Monday, February 16, 2009



Top clerics for Hague
Updated on: Monday, February 16, 2009
Story by: Kipngeno Cheruiyot

TOP clerics yesterday welcomed the defeat last week of a bill to set up a special local tribunal and supported the call for instigators of the post election violence perpetrated early last year, to be tried at The Hague.

And stung by their stance, Prime Minister Raila Odinga yesterday accused the clerics of inciting the Kenyans. At the same time some cabinet ministers apperaed to be reading from different scripts over the defeated contentious bill.

The Constitution Amendment Bill, 2009 was defeated in parliament last Thursday after the MPs and a handful of assistant ministers frustrated the government side from attaining the required back up to pass the legislation. Yesterday Water and Irrigation Minister Charity Ngilu who had voted in favour of the bill yesterday made about turn and applauded the defeat of the bill.

The minister who is also the Kitui Central MP said that given the level of impunity in Kenya, the perpetrators of the poll chaos would be best handled by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Nertherlands..

Her Metropolititan colleague Mutula Kilonzo had last week called on President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila to resign following the defeat of the bill.

And the senior clerics from both the Catholic and the Anglican churches welcomed the defeat with Cardinal John John Njue (Catholic Church) and Mombasa Anglican primate Bishop Julius Kalu stating that the resounding rejection of the bill should serve as a wake up call for the government.

The Cardinal said the shooting down of the bill was a refelection of the public’s frustration, stemming from past experiences where delivery of justice under circumstances where a tribunal had been formed has remained elusive.

Bishop Kalu in a more forthright stance said the move should be lauded, adding that Kenyans have long lost faith in the local judicial system,adding that The Hague remains a ‘’beacon of hope’’ for the victims of the violence.

Ngilu on other hand pointed out that the President and Prime Minister should realise that the mood in the country was fast changing, adding that the two principals should realise that the Kenyans were dissatisfied with the leadership of the coalition since it was yet to show anything tangible a year since it was formed.

She said the message being sent to the two leaders was that the culture of entrenched impunity must not be allowed to continue unabated.