News 2008


Karua: No amnesty for those who broke law

March 10, 2008


Cabinet minister, Ms Martha Karua, has ruled out giving amnesty to perpetrators of post-election violence. At the same time, the minister said the newfound political agreement did not take away President Kibakiís power to chair the Cabinet.

Speaking in Nyeri town on Sunday, Karua said under the new agreement, the PM was expected to work under the President, who is the Head of State. "There is nowhere that it is written the President may not chair the Cabinet. He still enjoys Executive powers," Karua said.

The minister also said under the new agreement that was yet to be debated in Parliament, ODM-Kenya leader, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, would retain the Vice-Presidency. She said the Grand Coalition would accommodate people from other small parties that had been working with PNU and the Government.

She said it was unfortunate that ODM had started identifying ministries it wanted even before the matter was discussed.

Karua said the work on how the Cabinet portfolios would be shared should be left to the two principals Ė Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga. "Iím perturbed by the articles appearing in sections of the media indicating that ODM has already outlined the ministries they want to fill," she said.

On appointment of public servants, the minister said it was naive for some leaders to politicise hiring in Government departments.

She said it was the work of the Public Service Commission (PSC) to hire civil servants on merit. "We should not start talking about the appointments of PCs, DCs and other civil servants who are duly appointed by the PSC to carry out their mandate," she said.

On violence that rocked the country after the elections, Karua said although a political agreement had been reached between Kibaki and Raila, the Government would pursue those behind the clashes. In an apparent reference to Railaís plea to have ODM supporters held in custody freed, the minister said all suspects would face the law as required.

"There is nothing like forgiving people who took away hundreds of innocent lives and destroyed property," Karua said at a public rally.

The minister, who was accompanied by MPs Mr Kabando wa Kabando and Ms Esther Murugi, said giving amnesty to perpetrators of violence would set a bad precedent. She said those who engaged in criminal activities should be ready to pay for their deeds through the process of justice.

Speaking in Western Province on Saturday, Raila said ODM supporters who were arrested during post-election violence should be released.