Wednesday, December 17, 2008



By Dan Okoth and PPS

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday signed an agreement for the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence.

Among the radical proposals in the agreement is that public officers charged with offences related to post-election violence "shall be suspended from duty until the matter is fully adjudicated".

Those tried and convicted of post-election offences would also be barred from holding public office or contesting any electoral position.

The Cabinet Committee on the National Accord will prepare a Bill to be known as "The Statute for the Special Tribunal" that will be submitted to the National Assembly for enactment.

The Bill is aimed at paving the way for the establishment of a Special Tribunal that will seek accountability against persons bearing the greatest responsibility for crimes against humanity relating to the 2007 General Elections.

The signing of the agreement beats the deadline in the Waki report that would have meant that suspects in a list handed to former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan – who brokered the deal between President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga that ended the violence early this year – would be tried in the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

In the report handed to the President, PM and Dr Annan, Justice Philip Waki who chaired the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence (CIPEV), recommended that the country set up a local tribunal or let the suspects be tried in The hague.

The Cabinet Committee, which comprises President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the eight Ministers who represented parties to the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation, also agreed to ensure that any person holding public office or any public servant charged with a criminal offence related to the 2008 post-election violence shall be suspended from duty until the matter is fully adjudicated upon.

On the legislative agenda, the PM and the President agreed to mobilize Parliamentary support for the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill 2008 and take necessary administrative measures to fully operationalise the Witness Protection Act 2008 and the International Crime Act 2008.

The agreement also proposes that "the parties shall initiate urgent and comprehensive reforms of the Kenya Police and the Administration Police".

It says: "The reforms will be undertaken by a panel of policing experts and will include but not limited to a review of all tactics, weapons and use of force. The reforms will also include the establishment of an independent Police Service Commission to oversee both the Kenya Police and Administration police and an Independent Police Conduct Authority for both the Kenya Police and Administration Police."