Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako Facing His Waterloo – Legal Battle Looms over His Travel Ban

Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako confirmed Wednesday November 4th 2009 that he is banned from travelling to the United States and announced his intention to sue for defamation

Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako confirmed Wednesday November 4th 2009 that he is banned from travelling to the United States and announced his intention to sue for defamation

AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY WE THINK.  THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S CLOCK HAS RUN OUT FOR GOOD REASONS.

Goodbye

Kenya Police Implicated in Abductions and Extortion of Human Rights Defenders

Recent events suggest that the so-called Police reforms are cosmetic, and that force members are involved in crimes such as hostage taking. Now more than ever pressure must be put on the Police Commissioner and the Minister for Internal Security to purge the Kenya Police Force of criminal elements. within its ranks

The letters reproduced below indicate the gravity of the problem. Two civil society activists were recently abducted by 5 Police Officers and extorted for money under threats of execution . Their lawyer, Paul Muite, has informed the authorities about this.

The references in the letters to threats by these officers of Kimani Ruo style treatment to Samson Ojiayo and Godwin Kamau are alarming. Kimani Ruo’s disappearance is one of the infamous crimes the Kenya Police are accused of committing by human rights investigations including by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra Judicial Executions.

For those who have never heard of him, Kimani Ruo was arrested together with Maina Njenga, on suspicion of being members of the outlawed Mungiki sect. On June 21st 2007, the two were arraigned at the High Court in Nairobi for delivery of judgment of their case. A friend to Kimani Ruo recorded a statement with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and gave an account of what transpired on the day when Ruo disappeared. The witness had attended court on the said date and confirms that Ruo was acquitted of all the charges against him at about noon. As he stepped outside, he met a group of police officers in plainclothes who waylaid him. Kimani then whispered to the eyewitness that one of the officers was from the Criminal Investigation Department and was known to him as Njoroge. Ruo then informed the eyewitness that he had to go for an urgent meeting with the said police officers and as such, he would have to switch off his mobile phone. Since then, his family has never seen him. They reported the matter to various police stations with no success.

Kimani Ruo has never been found, although a police whistleblower, Bernard Kiriinya, gave a sworn deposition on June 25th 2008 to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights that a year earlier he was a member of a police squad which abducted Kimani Ruo on June 21st 2007 and killed him the next day in Njiru area using pangas. The testimony of Mr. Kiriinya implicates officers in the Kenya Police who have ironically been promoted by the new Police Commissioner.

Click above to watch Bernard Kiriinya’s damning confession – June 25th 2008

The same police force has also never investigated the murder of our two colleagues Oscar Kingara and GPO Oulu which took place in broad daylight on March 5th 2009 outside the University of Nairobi. The two principals to the National Accord have shown no interest in this matter, neither has the Secretariat left behind to monitor implementation of the National Accord.

As Kofi Annan visits Kenya this week to discuss implementation of the National Accord he may wish to reflect on the sad story of killers within the Kenya Police who operate with impunity despite overwhelming evidence implicating them in gross human rights violations. He may then wish to take this opportunity to find out from the two principals what, if anything they are doing, to end impunity within the ranks of the Kenya Police, and to ensure that extra-judicial executions cease in Kenya.

Aluta continua! Justice will be done.

mwalimu mati – October 4, 2009

****

LETTERS IMPLICATING THE KENYA POLICE IN CRIMES AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS AND CIVIL SOCIETY ACTIVISTS


29th September, 2009

The Hon. S. Amos Wako, EGH, EBS, MP,

Attorney General,

State Law Office,

Harambee Avenue,

Nairobi.

Dear Bwana A.G.,

SAMSON OJIAYO AND GODWIN WANGOE KAMAU

I write further to my letter of 18th September 2009 addressed to the Commissioner of Police with a copy to you, a further copy of which is annexed for ease of reference.

Following his release on a cash bail of Kshs. 100,000/=, Mr. Kamau learnt that non uniformed Police Officers, he suspects are part of the squad which arrested him, had been to his home severally enquiring of his whereabouts. About the same time, he was informed by a friendly uniformed/ regular Police Officer that the arresting squad had sworn to abduct him in the court precincts following the mention of his case and execute him, Kimani Ruo style. Given what he was subjected to on the night of 15th September 2009 following his arrest, he has no doubts at all that the threats are real and his life is in imminent danger. It is apparent that extra judicial executions are still part of the modus operandi by the Kenyan Police.

