How MPs frustrated all efforts to set up local Special Tribunal

A section of the audience at the inaugural presidential debate on February 11, 2013 at Brookhouse School. Parliament's Hansard of Tuesday February 12, 2009 shows that Narc-Kenya presidential candidate Martha Karua was correct in her assertions during the debate Monday night that on the floor in Parliament, the two principals “merely came to vote” and did not garner support from their MP's to form a Special Tribunal to try post-election violence suspects in Kenya. PHOTO/NATION
By JOHN NGIRACHU jngirachu@ke.nationmedia.com  ( email the author)

Posted  Wednesday, February 13   2013 at  20:58

In Summary

  • Raila, Kibaki, Uhuru and Ruto were among the 101 MPs who voted for the Bill for local tribunal
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Records from the 10th Parliament’s Hansard show that neither President Kibaki nor Prime Minister Raila Odinga actively rallied MPs in the House to approve the setting up of a Special Tribunal to try suspects of the post-election violence.

The Hansard of Tuesday February 12, 2009 also shows that Narc-Kenya presidential candidate Martha Karua was correct in her assertions during the debate Monday night that on the floor in Parliament, the two principals “merely came to vote”.

But it also shows that Mr Odinga and President Kibaki together with Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto were among the 101 MPs who voted for the Bill that would have made way for the tribunal.

Indeed, earlier the principals made spirited attempts to lobby their MPs in both sides of the coalition in private meetings.

They held a Kamkunji at the old chambers to whip the MPs to support the Bill.

Their efforts were however nullified by the fact that the number of supporters fell far below the two thirds — 145 — threshold required.

“They left me with the baby. The two principals failed to come and persuade members to vote for a local tribunal. In their full view there was rebellion even from Cabinet ministers. They did not stand in Parliament and persuade their troops,” said she said.

The Hansard shows that while they were in Parliament that day, neither contributed to debate on any of the three days the Bill was taken to Parliament.

They met MPs in an informal meeting outside the debating chambers, and thus The Hansard does not “bear him out” as he stated.

The failure to set up the tribunal is the primary reason the names of suspected perpetrators of the violence in 2007 and 2008 were handed over to the ICC.

An amended version sponsored by Mutula Kilonzo, who took over as Justice minister, was rejected by the Cabinet.

Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara then sponsored another bill on the same matter but MPs would walk out whenever debate on it was scheduled on the Order Paper, successfully stopping the process.

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