A member of Kenya’s legislature says there is no need to rush to implement reforms.
David Musila’s comments come despite former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan’s praise of government efforts to implement reforms to avoid a repeat of the 2007 post-election violence.
Musila says that people who want to impose the new procedures may actually be contravening Kenya’s constitution.
“I’m sure he (Kofi Annan) would like it to be done faster, but there is no quick fix to reforms. You’ve got to take processes. Some legislation has to go through parliament. Some of these people want to impose certain procedures in parliament against the constitution or against the wishes of parliamentarians, which is not possible,” he said.
Kofi Annan was quoted by Kenya’s media as citing international pressures that were driving the government’s move to implement much needed reforms.
Annan said the government has been working since October to reform the police and has also agreed to work with the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to ensure masterminds of the post-election violence are prosecuted at The Hague.
Kenyan media consultant David Makali backs up Mr. Annan’s pronouncement.
“Both President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga will not move because they are captives of their allies, some of whom have been implicated in post-election violence as well as the lack of movement in the political and judicial reforms. So it’s true. It’s international pressure that keeps Kenya to move all the time. Annan, I think is right in that regard,” Makali said.
The United States recently threatened travel bans on some key government officials for allegedly preventing implementation of the reforms.
Luis Moreno Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court recently visited Kenya after parliament reportedly failed to set up local tribunals to prosecute the perpetrators of the 2007 post-election violence.
David Musila says parliament is currently not in favor of the local tribunals.
“Twice now, the parliament has refused this legislation on local tribunals for very good reason. It is because they felt that a local tribunal would be interfered with and they preferred an international tribunal. They would prefer the ICC for the bigger crimes against humanity. And then thereafter, parliament will be able perhaps to consider setting up local tribunals,” Musila said.