Shelter Afrique MD faces arrest
Posted Tuesday, July 17 2012 at 23:48
The State on Tuesday said the managing director of Shelter Afrique must be arrested for assaulting a staff member.
In a letter to Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere, the Foreign Affairs ministry said Mr Alassane Ba did not enjoy full diplomatic immunity.
Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi said an agreement signed on October 19, 1983 stipulates that officials of Shelter Afrique must respect the laws of Kenya.
“It is clearly implied in this provision that the immunities enjoyed under the host country agreement are not absolute,” he said.
Warrant of arrest
“In the alternative, you may wish to obtain a warrant of arrest on the basis of the complainant’s report that will enable the ministry to seek a waiver of the suspect’s immunity,” the letter says.
Shelter Afrique is a Pan African organisation that offers housing finance to developers and institutions to promote development of both residential and commercial housing in Africa.
On June 28, 2012 Mr Ba is alleged to have assaulted finance director Karen Kandie at the organisation’s offices in Nairobi’s Upper Hill.
Mr Mwangi said the ministry was in consultation with Shelter Afrique with the intention of taking other administrative and diplomatic action to ensure that the integrity of the organisation is upheld. Police had said they will only arrest Mr Ba after he lifts his diplomatic immunity himself.
Should he fail to lift his immunity, the country may be forced to declare him persona non grata and request him to leave the country and later apply for extradition so that his country can later bring him back for trial.
Ms Kandie alleged that she was assaulted on the day by Mr Ba at about 11.30am.
She was treated at the Nairobi Hospital and police records show that the matter was recorded and issued with medical Examination form (P3 Form).
She believes she was sent on leave for reporting the matter to the police at Capitol Hill Police Station.
On July 6, police went to arrest Mr Ba but were denied entry on the claim of diplomatic immunity.
However on the July 9, the MD was arrested and taken to the police station but was later released without charge.
Diplomats are expected to adhere to the host country’s laws but could not be subject to either civil or criminal proceedings.
Another challenge faced by the officers is that the alleged assault happened within the organisation’s offices, when Mr Ba was in the course of his duty.