Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki has
called an emergency cabinet meeting today (Tuesday) to discuss the next step
forward after parliament rejected a proposed government-sponsored
constitutional amendment bill to set up a local tribunal. The proposed special tribunal was to prosecute alleged perpetrators of
the 2007 post-election violence that rocked Kenya. Meanwhile, a member of the coalition government
demanded the resignation of both president Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila
Odinga shortly after parliament unanimously rejected the bill. Kenya's post-election violence led to the loss of lives and property
prompting the international community's intervention and the formation of a
Michael Tiampati is a political analyst. He tells reporter
Peter Clottey that Tuesday's
emergency cabinet meeting is expected to focus on the government's limited
option of moving forward.
the defeat or the rejecting by parliament of the proposal by government for the
setting up of a local tribunal, that rejection actually threw the political
scenario into some sort of disarray. And of course it had an impact on the
public because in the public domain people are anxious to really figure out how
and what is happening or what the
so-called perpetrators of the 2008 post-election violence going to be tried," Tiampati noted.
He said most
Kenyans are calling for the naming of those alleged to have been the
instigators of the December 2007 post-election violence.
rife, especially at the grassroots level regarding the names in the mysterious
envelope that is said to contain the names of five cabinet ministers. So, there
is a measure of anxiety and of course there have been a clamour for the
contents of the mysterious envelope to be made public. So, there is that
anxiety and that urge for these names to be made public," he said.
the coalition government has been silent about the demand by one of its cabinet
ministers for both President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to resign
after the rejection of the government proposed amendment.
"There has not
been any sentiment from the principals that is President Kibaki and the prime
minister regarding the Mutula Kilonzo (Nairobi Metropolitan Development
minister) sentiments that the president and his prime minister should resign.
But the question of course is that since Kilonzo himself is part of the government
which was defeated in the parliament bill, I think it would have been prudent
for him to have set the pace by resigning. So he has not been taken with a lot
of weight because he should have resigned himself to demonstrate his
displeasure or that he wasn't happy with what they are doing," Tiampati pointed
He said most
Kenyans have lost faith in local tribunals.
"There is that
feeling that local tribunals have had a very nasty history of not really
delivering. So, the public have always viewed local tribunals or commissions of
inquiry with a pinch of salt because we've had commissions after commissions
and there have never been any tangible results. So, there is that fear that
this may be that process that never gets anywhere. So Kenyans feel that there
should be a departure from that past which is really negative. And therefore
they would like the process that would deliver some results and they would want
to see the perpetrators of the violence kind of tried in a way that would have
a semblance of justice," he said.
former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan recently hinted he
would send the names of Kenyan politicians and businessmen accused of
orchestrating the 2007 post-election violence to the International Criminal
Court in The Hague after failed attempts to set up a local tribunal.
Justice Philip Waki, who
headed the probe into the post-election violence, gave Kenya until March 1 to
create a local tribunal. However, Kenyan MPs on last Thursday failed to pass
the necessary bill. Waki reportedly handed over a sealed envelope containing
the names of the accused, which is thought to include some senior ministers, to
Annan. The understanding was that Annan would hand it over to the ICC should
Kenya not meet the deadline.
Annan has reportedly said
that he and fellow members of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities would
review what actions are needed to be taken
in what he described as being in line with the spirit, letter and intent of the
Waki' probe. He also warned justice must be done in order to avoid a
repeat of the violence at Kenya's next election which is expected to