Kenya: Quit now, civil society tells Kibaki, Raila

kenya_kibaki_odingaCivil society is demanding the resignation of President Kibaki (right) and Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) for failing to establish a special tribunal to try culprits associated with post-election violence.

A coalition of more than 30 civil society groups said choosing Cabinet to deal with important matters was evidence the leaders were incapable of rallying support from Parliament.

They urged Kenyans and the international community to reject the Governments belated attempt to shield suspects.

In an open letter to Kibaki and Raila and addressed to Chief Mediator Kofi Annan, the civil society members said: “Your Cabinet decisions encourage some to resort to institutionalised violence as an acceptable practice and contribute to recurrence of similar abuses.”

They said police, having been implicated in the violence, are not capable of conducting independent and impartial investigations.

In a paid-up advertisement appearing elsewhere, the civil society said the Judiciary was incapable of handling post-election violence.

They raised concern with the TJRC over alleged conflict of interest, its effectiveness and ability to tackle impunity.

Criminal liability

“The TJRC is distinct from the courts of law and does not normally determine individual criminal liability or order criminal sanctions rather, it produces a raft of recommendations which will depend on Governments will or ability to implement,” they said.

Meanwhile, a suit seeking to stop the TJRC from commencing its work has been withdrawn.

The applicants withdrew the suit after it emerged the papers they had filed were not in order. This came after TJRC and chairman Bethwel Kiplagat sought to have it dismissed.

Through their advocate Evans Monari, the two filed an objection to the suit saying it was an abuse of the process of the law.

The applicants, among them former detainees, had filed an urgent suit at the Nairobi Law Courts claiming Kiplagats impartiality, integrity and credibility are in doubt.

However, in the objection, TJRC and Kiplagat said the application is null and void and that the applicants have no locus standi (legal standing) to file the suit.

Former MPs Augustine Njeru Kathangu, Otieno MakOnyango, Koigi wa Wamwere, Moses Mwihia and Kalembe Ndile sued TJRC and Kiplagat.

Justice Jean Gacheche heard the case. She directed journalists to leave the chambers when the case came up for hearing.

The Standard

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