able to be received with all the implications that follow after that,” Muigai assured.

He explained that it was hard to submit the reports to the president on time since the country was in a transition period after the 2013 General Election in which Uhuru Kenyatta was elected as the fourth president of Kenya.

He said the TJRC and the inquiry into the Tana Delta clashes were examples of actions that Kenya initiated in its quest to defend human rights and investigate torture.

While defending Kenya before CAT, Muigai strongly defended the police force saying that the country was facing threats due to instability in the East African region especially terrorism which had forced the country to stringently carry out security measures to secure Kenya and the neighbouring regions.

He urged the world to put itself in the shoes of Kenya in view of its operation in Somalia to fight terrorism and secure the region.

“Somalia poses a serious security threat to Kenya and the region. Comments about the conduct of our forces must be understood in that context. We are at the forefront in the fight against piracy. We have arrested and tried pirates. We do it at a great risk- where we hold radicalised men hold them in our jails and they continue to radicalise our youth. We expect some understanding that we have paid a great cost,” he explained.

Muigai further dismissed claims that Kenya was torturing prisoners especially those serving life sentences. “Prisoners who have been sentenced to death do not wear uniforms as alleged. Indeed if you visit our prisons you will find that this category of prisoners is well treated.”

He further dismissed allegations that there were attempts to reduce powers of the Independent Police Oversight Authority, explaining that officers appointed have a rich professional background and do not have any interests that will interfere with the work of police.

“They are not appointees of politicians nor do they do bidding for politicians. They are professionals they have experience of over 20 years. Many of them have served in peace keeping operations overseas which show Kenya has a disciplined police force,” he argued.

He assured the committee that Kenya was still in the process of implementing the new constitution, explaining that there was not intentional delay in passing crucial bills but a procedure that the country had adopted to ensure priority bills are first tackled.

However he was quizzed to explain why the bill on torture had taken so long yet it was an important gesture in preventing torture. “Kenya has the best drafted torture bill in the world. But what have you done? Why has the bill become like music to our ears? When will it go through?”

Muigai said the new government will ensure the bill is speeded up.

He said Kenya was proud that a lot had been achieved apart from a peaceful election. “Kenya has nothing to hide, we are proud of what we are doing.”

On post-election violence pending cases, Kenya through the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said that soon a report would be released to show the progress made in prosecuting perpetrators.

Rhoda Ogoma informed CAT that 6,443 files had been opened of which 1,201 had been taken to court leading to 274 acquittals and 191 convictions.

She said 125 cases had been withdrawn whereas 61 cases are ongoing.

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