Lobbying for Kenya trials gathers steam - Daily Nation

Lobbying for Kenya trials gathers steam

Thursday January 20 2011

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka is welcomed by

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka is welcomed by President Bingu Wamutharika when he arrived at Lilongwe State house, where the two held a meeting today. 

By OLIVER MATHENGE [email protected]

Kenya has lined up a series of more diplomatic missions to other African countries to seek support in its efforts to try post-election violence suspects locally.

President Kibaki’s emissaries are headed to Ethiopia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Lesotho as the government seeks support for its plan to request a deferral of the Kenyan cases at The Hague. (Read: President ‘behind move on Hague’)

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka is on Friday headed for Addis Ababa to meet Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the African Union Commission boss Jean Ping.

He left Malawi on Thursday after holding talks with President Bingu wa Mutharika.

On Tuesday, Transport minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere met Zambian President Rupiah Banda with the same message. His itinerary will take him to Botswana, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

Nairobi Metropolitan minister Njeru Githae has visited Burundi, Djibouti and Tanzania on a similar mission.

Mr Musyoka said the leaders he had spoken to were supportive of Kenya, but were seeking an assurance that the plan is not meant to defeat the course of justice.

Speaking through his spokesman Kaplich Barsito, the VP termed the lobbying as successful, adding that the country was confident that it would get the support of other African countries in the matter.

“They expressed support as long as the intention is not to defeat justice,” Mr Barsito said.

Give preference

Last week, Mr Musyoka held talks with South African President Jacob Zuma, who also sits at the UN Security Council, and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. (Read: Kenya seeks Africa support over Hague)

President Kibaki’s brief for the ministers is to urge the African leaders to support Kenya’s efforts to form a local tribunal to try the Ocampo Six.

According to VPPS, the Malawian President, who is the current AU chair, said Kenya was right to give preference to a local judicial mechanism to try the suspects of the violence.

“I am sure Kenya’s intention to request for a deferral is in keeping with the provisions of the Rome Statute and the UN Security Council should have no problem considering it favourably,” President Mutharika noted.