9 September 2007
Posted to the web 9 September 2007
Nobel Peace Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai yesterday blamed the return of what she called the upsurge of Moi-era corruption and human rights abuses on the collapse of the Narc coalition.
Prof Maathai, who is a Narc MP for Tetu, said some ministers and MPs championed land grabbing and destruction of forests by inciting their people to invade the areas.
The police, claimed the MP, was executing suspects at will in disregard of the sanctity of human life.
“Who would believe that there would be anyone in post-Moi era justifying killing of suspected persons and corruption thrive in the country?” she wondered.
But she maintained her support for President Mwai Kibaki’s re-election through a grand coalition she said would be named soon.
Prof Mathaai, who was addressing the World Forum of Chief Justices, Judges, Magistrates and Lawyers at the Windsor Hotel, said over 900 people had been killed in crime related incidents this year alone.
The police, she said, had shot dead 476 people, 50 of them being summarily executed. The victims were shot at close range an indication that they posed no threat to the police, she said.
She said if the Bomas Draft (constitution) ever see the light of day judicial officers will no longer use the jargons such as locus standi to defeat justice in cases involving land grabbing and environmental degradation.
The draft constitution stated that every person had a right to clean and healthy environment.
Prof Maathai, who doubles up as the United Nations Ambassador for the protection of the Congo forest, received a standing ovation after her hard-hitting key note address.
“Unfortunately the Rainbow Government did not last to address respect for the rule of law, respect for human rights and promotion of equity in all sectors of society and therefore in the recent past there has been a public and high-profile surge in violent crime and insecurity in the country,” she said.
The developments, she pointed out, had grossly undermined public confidence in the law enforcement system and the capacity of the Government to provide security to its citizens and protect human rights.
She said: “Ghastly scenes of rape of women and children, execution of suspected robbers by police, killing of police by robbers, lynching of suspects by wananchi, inter-ethnic clashes are all manifestations of a society at war with itself.”
The MP said that the rise in killings by security officials in circumstances suggesting extra-judicial execution was an alarming trend.
“The provision to secure for individuals protection by law is provided for in section 77 of the Constitution of Kenya and section 71 of the Constitution is very explicit on what should be done,” she said.
Prof Maathai said that the killing of suspects and subsequent justification by Commissioner of Police suggested that the police were intent on eliminating any traces of complicity within their ranks.