Re: [kenyacitizensassembly] Bung e la Mwananchi statement on Prof . Alston’s findings on extrajudi cial killings
- Dear George and All,Immense thanks as always for your invaluable work, and I am delighted to see that these findings have been authored by Prof. Philip Alston, who was a professor of mine some years ago at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He has a long record as a human-rights champion, and whatever he says can surely be believed and trusted.It is now a time of soul-searching and reflection, for Kenya and for Kenyans, but also a time for action and response. You and your organization--and its fellow members--are a role model in that regard, and please know that we are with you in thought, heart, spirit...and hopefully "in deed", indeed!!With greatest blessings and support, JanetJanet FeldmanKAIPPG International, ActALIVE Coalition----- Original Message -----From: George NyongesaTo: grnyongesa@...Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 12:02 AMSubject: [kenyacitizensassembly] Bunge la Mwananchi statement on Prof. Alston’s findings on extrajudicial killings
Bunge la Mwananchi statement on Prof. Alston’s findings on extrajudicial killings
Earlier today (25th February 2009), the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Prof. Philip Alston, released his findings on the matter of extrajudicial killings in Kenya and his recommendations include that the Attorney General, Amos Wako and the Commissioner of Police, Major General Hussein Ali should immediately be sacked by the appointing authority. His verdict on extrajudicial killings was clear – that there is indeed systematic, widespread and carefully planned elimination done at will and with utter impunity.
The fact that Prof. Alston could in 10 days find adequate evidence to pass such apt judgement is a confirmation of the gravity of the situation on the ground. We, at Bunge la Mwananchi have long been petitioning the past and the coalition governments over the syndicated way in which the Kenya Police have been victimising and eliminating Kenyans especially the poor, but to no avail. We have filed endless complaints with the office of the Commissioner of Police over police harassment and intimidation and police brutality as well as arbitrary arrests and unexplained disappearances of arrested persons from police custody. Our petitions like those of other civil society groups have been rubbished with impunity and instead of redemptive actions the Kenya Police through their spokesman have proceeded on a sanitisation exercise of insensitive public relation statements, promising probes and actions that never come to pass.
Bunge la Mwananchi want to state that our membership have continued to suffer victimisation and the criminalising of our activities despite our insistence that we are law abiding citizens who conduct our affairs openly. We have witnessed most innocent activities such as “playing football or taking tea” together elicit a paranoiac unnecessary reaction by the Government as citizens are rounded up by Kenya police and handed fictitious charges such as “idling in the park”, “illegal one-man assembly” or even “belonging to an illegal movement”. We have watched all these in dismay and wondered why is the Grand Coalition Government so terrified of Kenyans organizing to seek solutions to their water problem or even to bury their loved ones? Why do we get clobbered, tear-gassed and dispersed violently when we convene for peaceful public meeting? Why does the Government of Kenya use the police to beat Kenyans exercising constitutionally protected fundamental rights such as the right to petition their leaders?
More worrying in this coalition era of unemployment, is that young people continue to suffer double trouble under police-force corruption and impunity. We have been victims of the police’s arbitrary round up and demand for job cards, which if one cannot produce to identify where s/he works, s/he risks trumped up charges ranging from peddling drugs to robbery with violence, which results in being jailed for life or even capital punishment. Is not the police envisaged to be a citizens’ force? Why did we have to militarise the police force into a tool for oppression?
The Attorney General’s office has received copious detailed reports, complaints and petitions from individuals and civil society groups but Mr Wako has never made it his business to take appropriate legal action. On the issue of the Attorney General’s professional accountability to the people of Kenya, there is no living Kenyan who would not vote that Mr Wako is the very embodiment of impunity in Kenya as Prof Alston rightly asserted.
Generally, considering their out-of-touch leadership, it may have been news for President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga that the Kenya Police and the Attorney General have refused to protect people and secure them justice. We have no doubt that the Commissioner of Police has allowed rogues to don police uniforms and masquerade as Utumishi kwa Wote- service to all. We the Wananchi have remained victims of a misguided police force and all our complaints and petitions have fallen on the deaf ears of the Minister for Security, Police Commissioner and even the Attorney General. We can now only hope that Prof. Alston’s supportive findings and call for immediate action will vindicate us.
Bunge la Mwananchi strongly supports Prof Alston’s report. We find the report to be a bold and candid truth document that should challenge individual(s) occupying top leadership of this country to take a hard look at themselves. We are delighted that an independent person from outside, from the global community, would hear our people’s cry, come in, investigate and confirm that what we have all along been complaining about is not fictitious or child’s play. We see this report as a call to confidently take the necessary steps in the journey to end the culture of impunity.
For a Government and a leadership that has presided over gross human rights violations and further grossly failed in its mandate to afford external and internal security to its citizens, it is indeed adding insult to injury that the Government’s reaction to the report is to label it as having gone beyond its mandate and having been prematurely disclosed to the Kenyan public. We want to say that Coalition’s panic reaction is non-sense and foolish! Stop your usual denials. What Prof. Alston told the nation is not news; it is a confirmation on issues that we have petitioned the office of the President, the office of Prime Minister, the Minister for Internal Security and the Minister for Justice before.
Bunge la Mwananchi echoes Prof. Alston’s call to President Kibaki and his government to restore people’s fundamental rights and freedoms in Kenya. Stop police intimidation, harassment and arbitrary arrests on our membership. We challenge the government to remove all the anti-riot lorries that have cordoned off our meeting space across the country. We challenge the Government of Kenya to drop the fictitious charges and cases against our members who were arbitrarily arrested last Sunday and on previous occasions.
We add our voice to Prof. Alston’s in the demand that Police Commissioner, Major General Hussein Ali and the Attorney General, Mr. Amos Wako be relieved of the duties they have so grossly been unable to deliver. We want them gone immediately, the same way we fired former ECK boss, Mr. Samwel Kivuitu without a tribunal. That action must be followed by comprehensive transformation of the Kenya Police and the Judiciary system.
Further, Bunge la Mwananchi demands that President Kibaki addresses the people of Kenya and apologises for presiding over the atrocities we have suffered at the hand of the police and the Attorney General’s gross negligence. He must also make sure other accomplices in this crime against Kenyans must also face the law of the land. We do not have any doubt that it is the president’s number one job to protect Kenyans. He has failed us and must apologise. He must take immediate steps to institute an urgent mechanism for redressing these past injustices and to reassure Kenyans that it will never happen again.
Since this government has two centres of power, we the citizens, expect to hear from both President Kibaki and the Prime Minister Odinga within the next 14 days responding to our demands, or Kenyans will not hesitate to explore alternative ways of obtaining a satisfactory response from them.
For and on behalf of Bunge la Mwananchi
T: +254 720 451 235
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