Friday, October 2, 2009



October 1 2009

No one in Waki list, including members of the Cabinet, will be spared, Mutula vows
The government will hand over election violence suspects, thought to include six sitting Cabinet ministers, to The Hague.

The six are part of a list of suspected perpetrators of the chaos, compiled by a judicial commission of inquiry chaired by Justice Philip Waki, that also names five MPs, seven former MPs and prominent people and businessmen.

They are accused of either financing or orchestrating the worst ethnic violence in Kenya’s history in which 1,133 people were killed and 650,000 others left homeless.

Protect anyone

On Thursday, Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo warned that the government will not protect anyone, saying that Kenya has adopted an international crimes law and, therefore has no choice but to cooperate with the International Criminal Court.

In any case, the Cabinet on July 30 resolved that it would fulfil its legal obligations under the treaty that formed the world court, he added.

“It was a statement by the top organ of the country that the government will cooperate with the ICC. The ICC can sit in Kenya and we do not have to surrender anyone we just need to arrest them, put them in cells and take them before the court when that time comes,” Mr Kilonzo said.

“Unless Parliament repeals the International Crimes Act or Kenya withdraws from the Rome treaty, there is really no choice but to help Mr Ocampo in his work,” he added.

“But the government has no intention of repealing the law or quitting the treaty since it is in the process of reforming the country into an icon of governance.”

On Wednesday, Mr Ocampo said he was coming to Kenya to meet President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga over the next steps in trying the suspects.

Try the rest

His approach is to have the ICC prosecute those most responsible for the violence. The rest will be tried by a tribunal formed by Parliament.The will deal with historical injustices and suggest mechanisms to prevent crimes against humanity in future.

“Kenya will be a world example on managing violence,” the prosecutor said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening.

Mr Ocampo has written to Mr Kilonzo saying he was ready to start talks on the next steps after the government failed to meet a Wednesday deadline to set up a tribunal.

“In the letter to me he writes, ‘As agreed on July 3, I would suggest that we have a conversation on the next steps to be taken’,” Mr Kilonzo said.

He said he was ready to invite Mr Ocampo to the country if Attorney General Amos Wako and Internal Security Minister George Saitoti failed to do so.

“The prosecutor of Kenya, according to the Constitution, is the Attorney General and, so long as we are not constituting a local tribunal, it is strictly he who is able to invite Ocampo in that capacity. But of course, as it so often happens in Kenya, if he declines to do so, I will,” he said.

In a related development, chief mediator Kofi Annan will have a private lunch meeting with President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. He will also hold talks with Mr Odinga ahead of the lunch, but it was yet unclear whether he would meet the President separately.

Mr Annan issued a statement saying that he will be in the country from Sunday to assess the progress made on agreements reached ahead of the formation of the grand coalition government.

This is the first time the former UN secretary-general is coming to the country since receiving the Waki report in October 2008.

Exchange views

The man who mediated the Kenyan post-election crisis has since handed over the envelope containing the names of key suspects together with the Waki report to Mr Ocampo.

The talks will be about the reforms the coalition government was supposed to undertake after the signing of the power sharing agreement.“During his visit, he also intends to exchange views with representatives of civil society, including religious leaders and the business community, and other stakeholders in Kenya regarding the reform process,” a statement from the African Union Panel of Eminent African Personalities read.

At the same time, Parliament’s opposition caucus is planning to meet Mr Ocampo.

Garsen MP Danson Mungatana said the caucus will use the meeting to push for the prosecution of those who financed the election violence.