By DAVID MUGONYI
November 27 2008
Politicians named in the Waki list will have to quit their Cabinet posts and those found guilty of election violence offences barred from ever running for public office if proposals tabled before the Cabinet are approved.
Sources who have seen the proposals prepared by a team headed by Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Martha Karua, on Thursday said this was the only way to end impunity and stop politicians from using their communities to cause violence every election year.
Doom for politicians
If adopted, the proposals could spell doom for politicians whose names appear in the Waki list, which was handed over to former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan in a sealed envelope.
The list of six Cabinet ministers and five MPs is to be handed over to the International Criminal Court at The Hague if a local tribunal is not set up to try them by March 1.
A law to create the tribunal is expected to have been signed by December 17, according to the timetable set out in the Waki report on post-election violence.
After Thursday’s Cabinet meeting, ministers agreed that President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga lead a 10-member committee that will start the implementation of the Waki report.
The formation of the committee means that the Government backs a local tribunal. It also emerged that the Cabinet agreed to try and beat the December 17 deadline for passing the law to form the tribunal.
The Cabinet also approved plans to disband the Electoral Commission of Kenya when it agreed to create an interim body to take over the functions of the team led by Mr Samuel Kivuitu.
A statement from the Presidential Press Services said the Cabinet had approved a move to create an Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), which will spearhead reforms on elections and give confidence to the referendum on the constitution expected next year.
On the Waki report, the Cabinet committee headed by President Kibaki and Mr Odinga will prepare a work-plan on how the report is to be implemented.
Other members of the committee are Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and ministers Karua, James Orengo, Moses Wetang’ula, Sally Kosgei, Sam Ongeri, Ruto and Mutula Kilonzo — all members of the Serena negotiating team. The committee will prepare its report and present it to Cabinet.
Sources said the Waki report could be discussed again before being forwarded to Parliament.
The Government has until December 17 to start the process of setting up a local tribunal to investigate suspects or else the Waki envelope will handed over to the International Criminal Court.
Although the Waki report had split the Cabinet, ministers now back its full implementation. Mr Ruto, who was initially critical of the report, changed his position last weekend and supported its implementation.
At one point, he threatened to quit ODM if the Prime Minister continued to push for full implementation of the report.
In line with reforms in electoral laws, the Cabinet also approved plans to create an Interim Boundaries Review Commission, which will demarcate constituency boundaries.
The meeting also adopted the Kriegler report, which investigated last December’s presidential election results that are believed to have sparked the post-election violence in which 1,133 people were killed and over 300,000 displaced from their homes.
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Sources told the Nation that the guidelines by Ms Karua also propose that the Cabinet makes tough political decisions to end impunity by stopping politicians who manipulate their communities to cause violence for political reasons.
It is understood that Ms Karua warned that the country was sitting on a time-bomb and cannot guarantee the rule of law and security unless decisive steps are taken against those who organised the violence.
The Justice minister is also said to have proposed that the implementation of the report be guided by the spirit and letter of the National Accord that created the Grand Coalition on February 28, ending the two months of post-election violence.
Ms Karua said that the reforms required would not be possible without support from the Government, Parliament and political parties.
In her guidelines, Ms Karua has proposed that some of the recommendations by the Waki Commission be implemented through the constitutional review process and others through the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission.
Contentious reforms will be implemented through comprehensive review of the Constitution.
The sub-committee to be led by the President will work with the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney-General’s office to prioritise the reforms required in the implementation of the report.
Sources further told the Nation that the guidelines also propose the immediate merger between the regular and the Administration Police forces.
The new force, it is recommended, should be led by a professional police officer. Currently, the force is led by a Major-General from the Kenya Army.
Ms Karua also proposes the creation of an Independent Police Conduct Authority in line with the Waki recommendations. The authority will have legislative powers and authority to investigate police conduct.
The Cabinet also approved plans to import five million bags of maize to boost the strategic food reserve. At the same time, the National Cereals and Produce Board will release 700,000 bags of maize to millers in the next three weeks to cushion Kenyans from rising maize flour prices.
