Law body to launch inquiry into
February 14, 2008
By Maureen Mudi and Francis Ngige
East African lawyers will join their Kenyan counterparts in an
inquiry into the violence that rocked the country after last
year’s disputed polls.
The lawyers from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, under the
umbrella of the East Africa Law Society (EALS), will undertake the
mission to establish the extent to which human rights were
violated and property destroyed. They will also investigate claims
The society’s president, Mr Tom Ojienda, said the mission, which
would begin as soon as the Kofi Annan-led talks were concluded,
would last for about two months.
"Since we wholly support the Annan talks, we shall wait for its
completion then embark on our mission. We intend to visit all
areas that were affected by the violence," he said.
Ojienda said the team aimed at providing a legal map and support
for all those who would file claims for property that was
destroyed and other related suits.
"We shall be on the ground to verify each claim and ascertain the
magnitude of the problem to ensure we have tangible evidence in
cases that we shall pursue," he said.
Meanwhile, the lawyers urged parties in the ongoing mediation
talks to desist from making utterances that would undermine the
resolution of the political crisis.
Ojienda said it was unfortunate that negotiators were discussing
proposals in public before they finalised the talks.
He noted that MPs should wait to play their legislative roles once
the negotiations had been completed.