Sunday, June 1, 2008

AMNESTY DEBATE IN KENYA

It should be appalling to every Kenyan at this juncture that a culprit who planned -along with his friends/relatives, executed-like a six y/o would, but somehow succeeded in getting a way with one of the most heinous crime on Kenyan soil now has lectures to give. He and his group has the gall and chutzpah to lecture anyone about obeying the law...etcetera etcetera! what a world. President Kibaki is the wrong candidate to talk about law and order as far as Kenya is concerned. No one is that forgetful. Not long ago -some time towards the end of last year, the exact date would be Dec. 27, 2007. When kibaki and his ilk decided to do what they did and Kenyans and the world at large saw what happened shortly afterwards. Nobody needs to be reminded of it.

Among the buried in the piles are the recommendations that the kenya's multicultural groups reconcile and try to forge a way forward with a spirit of forgiveness, togetherness and start a new, a friendship in cases where this might have been severely damaged. For goodness sake! neighbors turned on to neighbors, friends alike and even brothers and sisters on to each other! no country want a scenario like this repeating itself. Now what should bother every kenyan is that it is this selective application of the law that were one of the raw and sour points that actually turned Kenya upside down. And nobody seems to have learned not one thing from the past few months.

It's been reported in the news media that a section of the coalition-government are opposed to what they term as blanket amnesty. Not forgetting that most of them if not all should have been in custody already ha' it that the law was being followed with the same yardstick. Make no mistake anybody who brakes the law should be punished accordingly. And that should apply across the board not selectively. Or in this extraordinary case, some kind of guidelines should be set to either forgive and reconcile so that the country can move forward. Or set some kind of parameters to guide the punishment for all those took part. STARTING from THE FIRST PERSON ON TOP to THE LAST PERSON at THE BOTTOM. And Not some brainwash/hogwash nonsense.

It was also reported that Kibaki ordered those who committed criminal acts during the political crisis earlier this year be punished. He also directed the police to conclude investigation on cases, saying those who engaged in criminal activities will face the full force of the law. The President announced his stand on the issue for the first time only minutes after Raila had said the Government would find a solution to the problem. Saying society should not spare those who unleashed mayhem.

Kibaki observed: "As a society, we should reject those who incite others to violence. We should not spare them or those who recruit the gangs that cause mayhem. Once investigations are complete, those found to be innocent will be released without undue delay. But those who committed murder of innocent citizens, engaged in reckless destruction of property or rape should not expect any mercy." He revisited the issue in his off-the-cuff address in Kiswahili. "Mtu hawezi kuleta fujo na kuchokoza jirani yake halafu aachiliwe hivyo hivyo. Hiyo hatuwezi. Hakuna mtu mwenye akili timamu atapenda hivyo (Nobody should be allowed to harm his or her neighbour and expect to go Scot-free. Nobody can reason that way)" he said.

He was speaking on Sunday at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi, where he led the nation in marking the 45th Madaraka Day celebrations. Those present were First Lady Lucy Kibaki Vice President Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, Prime Minister Mr Raila Odinga, Deputy Prime Minister Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Speaker of the National Assembly Mr Kenneth Marende, Chief Justice Mr Evans Gicheru and other Cabinet ministers. The President issued the directive a day after Police Commissioner Maj-Gen Hussein Ali said 12,000 cases were reported during the post-election chaos, of which 103 were capital offences involving 137 suspects now in remand. And another 550 suspects were being sought over 260 other capital offences. The police boss ruled out release of the suspects saying: "We do not know of any ‘youth’. We are talking of criminals.

Sharp differences have emerged in the Cabinet over the call for blanket amnesty for youths arrested following the violence that rocked the country in January after the December 30 announcement of disputed results of the presidential election. More than 1,000 people were killed and an additional 350,000 others uprooted from their homes during the two-month mayhem. On February 28, President Kibaki and Raila signed a power-sharing deal that saw the ODM leader named premier, bringing the violence to an end and hauling the country out of its worst political crisis since Independence. The controversial call for blanket amnesty for youths arrested during the violence seems to be the biggest issue that could split the Cabinet and threaten the fledgling Grand Coalition Government. While ODM ministers have demanded the unconditional release of their supporters, their PNU colleagues insist perpetrators of violence should answer for their crimes.

Raila told a lawyers’ forum on Thursday that the youths should be released unconditionally "because they committed no crime. Is it a crime to fight for your democratic rights? Is it a crime to stand and say that last year’s elections were rigged?" posed the Prime Minister. On the same day, Internal Security minister, Prof George Saitoti, said those linked to the violence should be prosecuted to promote peace and to discourage impunity. He ordered police to speed up investigations and prosecutions of the remaining cases, and particularly those linked to capital and other serious offenses. Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Ms Martha Karua, has maintained that the law must be allowed to take its course. The number of youths in custody has been difficult to ascertain, with police saying only 137 were in remand, while some leaders, including Agriculture minister Mr William Ruto saying the figure runs into thousands.

1 comment:

omar said...

There is no excuse for anyone to take anothers life. who will speak for the 1000 or so souls lost, they demand justice unless we decided to revert to jungle laws.

this amnesty talk is just bullshit and ODM knows they are toothless and helpless in freeing the hudlum and the criminals they sponsored to kill inocent kenyans, but them being politicians they can't own up to the truth.