Friday, 12 April 2013

Maina Kiai the Peoples court great Initiative by the civil society

 I have said before that Maina Kiai is always willing to  stand up to be counted.

This is what Maina said yesterday.

"Unlike 2008 when we swept matters under the carpet, this time we should interrogate what happened.

On behalf of InformAction and Africog, I am pleased to invite you to the launch of a website called "The Peoples Court" today at 10am at the Sarova Stanley Hotel.

I am sorry for the incredibly short notice  in getting this to you but I hope that some of you will attend or send representatives to the event as a sign of your support for openness,accountability, and the freedom of expression and information.

The website is a joint project between Africog and Informaction and is an attempt to present in public all the evidence around the recent elections. Some of that is from the cases filed at the Supreme Court, but it will also include material and information from citizens, observers and others. Citizens will be provided a location to post and send any information and evidence they gathered so that the complete truth on the recent elections can emerge.

Importantly, The Peoples Court will be an accountability mechanism on the IEBC and the Supreme court. Analysis of the Court's decision will be posted on the website hoping to engender critical and constructive discussions on why they took the decision that they did, in the face of the evidence that will be presented. The People's Court gives the public unique access to all the evidence filed at the Supreme Court in the Civil society petition challenging the election process.

By inviting citizen participation, it aims to make institutions accountable and uphold the high democratic standards of the constitution. It is also a forum for debate and opinion celebrating freedom of expression in Kenya and our vibrant tradition of democracy activism.

Thank you.

Maina Kiai"

Maina is no stranger to ruffling some peoples feathers,  whenever he challenges opinions.

May Justice be our shield and defender Maina.

"A time comes when silence is betrayal"  Rev.Martin Luther King.

Update three: The site is now live The People's court 

 relevant article Evidence released of alleged Kenyan election irregularities

Update relevant articles: Wycliffe Muga makes some interesting points in his article Keeping Ruto happy is Uhuru's greatest test.  History has a way of repeating itself.

Will Kenya's new president respect the international court. by Elizabeth Evenson some excerpts from her article below

But this pledge came with a caveat. International obligations would be upheld, he said, provided they are founded on "mutual respect and reciprocity". As the product of a global treaty, the ICC depends on the mutual respect of its 122 member countries, including Kenya. The real question is what respect Kenyatta and his new government will show for the court. The previous government's record was deeply ambivalent. The ICC prosecutor stepped in when Kenya's national authorities failed to bring to account those responsible for the 2007-2008 violence, which claimed more than 1,100 lives and forced as many as 650,000 people from their homes.
Government officials and members of parliament swiftly challenged the court. Parliament pressed the government to withdraw Kenya from the ICC treaty, while a faction of the government campaigned for a United Nations Security Council deferral. Kenya petitioned to retake the cases, as was its right, but lost when ICC judges found no evidence of national investigations. As the cases have neared trial, Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor, has reported that the government has stalled or failed to assist its investigations, contrary to its ICC obligations. She cited this problem as one factor in her recent decision to drop the charges against Kenyatta's former co-accused, Francis Muthaura. The government is now seeking, before the ICC judges, to refute this claim of limited assistance.

Kenyatta and Ruto sent contradictory messages during the campaign. The two, who stood on opposite sides of the political divide in 2007 and are accused of organising attacks against each other's supporters, have now been united by the ICC's charges. On the one hand they pledged their cooperation to the ICC, while on the other they at times painted the election as a referendum on the ICC and the court as a tool of western imperialism. Indeed Kenyatta's caveat at his inauguration also came with a warning. He cautioned that no one country or group of countries should control international institutions or the interpretation of international treaties. As the keynote speaker, Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, praised Kenyan voters for resisting "blackmail" by the ICC and accused "arrogant actors" of "using [the ICC] to install leaders of their choice in Africa".

This trades neatly on the canard that the ICC – with all eight of its investigations in Africa – is targeting the continent's leaders. This conveniently ignores that four investigations were referred to the court by the government concerned and two by the UN Security Council. Museveni himself sought the ICC's investigation in Uganda and hosted the court's states parties at a conference in a resort outside Kampala in 2010. Above all, the claim that the ICC is a stalking horse for the west ignores the horrific crimes committed in Kenya and that victims and their families have yet to see any measure of justice from Kenyan courts. Far from backing off, the international community needs to stand in solidarity with these victims and press Kenya's new government on its ICC cooperation obligations.

Kenyatta and Ruto are not fugitives, making some "business as usual" with the new government possible. But the ICC finds itself in a challenging situation in which it must depend at the highest levels on the very people it is putting on trial for the cooperation it needs to proceed. This reality means the international community will need to be vigilant in reacting to any signs that this cooperation is on the wane. Kenyatta's reformulation of his pledge on the ICC at his swearing-in should be cause for concern. He is seeking to have the charges against him dropped following the withdrawal of the case against Muthaura, a petition the ICC judges will decide. Kenyatta and Ruto, along with Ruto's co-accused, are entitled to a vigorous defence. That is their right and it should be scrupulously respected. But the Kenyan government should simultaneously ensure that the court can go forward with its independent, judicial process. 

Update two

Adrian Onyando in his article farewell parties are a case in discrimination makes a good point

In the past one year, I’ve seen one person, Mwai Kibaki, take all the credit for the achievements we have made in the past one decade or so. I’ve also seen one person, Raila Odinga, take all the blame for our failures of the past one decade or so.

Update three Relevant article: We have the opportunity to question supreme court on its recent decision by 
Anyang Nyong'o

An excerpt below

Hence, as Bishop Augustine of Hippo once said, “in the court of conscience there is no obligation to obey an unjust law.” Likewise, the Africog Website is giving Kenyans, bothered by their conscience on this issue, an opportunity to discuss it and interrogate the court’s decision to keep the court accountable to the Kenyan people. 

Some participants argued that launching the website after the court made its decision would be tantamount to “inciting Kenyans.” Maina retorted that Kenyans have a right to search for and speak the truth. Such truth can only irritate liars.
Others argued, “It is time to move on. Whatever happened during the elections cannot be changed now.” Maina responded by noting that if we don’t get to know the truth we are bound to make the same mistakes again next time, with the same IEBC.

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