I am writing to bring these developments to your notice ahead of serving you with the Orders of the High Court obtained today, 29th September 2009 temporarily staying the criminal case in the lower court and to place it on record that should anything happen to my client, I shall inform the ICC that it is the Police and the Kenya Government who must be held responsible for what will be yet another case of brazen and arrogant act of impunity regarding extra judicial execution of a young Kenyan whose only crime is being young, unemployed and a Member of the Kikuyu tribe.

Yours faithfully,

P.K. Muite

P.K. MUITE, S.C., Advocate

Encls.

cc. 1. The Hon. Mutula Kilonzo EGH, EBS, SC, MP, Minister for Justice, Constitutional Affairs and National Cohesion, Co-operative House, Haile Sellasie Avenue, Nairobi.

2. The Commissioner of Police, Police Headquarters, Harambee Avenue, Nairobi.

**********************************


18th September, 2009

The Commissioner of Police,

Police Headquarters,

Harambee Avenue,

NAIROBI.

Dear Sir,

SAMSON OJIAYO AND GODWIN WANGOE KAMAU

On Tuesday, 15th September 2009 at about 7.30 p.m., my two clients above named were grabbed at Ambassador Hotel Bus Stop by 5 non-uniformed Police Officers with guns and bundled into a vehicle KAN 938N White G. Touring. Between 7.30 p.m. and about 11.30 p.m., they were taken round to various spots around the city including the recently cleared banks of Nairobi River near Ngara.

Guns were pointed at their heads and they were threatened with execution unless they telephoned their families and friends for a ransom of One Million shillings for their lives to be spared. They also took (stole) Kshs. 16,000= from Kamau. Mr. Ojiayo flatly informed them that his family and friends could simply not be able to raise that kind of money and it was pointless for him therefore to make any calls.

Kamau made 4 calls from his line 0733****** to a friend and colleague of his one N_______, 0733 *** ***, desperately asking for the One Million shillings to be delivered. Mr. N_______ asked Kamau to inform them that no one keeps that kind of money in the house but if they waited for the following morning efforts would be made to raise the money. Mr. N______ reported the matter at Ngong Police Station OB No. 79/15/9/09.

Mr. Kamau was eventually locked up at Gigiri Police Station, for the night, transferred to Central Police Station on the morning of 16th September and charged in Court with the offences of being in possession of 5 grams of cannabis (value Kshs. 50=) and being a Member of Mungiki. Mr. Ojiayo was locked up at Kabete Police Station for the night and released on the morning of 16th September without any charges being preferred against him.

Both Mr. Ojiayo and Kamau can identify the 5 Police Officers in question. Mr. N______ is willing to give evidence. Zain should be able to provide evidence that Mr. N______’s number received the 4 calls from Mr. Kamau’s number at the time that he was in Police custody.

This criminal extortion and theft by Police Officers is what gives the force a bad name and image. Failure to take action against such officers encourages impunity.

I write therefore to request that you initiate urgent investigations with a view to having these officers prosecuted in addition to whatever other disciplinary measures you might take against the five.

Yours faithfully,

P.K. Muite

P.K. MUITE, S.C., Advocate

cc. 1. The Hon. Mutula Kilonzo EGH, EBS, SC, MP, Minister for Justice, Constitutional Affairs and National Cohesion, Co-operative House, Haile Sellasie Avenue, Nairobi.

2. The Hon. S. Amos Wako, EGH, EBS, MP, Attorney General, State Law Office, Harambee Avenue, Nairobi.


The Partnership for Change Message for Madaraka Day – 46 Years Later It’s Not Yet Uhuru but Change is Coming.

THE PARTNERSHIP FOR CHANGE MESSAGE FOR MADARAKA DAY – 46 YEARS LATER IT’S NOT YET UHURU BUT CHANGE IS COMING.

