Friday, February 27, 2009

Prof. Philip Alston’s report

Prof. Philip Alston the United Nations special rapportuer on extra-judicial killings has come at the right time, when the country is torn between taking the post elections violence perpetrators to Hague or form a local tribunal.

He asked for the sacking of Police Commissioner Major General Hussein Ali, during whose watch a special police death squads were set up in the force and resignation of Attorney General Amos Wako who he referred to as the “embodiment of the phenomenon of impunity” in Kenya. He also criticized the judiciary and described it as “bankrupt and an obstacle to justice”.

True to his description, the judiciary in Kenya is bankrupt and an obstacle to justice. That is why after the rigged elections, opposition could not present their case to them. Police also went ahead and executed those they arrested without trial because they believe that the courts will set them free even when guilty. However that is not reason enough to kill suspects, where is the justice? Our national anthem says “justice be our shield and defender”, but it’s just a song sung on an occasion and words are of no consequence to many.

As usual the coalition government received the report differently with some rejecting and some welcoming it. It is sad that people lost their sons and husbands, most of them without trace after being arrested by police. As much as mungiki sect was a menace beheading people and police, police did not have the right to arrest people, label them as mungiki and execute them without trial.

The Hague should take over the cases as he suggests because a local tribunal will be composed of members of the “bankrupt judiciary”.

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