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Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo has proposed that those found guilty of corruption should be punished severely, including being sentenced to death.Mutula said the punishment will serve as a great deterrent to those who intend to engage in theft of public assets.He observed that countries like China have managed to eliminate corruption because of death penalty."The Philippines have a similar penalty for plunder of public resources. It is high time Kenya comes up with more severe penalties for corruption, so that we make it a life and death affair," said the Minister.Mutula made the remarks on Thursday when he opened a stakeholders’ forum on Ethics and Anti-Corruption Bill 2011 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel, Nairobi.
Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo on Sunday came under criticism for suggesting that the International Criminal Court calls off its investigations into post-election violence.
Mr Kilonzo had said that with the passage of the Constitution and creation of new institutions, post-election violence suspects could be tried at home.
Lobby group leaders said the minister’s attack on the International Criminal Court was a betrayal of Kenya’s commitment to end impunity for human rights atrocities.
“It further exposes the depth and extent of a well-choreographed political scheme being played by powerful forces within the government which affects not just justice for post-election violence but also the Truth Commission and the implementation of the Constitution,” International Centre for Policy and Conflict executive director Ndung’u Wainaina said.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Nation, Mr Kilonzo, whose docket is crucial for ensuring justice to post-election violence victims, said that the new laws would strengthen the Judiciary and police to deal with the chaos that left 1,133 people dead and more than 600,000 uprooted from their homes.
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights commissioner Hassan Omar said the statement raised questions over the government’s commitment to the ICC process, just weeks after it attracted local and international uproar by inviting wanted Sudan President Omar al-Bashir to attend the promulgation of the new Constitution.
Mr Omar said that Mr Kilonzo’s remarks symbolise the government’s slow diversion from respecting and cooperating with the court as political re-alignments emerge ahead of 2012 elections.
He said it will take two to three years before the Constitution starts functioning well, a thing that if relied on, could delay justice to victims and perpetrators of the violence.
“There’s absolutely no basis for substituting the ICC with the new Constitution. The process must go on,” Mr Omar said.
Parents who fail to send their children to school will be jailed if a new Bill becomes law.They will be fined Sh5,000 or a one-year jail term, the Bill proposes. Expulsion and being forced to repeat classes will also be outlawed.Entry tests will be banned and no child will be denied admission to any public primary school of their choice for any reason.However, a child who fails to cope with school life due to mental, physical or psychological reasons can be sent away with the permission of the Minister for Education, now re-designated Education Secretary.But that child must be admitted to a correctional institution that will suit their needs. The Bill outlaws employing school-age children and protects them from torture.“Any person who employs or prevents a child who is subject to compulsory attendance from attending school is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or to a period not exceeding five years in jail or to both,” says the Bill.
The Bill, published by Education minister Mutula Kilonzo, was prepared after a series of consultations.
Tourism Minister Najib Balala was fired from the Cabinet while three first term MPs were promoted to full minister in changes agreed between President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga at a meeting on Monday.MPs allied to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto appeared to have been the beneficiaries of President Kibaki’s side of the coalition in the reshuffle, with the youthful Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa taking over the Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs docket from outspoken minister Mutula Kilonzo who has been moved to Education.Mr Balala, the Mvita MP, who has had a strained relationship with the Prime Minister, was replaced by fellow Coast MP Danson Mwazo of Voi.Mr Mwazo was an assistant minister for Livestock.Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau, becomes the minister of Nairobi Metropolitan after Mr Njeru Githae, who has been acting at the Treasury, was confirmed Finance minister.Mr Kamau, an ardent supporter of Mr Kenyatta from Murang’a county, was a member of the Parliamentary Service Commission.His appointment is seen as a replacement for Environment Minister John Michuki, from the same county, who died last month.Mr Moses Wetang’ula now moves to the Trade ministry and will be replaced by Prof Sam Ongeri in Foreign Affairs.Mr Chirau Mwakwere was transferred to the Environment ministry.Mr Wetang’ula rejoined his ministry last year, after a one-year stint in the cold following allegations of corruption in procurement of the Tokyo Embassy....Click here
Presidential aspirants are making unprecedented efforts to secure votes of Kenyans living outside the country in the belief that they could be crucial in winning the contest for State House in the forthcoming General Election.Leading aspirants have opened offices in key cities such as London in the United Kingdom, New York and Washington in the US and Johannesburg in South Africa in their determination to tap the vote, which could tilt the results for President Kibaki’s successor.The scramble for the external voters comes as a government team to craft the rules and regulations guiding Diaspora voting — one of the new provisions in the Constitution — burns the midnight oil to ensure that Kenyans out there play a role in the choice of the next leadership.“The team (government task force) is working overtime. We want the report to be ready by the time the boundaries team (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) has completed its work. We want diaspora voting to start with a bang,” said Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo on Sunday.Kenyans in the Diaspora, who were hitherto only courted for campaign financing, were given the right to vote for the first time ever by the new Constitution.Even though the IEBC estimates there are as many as three million Kenyans abroad, less than half of them are registered with embassies and consulates, according to figures from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.With 600,000, the United States has the highest number followed by the United Kingdom (300,000), Canada (60,000), United Arab Emirates (46,000), South Africa (40,000) and South Sudan (20,000). More info click here