Nairobi 1st June 2009

Summary: Madaraka was meant to;
- give Kenyans sovereignty over their political affairs and their resources
- give Kenyans a Bill of Rights to be enforced by an independent judiciary
- create a democratic, prosperous & just Nation where the rule of law prevails

46 years ago today, a handover took place at a ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, between the British colonial government and an elected government headed by the leader of the Kenya African National Union, Jomo Kenyatta, as Prime Minister of Kenya. That day June 1st 1963 has since then been commemorated annually by Kenyans as Madaraka (Internal Self Government) Day. It is the day that Kenyans knew their independence would shortly come.

Six months later on December 12th 1963 (Jamuhuri or Republic Day), Kenya attained independent dominion status within the British Commonwealth under a constitution that was negotiated and agreed at three multi-party Constitutional Conferences held in London and Nairobi between 1961 and 1963. At the stroke of midnight all eligible persons in the country became citizens of Kenya by birthright – in the case of those born after midnight – by naturalisation or by application.

Jomo Kenyatta remained Prime Minister until December 12th 1964 when further constitutional changes declared that Kenya would henceforth be a Republic with Jomo Kenyatta as the first President of Kenya. Kenyatta was president for 15 years. The Prime Ministership was abolished, and there have only been two more Kenyan Presidents since then – in 46 years – Daniel Arap Moi who was President between 1978 and 2002 (24 years); and Mwai Kibaki who is serving his 7th year as President.

Since that first Madaraka Day, Kenyans have been trying to secure the benefits of internal self-governance, democracy and prosperity for the people of Kenya. Sadly, 46 years later, Kenyans are still suffering from the ills of a colonial like state which instead of healing, feeding, and educating and securing the people; oppresses steals and even kills often and with impunity.

Kenyans know that freedom is not free, and that they have to unite as they did before Independence for freedom. Several times in our history we have been reunited in the push for true Uhuru. Immediately after the first Madaraka Day the struggle to preserve the vision of land and freedom was led by the Kenya People’s Union against KANU, and throughout the 1960s and 1970s by patriots like Pio Gama Pinto, Josiah Mwangi Kariuki and the students and dons of Kenya’s universities. This was defeated by brute force and assassinations. In the 1980s the resistance to section 2A of the Constitution involved agitation for the end of the one party KANU dictatorship of Daniel Arap Moi. Most recently, there was the rejection of KANU in 2002, and the election of the National Rainbow Coalition which was Kenya’s first pre-election pact coalition government, and which developed an Economic Recovery and Constitutional Reform strategy and plan which was frustrated by selfish political manoeuvre. Today Kenyans are striving to overcome the political, economic and governance crisis which emerged after the botched presidential election of December 27th 2007, and this struggle is assuming a dimension of generational leadership change in the form of a “citizen’s in charge” movement.

Throughout the darkest days, Kenyans have always known that they are Kenyans and that as such they have rights which are given to them by their Constitution. They have consistently since Independence resisted against a leadership that sought to oppress them as the colonial state did. They have however suffered greatly in this resistance. Many Kenyans have been detained without trial, subjected to rigged trials, exiled, tortured and even been killed and tortured in the past 46 years.

On 12th December 2008, citizens through the Partnership for Change declared that they were going to take charge of democratising and freeing their country for themselves. The Partnership for Change has since November 2008 been implementing a six-point agenda of advocacy and public education on the National Accord, Fundamental Human Rights, the National budget and Debt, Citizens’ Responsibility and Ending Impunity. These agenda items are covered in the National Accord of February 28th 2008, which established the Grand Coalition Government led by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

WHAT IS THE CONTENT OF OUR NATIONAL ACCORD?

Agenda One of the National Accord:
- restoration of civil and political liberties
- cessation of violence against and between citizens

Agenda Two of the National Accord:
- resolving the post election humanitarian crisis
- reconciliation and national healing

Agenda Three of the National Accord:
- overcoming the political crisis

Agenda Four of the National Accord:
- overcoming long term issues and providing solutions to mass poverty and unemployment, land reform, regional imbalances, and equity
- addressing national cohesion and reconciliation, transparency and accountability, constitutional reform, institutional reform of Parliament, the Judiciary and the Internal Security Apparatus including the police

The Grand Coalition Government has failed to keep the timelines and to deliver the National Accord. We believe that implementing the National Accord and the agenda of the Partnership for Change will ensure the delivery of the vision of Madaraka Day and Uhuru. We have committed ourselves to use all our constitutional freedoms to advocate and educate Kenyans on our agenda for the prosperity and freedom of all citizens. In this, as people and citizens of Kenya, we shall act without waiting for the political leadership who have failed us before time and time again.

