Kenyans are expressing outrage after
President Mwai Kibaki announced that the government will use the judiciary to
deal with perpetrators of the 2008 post election violence. They described the
announcement as an affront calculated to shield cabinet ministers who are
alleged to be behind the violence.
Kibaki announced Thursday after a long cabinet meeting that the judiciary would
be used instead of the proposed International Criminal Court (ICC)to prosecute
The cabinet failed last week to decide on how to deal with
the masterminds of the post-election violence, which led to the destruction of
lives and properties.
general feeling is that our government does not want to deal with impunity. Now
by the cabinet refusing to heed to this recommendation by a very senior judge
like Waki, Kenyans are treating this as an act of cowardice. A government that
is not prepared to face the truth and deal with the impunity that has been
committed, and a government that is taking its citizens for granted," said
James Mwamu, vice chairman of Kenya's law society.
announcement Thursday, President Kibaki said the government will
accelerate reforms in the judiciary, police and investigative bodies to ensure
But Mwamu called the president's
reform unfortunate, saying it will not address impunity.
the suggestion that there are going to be reforms, no time frame has been
given. And we know that these reforms have been going on for the last 20
years," Mwamu said.
dismissed President Kibaki's announcement to use a Truth, Justice, and
Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) to address the post election violence.
when you are going to recommend the TJRC is going to try the perpetrators. TJRC
has no jurisdiction to deal with impunity," he said.
An independent commission
investigating the post-election violence recommended the government form an
unimpeded tribunal with local and foreign judges. That recommendation had wide
local and international support.
said there is need for a tribunal to deal with the masterminds of the 2007-2008
crimes need to be dealt with by a special tribunal, which has been formed in
accordance with international standards, as required by the Rome statute,"
said Kenyans will not relent until the alleged perpetrators face the full
rigors of the law.
civil society and the people of good will must constantly continue putting
pressure on the government… The civil society and the people of Kenya are not
going to give up to ensure that justice is done," he said.
this month, the
former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan handed over an envelope containing the
names of 10 suspects to the ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. The move is
believed to put more pressure on the Kenya coalition government either to
establish a local court quickly or face international.
said Kenyans are suspicious that some cabinet ministers want to shield the
masterminds of the post election violence.
is the feeling in the country, yes. You know the prosecutor of the ICC has not
yet opened the envelope. He promised that he is going to the investigation. But
the people of Kenya are demanding he should open the envelope…it will then help
the Kenyan people to decide as to who is impeding the setting up of a special tribunal
to deal with the Kenyan past and to deal with the post-election violence
perpetrators," Mwamu said.
A recent Steadman
poll showed more than 68 percent of Kenyans favor sending the perpetrators to