|The Release Political Prisoners Trust wants Kenyans to settle historical injustices for peace to prevail in the country.
A report by the lobby titled “Prisoners of Injustices” released in Nairobi on Friday says historical injustices surrounding the distribution of land and wealth were a major cause of the violence that erupted in the country after last year’s disputed presidential poll results.
The document further claims that more than half of the victims of the violence were killed by militias. The report further shows that 28.4 per cent of the people killed died “under military operations” while 9 per cent were killed by police officers. Another 4.7 per cent were killed by people they knew, according to the lobby.
The group’s Executive Coordinator Mr Stephen Musau says the document was compiled from evidence given to the RPP team by various people in Nairobi, Kiambu, Juja, Mt Elgon, Tharaka-Meru border and Molo.
He said even with the signing of a power-sharing agreement between PNU and ODM, which RPP supports, Kenyans must work hard to deal with the historical injustices.
“In Tharaka, the issue of land remained emotive and could spark chaos any time. This too was evident in Kisii and Gucha areas. Kiambu, Ruiru, Juja and Nairobi and their environs had socio-economic problems which needed urgent measures to curb the situation,” the report says.
The injustices created deep divisions among Kenyans, resulting in equally deep public animosity. It is this animosity that, according to Mr Musau, caused the inter-community violence witnessed in the country early this year.
The human rights lobby calls on Kenyans to heighten their demands for a new constitution that will define issues relating to land, security, human rights, power relations in terms of governance and management of the State. This, the report says, must also include equitable distribution of resources.
President Kibaki, who is one of the key players in the new political agreement, has already stated that the government will ensure a new constitution is enacted within 12 months. The report asks the two sides to implement the agreement comprehensively.
“President Kibaki and Hon Raila Odinga must be accountable to Kenyans by honouring the agreement,” the report states. RPP is also calling a truth, justice and reconciliation process and the implementation of the recommendations.
They recommend that reforms address the plight of the youth, most of whom are jobless and the easiest target of political incitement.
They call for the prosecution of the perpetrators of violence and killings.
It is also calling on the government to ensure that internally displaced persons are fully compensated and resettled in an objective manner.
It is estimated that 350,000 people have been displaced from their homes and are currently camping at more than 100 spots, including churches, schools and showgrounds.