Kenya: Raila defends Cabinet pick on TJCR option

kenya_raila_odingaKenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday defended the Cabinet decision to opt for a Truth Justice and Reconciliation (TJRC) in dealing with the post-election violence effects, saying MPs had vowed to reject any attempts to set up a special local tribunal for Kenya.

He dismissed MPs accusations that the Cabinet had killed the local tribunal option and instead blamed them for having frustrated the government efforts to establish one.

Mr Odinga reminded MPs how they rejected a Bill that sought to establish a local tribunal last year and many swore to throw it out again if it was reintroduced.

The problem is not the Cabinet but here in the House where MPs have no confidence in the local tribunal, he said.

Pave way

He was responding to Dr Boni Khalwale (Ikolomani, New Ford-Kenya) who wanted to know what the government was doing to pave the way for key suspects of the post-election violence to face justice locally or internationally.

According to the PM, the amendments to TJRC Act would make the body more representative and effective to deal with an expanded mandate.

The PM, however, said TJRC would not try suspects of the 2007 post-election violence but accelerate reforms in the Judiciary, police and other investigatory bodies that will in turn deal with the issue.

He said government had not closed doors to The Hague option, stating the International Criminal Court was free to institute action against suspects.

We cannot restrain the ICC if it wants to try the suspects according to international standards, he said.

The Rev Mutava Musyimi (Gachoka, PNU) countered the PMs argument that MPs had rejected the draft Tribunal Bill saying MPs had demanded an improved version of the same.

Ms Martha Karua (Gichugu, Narc Kenya) pointed fingers at President Kibaki and the PM saying they had failed a test of integrity by not keeping the promise to push through the Tribunal Bill and have it enacted.

And responding to Dr Khalwales proposal ministers blacklisted by US and UK be sacked, the Mr Odinga said the government didnt know who they are.

We dont know the names of those banned and our law says you are innocent until proved guilty, he said.

Daily Nation

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