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto on Thursday appeared to be forging a new political front without Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka.In a meeting with 90 MPs at Sagret Hotel in Nairobi, the two resolved to work together and start negotiations for a pre-election or post-election coalition. The meeting was preceded by another attended by the two leaders and their close allies.Mr Kenyatta was with Mr Kiraitu Murungi, Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri, Mr Eugene Wamalwa and Mr Wilfred Ombui, while Mr Ruto was accompanied by Mr Chirau Mwakwere, Mr Robert Monda, Mr Aden Duale and Mr Ekwe Ethuro. They had earlier met at Palacina Hotel.Mr Musyoka did not attend Thursday’s meeting but his ally, Kangundo MP Johnstone Muthama, who was also missing, said that the VP was tied up in Cabinet.During the morning meeting, Mr Ruto and his team are said to have asked Mr Kenyatta to put his side of the alliance under a single political entity to enable more structured negotiations. The two teams are also said to have agreed to tackle parliamentary business together.Sources said that it was agreed that while Mr Ruto and his allies had United Republican Party, Mr Kenyatta’s side was fragmented into different parties. Mr Kenyatta was asked not to pick Kanu or PNU due to their historical ties.“There is a feeling that Mr Musyoka is deliberately not censuring Wiper secretary-general Mutula Kilonzo. It was therefore decided that we will negotiate with him like we will be doing with others outside our alliance,” said an MP who attended the meeting but was unwilling to be identified.Housing minister Soita Shitanda, who heads the New Ford Kenya, confirmed that the meeting also resolved to hold a retreat in the next two weeks to draw up modalities for picking a presidential candidate...Click here
A Cabinet team will determine whether Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret MP William Ruto will vie for the presidency if charged by the International Criminal Court.The revelation came as Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo accused the two of “impunity” for declaring that they will not drop their presidential bids regardless of the much-awaited ruling on their cases arising from the 2007/8 post-election violence.Highly placed government sources said the Cabinet sub-committee on the ICC, which is chaired by Internal Security minister George Saitoti, would convene a meeting as soon as the ruling was delivered to take a common position on the matter.The committee will seek the advice of Attorney-General Githu Muigai before taking a position that will be placed before Cabinet for discussion and either approval or rejection...Click here
Here we explore possible motivations for retaining the PCs, DCs, Chiefs and Their Assistants. The possible political compromises and their ramifications.Why Mutula Kilonzo is reneging on the Administration's pledge to cooperate with the International Criminal Court, the possible political payoff.
Parliament was thrown into an uproar last night after Nominated MP Millie Odhiambo claimed that 15 per cent of her colleagues are gay. Her remarks drew sharp criticism and numerous points of order from MPs who demanded that she substantiate her claim or withdraw and apologise.Debate on the nomination of Dr Willy Mutunga as Chief Justice, Nancy Baraza as Deputy CJ and Keriako Tobiko as the Director of Public Prosecutions was forgotten for a while as agitated MPs stood up to be heard.Millie, who was seconding the motion moved by the chairman of the Constitution Implementation and Oversight Committee Abdikadir Mohammed, stood her ground saying she was quoting from a report presented to the committee by lawyer Betty Murungi. Assistant minister Kilemi Mwiria came to her defence confirming that the report had been tabled before the committee.Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo informed the House that the report indicated that 15 per cent of all Kenyans are gay and that it did not make any specific references to the MPs....Read more click http://eastafricaradiousa.com/blog/?p=5771
Attorney-General Amos Wako has written to Treasury requesting funds for the legal defence of two of the six Ocampo suspects.
Nation sources said that the decision to pay the legal costs for Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Postmaster-General Hussein Ali was allegedly reached at a Cabinet meeting in December last year.
The Nation has not seen a copy of the letter and Mr Wako could not be reached for comment but the sources, who are privy to Cabinet proceedings, said Mr Wako’s letter was dated December 29.
Opinion in government is sharply divided with some opposed to the use of public funds for the defence of criminal matters and others arguing that Civil Service regulations obligate the government to do so.
On Thursday, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Mutula Kilonzo opposed the use of taxpayers’ money arguing that the two officials are being sued in their private capacities.
“They are being sought in their individual capacities and therefore cannot expect to get legal representation at the taxpayers’ expense,” he said.
On Wednesday, Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua said the matter was being reviewed and a decision on financing the defence of the Ocampo suspects will be taken.
“The issue of covering the legal fees of the mentioned officials is still under review and any decision made will be done in accordance with the Constitution and the code of conduct for civil servants,” he said.
Mr Kilonzo said that if any of the six does not have money to retain a lawyer, they can apply to the Hague for legal aid.
He argued that if the government pays their legal costs, it will also be saddled with reparations which the court will order, “including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation”.
The wave of acrimony and contradictory statements dominated public debate as the week drew to a close with Kenyans left wondering who may be the masters of deceit.
As question rose over the conduct of certain public officials three questions remained unanswered: Will Kenyans have 80 proposed constituencies the Andrew Ligale-led team published this week in the running order in which they appeared? Will they be in place in time to be slotted in the 2012 elections programme? And how will the court rule on the two separate suits for and against them now before Chief Justice Evan Gicheru’s team?
On Thursday, Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission, whose draft for publication in the Kenya Gazette was delayed by hidden force(s) in Government until the process was blocked by a court order, also filed a separate court case to counter the one against it by a Nairobi businessman.
But what stuck out like a sore thumb in government’s foot was the way Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo disowned the statement endorsing the Ligale team’s work as within its mandate and constitution given Parliament by his Assistant Minister William Cheptumo on Wednesday.
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