Leaders in Waki list to lose Cabinet posts
Posted Thursday, November 27 2008 at 20:48
Politicians named in the Waki list will have to quit their Cabinet posts and those found guilty of election violence offences barred from ever running for public office if proposals tabled before the Cabinet are approved.
Sources who have seen the proposals prepared by a team headed by Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Martha Karua, on Thursday said this was the only way to end impunity and stop politicians from using their communities to cause violence every election year.
Doom for politicians
If adopted, the proposals could spell doom for politicians whose names appear in the Waki list, which was handed over to former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan in a sealed envelope.
The list of six Cabinet ministers and five MPs is to be handed over to the International Criminal Court at The Hague if a local tribunal is not set up to try them by March 1.
A law to create the tribunal is expected to have been signed by December 17, according to the timetable set out in the Waki report on post-election violence.
After Thursday’s Cabinet meeting, ministers agreed that President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga lead a 10-member committee that will start the implementation of the Waki report.
The formation of the committee means that the Government backs a local tribunal. It also emerged that the Cabinet agreed to try and beat the December 17 deadline for passing the law to form the tribunal.
The Cabinet also approved plans to disband the Electoral Commission of Kenya when it agreed to create an interim body to take over the functions of the team led by Mr Samuel Kivuitu.
A statement from the Presidential Press Services said the Cabinet had approved a move to create an Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), which will spearhead reforms on elections and give confidence to the referendum on the constitution expected next year.
On the Waki report, the Cabinet committee headed by President Kibaki and Mr Odinga will prepare a work-plan on how the report is to be implemented.
Other members of the committee are Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and ministers Karua, James Orengo, Moses Wetang’ula, Sally Kosgei, Sam Ongeri, Ruto and Mutula Kilonzo — all members of the Serena negotiating team. The committee will prepare its report and present it to Cabinet.
Sources said the Waki report could be discussed again before being forwarded to Parliament.
The Government has until December 17 to start the process of setting up a local tribunal to investigate suspects or else the Waki envelope will handed over to the International Criminal Court.
Although the Waki report had split the Cabinet, ministers now back its full implementation. Mr Ruto, who was initially critical of the report, changed his position last weekend and supported its implementation.
At one point, he threatened to quit ODM if the Prime Minister continued to push for full implementation of the report.
In line with reforms in electoral laws, the Cabinet also approved plans to create an Interim Boundaries Review Commission, which will demarcate constituency boundaries.