A 2kg-packet of maize flour has been retailing at between Sh95 and Sh98 after falling from a high of Sh120 last week. Last December the same packet cost Sh48.
Sources said debate on rising flour prices was stormy with Cabinet ministers Chirau Mwakwere, George Saitoti, William ole Ntimama and John Michuki questioning what was happening.
It is understood that the ministers said the country cannot afford to have food riots with Mr Mwakwere claiming there were up to five ships in the high seas with tons of maize destined for Kenya.
And in Parliament, House Speaker Kenneth Marende ruled that courts cannot stop Parliament from making a law that could pave the way for the sacking of the Electoral Commission of Kenya.
Submitted by ombwengi
Posted November 29, 2008 04:52 AM
If the ECK did what they were supposed to do, we could not be having this Waki commission and report.The election was stollen and everybody knows that is what caused the violence.Impunity started with those who stole the election.Did you expect Kenyans to sit down and say "praise the lord" our voting right has been violated? Without clean elections, it will be happenning every four years.The hague has no solution for Kenya,the kenyans alone do.
Submitted by jmax01
Posted November 28, 2008 09:34 PM
How long shall we hear about the waki report? the recomendation in this report will be implimented partially late 2011 and early 2012 just like any other recommendation. politics, politics is a dirty game but why play the dirty game on wanjiku, why?????
Submitted by ProfessorElimu
Posted November 28, 2008 08:11 PM
We need a peoples revolution in this country and that will come through a young leader who will satand up to these wazees hoodwinking the common mwananchi who buys maize flour at 120kshs...
Submitted by masaa
Posted November 28, 2008 07:11 PM
This is what makes me feel ashamed to be associated with being Kenyan, or indeed African. I am still under my own remedy to Kenya's problems in that only the youthful citizens will steer us from where we all are craving to come from. I dream of days in the future where footage of Marende calling taxation 'philanthropy' will be played in classrooms counrywide to warn and educate about abuse of power and such like. The status quo has to come to an end, and kenya needs real change from its youthful generation. In desperate need of REVOLUTION!!
Submitted by nani_ngombe
Posted November 28, 2008 07:07 PM
Hey Revolutionists: Attention To Early Warning Signs (ATEWS). Those are the crucial five words in almost any mission. Profiling the way this Grand Coalition handled the resettlement issue, Goldenberg, Anglo-Leasing, Grand Regency, Waki Report, Kriegler Report, The ECK etc...and now the Tax story...Don't you think these guys are slowly and gradually turning into hardcore civilian dictators? Or is it just me?
Submitted by natnyoiks
Posted November 28, 2008 06:08 PM
There must be something terribly wrong with our politicians and the so called leaders while in truth, they are not. what we have is a bunch of inconsiderate people who care less for the people but continue to impoverish kenyans in the name of committes and commissions. Nats Njoroge
Submitted by syindumyaki
Posted November 28, 2008 05:42 PM
I dont trust our MP's to work on this matter with the diligence it deserves. Its time we kenyans spoke with one vioce. the civil society, media houses,professional associations etc. there is no one to check the excesses of the legislature, this guys can pass any law. Time to say no!
Submitted by mxjnprr
Posted November 28, 2008 04:51 PM
Na hii komiti ni ya nini? I thought good Waki set the deadline by which the process should start. Waki knew what he was doing. Goldenberg took the system 12 years not to be concluded. You can't subvert the Waki report!
Submitted by Menzawajuma
Posted November 28, 2008 02:24 PM
How can a committee be formed to implement the findings of another committee. This is a wastage of time and money. The truth is, the Waki report will never be implemented. If the cause of the election violence is what you and me think but are afraid of saying it, then even the president himself will not implement it. Hague is weak,, and can only succeed if the politicians, who are accused of the killings, agree to co-operate with it. After all, domestic laws take precedence over international laws. Menza Sebastian
Submitted by Kennan
Posted November 28, 2008 02:23 PM
We can complain till the cows come home, but as long as we the ordinary Kenyans do nothing about our political leaders, they will continue to abuse our intelligence. Ever heard of conflict of interest? How can these guys deliberate objectively on issues affecting them and their collegues? Look at how they pay themselves to know how it will end. We the Kenyan people need to rise up against such impunity!!
