Poll chaos: Killers to face law
Story by NATION Team
10. March 2008
The days of people who killed others and destroyed property during
the post-election violence are numbered, Attorney General Amos
Wako has warned.
“Kenyans feel that the culture of impunity is going on. But let me
assure you that we must now ensure that this culture is dealt with
once and for all,” he told the annual Law Society of Kenya dinner
at the weekend.
Mr Wako said he had approved several cases for prosecution of
individuals involved in the election related violence.
Over 1,200 people were killed when violence erupted in the wake of
the disputed presidential election results last December. Another
350,000 others were displaced and hundreds of houses burnt in the
Conduct of ECK
Last week, MPs from the Rift Valley had proposed that those behind
the violence be pardoned after President Kibaki and ODM leader
Raila Odinga signed a power-sharing agreement.
Investigations will be extended into the conduct of Electoral
Commission of Kenya (ECK) officials whose actions or inactions may
have sparked the violence. Several institutions had written to the
AG asking him to investigate the ECK but he said priority will be
on prosecuting those behind the killings and destruction of
The US ambassador to Kenya, Mr Michael Ranneberger, who was the
chief Guest at the dinner, said Kenya had an opportunity to emerge
with stronger democratic institutions, a more cohesive society and
a vibrant economy.
On the implementation of the Bills he published last week to pave
way for the power-sharing agreement between President Kibaki and
ODM leader Raila Odinga, Mr Wako said their fate would be known
Tuesday when Parliament reconvenes. “My hope is that they are
debated as quickly as possible so that we have the coalition
government and we move forward,” he said.
He dispelled fears that the coalition would kill multi-party
politics. Instead, he said, the coalition will restore peace
without which multi-party democracy cannot survive.
In a related development, House Speaker Kenneth Marende Sunday
asked displaced families to return to their homes as the
Government was determined to restore security.
Mr Marende said the victims should have faith in the Government
which did not want to see some Kenyans suffering in camps.
The Speaker said that the Government will assist those whose
properties were burnt to rebuild them.
“We should continue coexisting peacefully,” he told journalists
outside the Nakuru Christian Centre after attending a church
service. He said every Kenyan has a right to own property and live
in any part of the country without fear.
Meanwhile, NGO leaders have asked the Government to vet internally
displaced persons to establish the bona fide ones before embarking
on the proposed resettlement programme.
The coordinator of the Internally Displaced Persons Network, Mr
Kepha Magenyi also asked the Government to vet NGOs seeking to
participate in the resettlement programme as some were merely
interested in making money.
Speaking in Nakuru Sunday, Mr Magenyi said some organisations
wrote beautiful proposals on how they planned to assist the
victims but the money never reached the intended beneficiaries.
He said that giving the victims seeds and tents to return to their
farms where houses were burnt and hundreds of people killed would
not succeed as no healing process had taken place.
“Many groups want to do it alone instead of working closely with
others and the Government. The reason is obvious, they are only
interested in getting a share of the money coming from the US, the
UNDP, UNHCR, the Government of Kenya and other donors,” he said.