Recognizing that Madaraka Day 1963 made us citizens with inalienable rights, the Partnership for Change shall over the next 6 months up to December 12th 2009 mount a nation-wide campaign to restore the Madaraka Day vision of democratic accountability and urge Kenyans to resist dictatorial impunity. If we succeed, at a minimum the fundamental rights of every Kenyan will be respected and protected by the state and its agencies on pain of prosecution for any one regardless of status, who violates the rights of a Kenyan citizen. Our rights are not negotiable.

The Partnership for Change holds the position that the National Accord and not Vision 2030 is the country’s Blue Print for national development and ultimately salvation. On this 46th Madaraka Day, we restate that the full implementation of the National Accord is non-negotiable and the Grand Coalition Government so long as it remains incapable, or refuses, to implement the National Accord has no moral authority to remain in place, bearing in mind it is created by a political pact and not by a democratic election result. To stimulate peaceful and democratic change in Kenya, we shall support people’s struggle and initiatives for a better Kenya in the following ways:

1. We shall work to raise awareness of public resources management discipline in order to identify and secure financial and other resources for the achievement of Agenda 4 of the National Accord. In this regard we are campaigning to rationalise the budget and to achieve at least 60% of the budget is secured for development spending; and are also advocating for a comprehensive external debt relief agreement for Kenya.

2. We shall work and campaign as citizens, educating others and asserting our fundamental freedoms as detailed in Chapter V of the Constitution (Bill of Rights) and in particular calling for the unequivocal and full implementation of the full implementation of the Report of the Waki Commission of Inquiry into the Post Election Violence and the Alston Report to the 11th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Summary and Extra Judicial Killings to end impunity in Kenya and to ensure that for the first time in Kenya’s history since Independence all public institutions and public officials are held accountable, and work to promote and defend human rights.

3. We shall work with grassroots Kenyans to educate Kenyans, organise forums that are driven by the citizens themselves- on how to full participate and consult with each other to participate in decision making, public finance, to protect and preserve democracy, ensure honest and effective representation in Parliament and the local governance structures and indeed all governance structures.

4. We shall advocate for the need for impartial application of the rule of law. Kenyans are born equal, regardless of the political opinion, ethnic origin or social status.

5. We shall develop plans and policies for institutional responses to deal with impunity including enhancing public monitoring and record keeping of the government operations related to public finance management and the as regards the fundamental human rights

6. We shall support the call by the people of Kenya for their immediate democratic re-enfranchisement and their right to an elected government.

WE SHALL ACT FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS AND GROUNDS:
We shall do this because the Grand Coalition Government must be pushed to deliver on its duty to Kenyans as expected in the National Accord. We shall do this because it is our right to demand for the full implementation of the National Accord. Failure to implement the National Accord constitutes grounds for a fresh election, and the Grand Coalition Government has failed in the following respects:

Failure to keep Timelines:
- It has failed to keep the timelines to deliver the promise of the National Accord. Constitutional Review within 12 months has been overlooked hence the stalled institutional reforms in the judiciary, in parliament and the representation of the people, dealing with regional imbalances and the public finance systems;
- It has failed to establish the Special Tribunal for Kenya to punish the persons bearing the greatest responsibility for crimes against humanity committed in Kenya during the Post Election Violence period (December 2007 to February 2008) during which 1,133 Kenyan were murdered and hundreds of thousands were displaced.
- It has failed in 15 months to settle the internally displaced victims of the post election violence leaving hundreds of thousands of Kenyans exposed to untold suffering daily, indefinitely.

