alexa End impunity using the law, urges Speaker - Daily Nation

End impunity using the law, urges Speaker

Tuesday December 8 2009

By SAMUEL KUMBA

Sentences meted out in court, including the death penalty, should be upheld to end impunity, the Speaker of the National Assembly has said.

Mr Kenneth Marende has, at the same time, instructed the police to summon a legislator who claimed that MPs are bribed in order to debate and pass certain Bills, to substantiate her claims.

This was in apparent reference to former Justice minister Martha Karua, who last week alleged massive corruption in the House but did not give details.

“The MP should record a statement with the police in order for the necessary investigations to be carried out so that we can know who bribed who,” he said.

Mr Marende was responding to a question by former Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary-general Francis Ng’ang’a who wanted to know what Kenyans would learn from their leaders (MPs) who a colleague had gone on record alleging they are corrupt.

Ms Karua is on record saying that money changes hands during voting on crucial Bills, arguing that the same fate had befallen debate on the Imanyara Bill that proposes the formation of a local tribunal to try post-election violence suspects.

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If the MP cannot record a statement, Mr Marende said, the police should prosecute the legislator for making false incriminating statements in public.

Move swiftly

“Kenya must move swiftly to ensure that the law is enforced — and strictly at that,” said Mr Marende when he opened the 4th National Integrity Review Conference at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre on Tuesday.

He said the current law enforcement system is lax and does not deter law offenders and expressed concern that many death row convicts are yet to be executed.

President Kibaki in August commuted the death sentences of all death row inmates to life imprisonment.