Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Kenya: Special Tribunal Bill Staggers on Day One
The Special Members Bill proposed by Hon Imanyara has run into early problems. As it gathered support of close to 50 MPs, a new lobby of MPs opposed to the Bill has emerged, prompting the Bill's proponents to suspend calling for early recall of the House which is on 6 weeks recess. It could be argued that this developments may as well have dealt the Bill its death blow, although its prospects of becoming law were less than promising from the start. This is a sad development for victims who continue to wait for justice. While the MPs position goes against grassroots support for accountability, the fact that many represent constituencies with large numbers of IDPs and where most of the violence was concentrated carries some weight in the ever evolving saga. The MPs cite the proposed removal of Presidential immunity by the Bill as their reason for opposing it. It is noteworthy the earlier Bill that failed in Parliament did not have this clause, neither does Kenya's International Crimes Act which domesticates the Rome Statute of the ICC.