Failure to Protect Kenyans and End Extra Judicial Killings
- It has failed to demobilise militias, and dismantle organised crime syndicates and gangs, which continue to murder, extort and maim with impunity.
- Extrajudicial killings by the Kenya Police continue and no one is being punished for this illegality which has lead to the deaths of hundreds of Kenyan young men and women. Torture of persons in official custody remains a practice within the police and other disciplined forces, and torturers have impunity. Police reforms are still pending and on June 2, 2009 the UN special Rapporteur on Enforced disappearances shall present a damning report on Kenya. Shockingly during the Madaraka day celebrations, neither the President nor the Prime Minister had anything to say on this – in prominent attendance at the celebration was the Police Commissioner who has several times been indicted by independent and official reports. The Attorney general who has been described by the UN Special Rapporteur as the embodiment of impunity remains in office after 19 years, and presumably for life.

Failure to Secure Protection of Law and Access to Justice
- There have been no efforts to improve access to justice for the majority of the population. Whereas over the past 15 months the Grand Coalition Government increased the administrative districts to over 209; it has failed to provide the people with courts and today there are only 58 High Court Judges, and 287 Magistrates for a population of 38 million citizens. The backlog of cases according to the Ministry of Justice stands at over 800,000! 46 years after independence, Kenyans are denied justice as a majority face criminal charges without any legal aid or assistance by qualified lawyers.
- Prisons were built to hold 16,000 inmates at a time. Today they hold over 64,000 convicts and every day about 45,000 Kenyan citizens are held by the police in cells under inhumane and degrading conditions.

Failure to Address Long Term Issues
- The Grand Coalition Government has failed to tackle poverty and inequality. It has failed to deliver on its promise to generate 740,000 new jobs each year from 2008 to keep up with youth unemployment which is now a national security threat. Training colleges have been shut down for lack of funds while the Grand Coalition Government continues to increase recurrent expenditure on hospitality and conspicuous consumption.
- The Grand Coalition Government has failed to consolidate national cohesion. It has failed to criminalise hate speech by law and in fact it has allowed politicians and public officers to verbally abuse and scandalize those who point out its faults. The Kiambaa victims’ mass funeral which was avoided by the national and local leadership of the Orange Democratic Movement, and shoddily managed by State House shows how far the nation is from national healing.
- The Grand Coalition Government has failed to institute the much desired and needed land reform and is engaged in a sham discussion to shield its members’ vested interest in the status quo where formally public lands remain in private hands illegally; a fact extensively documented by among others the Ndung’u Land commission report of 2004.
- The Grand Coalition Government is incapable of fighting corruption and has indeed institutionalized impunity for gross economic crimes by shielding perpetrators from persecution and by incorporating perpetrators of corruption in its highest political and public offices. Today, more than half of the cabinet ministers of the GCG are implicated in Grand corruption charges and are yet to be cleared. A corrupt government can not deliver Agenda 4 of the National Accord.

Failure to control Public Debt:
- The Grand Coalition Government has committed 24% of national Budget to debt redemption and is increasing our domestic debt from Kshs. 670.8 billion to Kshs. 827.4 billion and since 1963 Kenya has borrowed over Kshs. 1 trillion with little to show for it. It is now imperative that we have full accountability and transparency in our debt. The Partnership for Change shall demand that Kenyans are told whom we owe and for what purpose we owe. We shall campaign that we as a country should undertake no further debts until the government of Kenya accounts to the people through Parliament. A quick look at our statement of external debt reveals huge borrowings and repayment to the tune of over a trillion shillings for development infrastructure that has never been built. Most of the loans did not have proper parliamentary authority and went to private hands leaving Kenyan tax payer to pay for value un-received. Disturbingly, the Grand Coalition Government has made it its policy to borrow to fund its recurrent expenditure.
- The Partnership for Change takes exception with the Bretton Woods institutions which choose to ignore the public evidence that the Kenyan Government is neither transparent nor accountable in public finance management and that there are odious debts on our books. Even though the Partnership for Change alerted the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund as to the presence of odious debt our books, and the history of pathetic management of public resources by Treasury, the International Monetary Fund’s immediate response to this call was to lend the Government of Kenya twice the amount it wished to borrow.

The Partnership for Change shall play Its role in offering information, organising the people and providing the tools for holding public officials and state institutions accountable so that by December 12, 2009, Kenyan citizens shall have made a breakthrough.

Partnership for Change
Nairobi 1st June 2009