Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) says police will begin investigations Tuesday into an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Raila Odinga ahead of next year’s general elections.
Keriako Tobiko pledged justice would be served, if the allegations prove true.
“These are very serious allegations indeed, particularly at this time when the country is just about to get started in preparing itself for the next general elections,” said Tobiko. “[If] it does turn out that there is evidence to support the allegations, then all those who are involved or implicated [will] face the full force of the law.”
But Tobiko said the member of parliament who made the allegation, Jakoyo Midiwo, needs evidence to support his claims.
“I hope that the honorable member of parliament - when he speaks about these very extremely grave allegations - that he has evidence to support the allegations.” said Tobiko.
Kenya’s new constitution grants the DPP power to request a prompt police inquiry into the assassination plot.
Tobiko said he consulted with police commissioner Mathew Iteere before officially ordering the investigation.
The east African nation is scheduled to hold presidential, parliamentary and local elections on March 4, 2013. These will be the country’s first elections since the 2007 to 2008 post-election violence. The unrest left at least 1300 dead and displaced more than 300,000 others.
Tobiko said the post-election violence is still fresh in the minds of citizens.
“In my office, we are not yet through with the episode of 2007 and 2008, and we can ill-afford as a country a repeat of what happened. We need to be accommodative of each other’s political opinion and political affiliations,” said Tobiko.
Analysts have expressed concerns the plot accusation could heighten ethnic tensions, which they said could plunge the country into another round of violence ahead of the vote.
Tobiko said his office would not take a false accusation lightly.
“We cannot afford in this country to entertain reckless utterances…if it turns out that the honorable MP is simply trying to incite or excite the public - inflame the ground for political motivation - then there is a law that will be applied irrespective of the political affiliations that anyone of those parties belong to.”
Some Kenyans say the politically connected often get away with impunity, despite being accused of crimes. But Tobiko insisted any proven perpetrators will be punished, regardless of their political connections.