Submitted by thecreature
Posted November 28, 2008 01:24 PM
I agree with kkbondo... only a revolution by Kenyan youth can save our country. These crooked 'leaders' must never divide us by tribe again. That is what keeps them in power. All Kenyan youths should seriously start plans for a people's revolution!
Submitted by fantom
Posted November 28, 2008 01:16 PM
I totally agree with the post above, Why on earth do we have government officials in the committee who could be victim of the report. I cant claim that I understand how this commission will work, but based on history, I smell some conspiracy. As a Kenyan, I would be glad if we settle domestic issues at home but I welcome the EXCEPTION anytime. Justice for all.
Submitted by kkbondo
Posted November 28, 2008 12:50 PM
Its sad that our leaders are still debating what should have been passed long time ago! We need only one thing in Kenya - Revolution by young and committed citizens.
Submitted by brubben
Posted November 28, 2008 12:24 PM
If what i'm reading in this article is right, then be prepared.We've been on this road several times,its nothing new!They r trying to hood-wink the people!All in the name of avoiding the hague!We should demand an overhaul of the whole government!we r tired of this old politics!
Submitted by TheBoss
Posted November 28, 2008 11:07 AM
This is a joke! It can only be a dream in Kenya. There will be another Commission formed to look into the recommendations of this tribunal to see if these cronies should be sacked! I can only curse all these fellows to suffer this and future lifetimes!
Submitted by ikiplagat
Posted November 28, 2008 11:04 AM
we just live in a country of circus! someone steals elections and precipitates violence...then the waki thing says that the violence was financed.Africa will never do anything right...extinction is the only solution for us
Submitted by wmakora
Posted November 28, 2008 11:04 AM
It is good the Cabinet has moved at long last. Let the next step be bolder, clearer and more assuring. Then the Constitutional Review should follow on hot heels. Let no document be used as a tool to sttle scores, as Ruto, thereby, feared. That will work against the expectations of the studious masses. Otherwise, our confidence is waning.
Submitted by lord of the rings
Posted November 28, 2008 11:00 AM
A local tribunal will be subverted,that one is as sure as daylight.these pepople ought to be hauled to the Hague asap
Submitted by narano
Posted November 28, 2008 10:52 AM
I really pitty the political class in this country. Two, i wonder, have they understood the Waki Report. They will form committtees and whatever, but the good judge knwew better. The report has a golden Ring that all kenyans should cheer about. That famous self implementation clause. These delaying tricks wont work bwana president and PM. This political jokes wont hold against the Waki Report. Why on earth should the President and the PM ever be in the committee. The noose can only be getting ever tighter for the criminals and thats our justice.
Submitted by bnkirwa
Posted November 28, 2008 10:49 AM
we are longing to see the implementation,but the two principals still owe kenyans an explanation on who was behind the stir at kicc on december 03/2007
Submitted by paulo1981
Posted November 28, 2008 09:43 AM
For many who know Kenya's political and administrative or governance culture, there is nothing so far worth mentioning or raising eyebrows to. How many tribunals' and commissions of inquiries' documents and findings are sealed in cans and shelved in a freezer system infested with cobwebs even?
Submitted by wakandoma
Posted November 28, 2008 01:43 AM
I don't get it. Why do we have a committee entirely made up of ministers while they might be included in the waki report? Shouldn' it be made up of an independent body? Or am I the only one seeing the irony in this joke. Yet again the government of the people figures out a way to fool the masses 'it serves'
Submitted by Daniel08
Posted November 27, 2008 11:55 PM
I strongly believe criminal should not be allowed to hold any sort of public office. All Mp’s should be subject to a background check without exception, prior to clearance by the election commission so as to vie in any elections. This would sort the problem from the root, and avoid scrupulous people getting into parliament or causing election violence as witnessed (not just ministers). Nominations should also be subject to similar procedures. It is time we get accountable people, with the interest of Kenyans at heart in public office and parliament. Kenyans deserve this at a minimum.
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