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Why is ODM comfortable with Kenya’s justice system now?

 By Abdalla Alwi Bafagih

 
In the Daily Nation dated October 30 2008 the article by David Mugonyi titled “ODM rejects Waki Report”, leaves a lot to be desired. Mugonyi states that “The Orange Democratic Movement has rejected the findings of the Waki Report on post-election violence in its entirety. The party also said they would resist any attempts to charge any of the suspects named in a secret list, handed to Chief Mediator Kofi Annan, outside the country”.
 
The article continues to point out that “Seventy five MPs among them Prime Minister Raila Odinga and 11 Cabinet ministers emerged from a four-hour stormy meeting to say that the report contained incurable errors and contradicted the Constitution. In a strongly worded statement delivered at Parliament Buildings, ODM said that it “has resolved to reject the Waki report in Toto.”http://www.nation.co.ke/News/-/1056/485470/-/tlif8h/-/index.html
 
There are several important concerns based on the ODM’s resolutions which this article would like to point out:
 
First when President Kibaki addressed the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Kibaki welcomed the international mediation efforts but suggested the opposition should take its grievances to the courts. Kibaki argued that: "The judiciary in Kenya has over the years arbitrated electoral disputes, and the current one should not be an exception."
 
However, the ODM pentagon and its entire leadership issued an immediate response to Kibaki’s request and rejected this notion. “Opposition leaders say the courts are loaded with Kibaki's allies and proceedings move so slowly it could take months or years to reach a conclusion”. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/01/kenya
 
 
              
                            
 
Secondly, ODM fiery Secretary-General Prof Anyang Nyong’o, categorically stated during the mayhem of the election violence that his party “ODM has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague against President Mwai Kibaki and the government for crimes against humanity and state-sponsored terrorism.”“We have launched a complaint to the International Criminal Court because the continued use by Kibaki of the security forces to kill people under the pretext of suppressing demonstrations in various cities in Kenya,” Nyong’o said.
 
He said ordinary citizens have the right to sue their government with the International Criminal Court. “Under the International Criminal Court, just like in every nation, you can have what they call citizens’ arrest. In the International Criminal Court anyone anywhere in the world has the right to complain against state terrorism in their country,” he said.
 
Nyong’o said a quick response by the court would deter the Kenyan government from continuing with what he called its crimes. “To initiate an investigation into crimes against humanity here with the view of establishing whether or not we have case against the administration here and therefore to let us have the right to appear before the court for our case to be prosecuted,” Nyong’o said. http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2008-01/2008-01-24-voa9.cfm?CFID=58432848&CFTOKEN=29790147
 
Thirdly, ODM’s leader, his deputy and Lands Minister James Orengo had once sought full implementation of the commission’s findings. Hon Orengo was quoted as saying "Any individual implicated in the Waki Report should be ready to carry his or her own cross, when the recommendations will be implemented.” Speaking during the commissioning of the Ndenga-Aboke Power Project in his constituency, Orengo said: "I am ready to carry my own cross if implicated in the report if all leaders mentioned would be ready to face the law”. http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?id=1143997321&cid=159
 
In fact legal experts have said that it was futile for the Government to reject the report because the International Court, which sits at The Hague, the Netherlands, will move fast to act should the deadline given by the Waki team pass. Nevertheless, ODM said it would shield any of their members whose names may be in the secret list.
 
The Orange party said Kenya’s institutions had not collapsed to warrant such a trial. “ODM, being part of the Grand Coalition Government, will resist and stop any “rendition” or surrender of Kenya’s citizens to a tribunal outside its territory.”http://www.nation.co.ke/News/-/1056/485652/-/item/1/-/229a1az/-/index.html
 
So what has changed within ODM to warrant such drastic measures of rejecting the Waki report? What happened to a party which stood on a platform of creating changes in Kenya? Why is ODM reluctant now of the Hague while it was practical for it during the post election saga. Why ODM is is comfortable with Kenya’s justice system now while they had initially accused it for being “loaded with Kibaki's allies” who they felt would be prejudicial to their causes? Why, is the million shilling question that we all have to ask.

The Writer is a commentator of social and political issues with a background in African and Equity studies.Mr Bafagih is a contributor to the Kenya weekly post.

Added: November 2nd 2008
Reviewer: Abdalla Alwi Bafagih
Score: 10  
Hits: 1719
Language: english

  

[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

Why is ODM comfortable with Kenya’s justice system now?
Posted by Mujahid on 2008-11-13 20:47:12
My Score: 10  



ODM have agreed to implement the WAKI Report at last, although there some members who are still unhappy about this move. Did they read this article? It had reached a point that they had to form a conclusive agreement or face the International Couirts in Hague. Let us see what will take place in Kenya in regard to this issue once and for all, TO BE OR NOT TO BE..

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