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RUTO QUESTIONED OVER MAYHEM

Story by DAVE OPIYO
Publication Date: 3/29/2008
A member of Parliament was on Friday summoned by the Government’s human rights watchdog investigating the post-election clashes.

Eldoret North’s William Ruto arrived at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights’ offices in Nairobi at 8am and was questioned for almost two hours.

Present at the meeting were commissioners Fatma Ibrahim and  Wambui Kimathi, the secretary of  the commission, Mr Mburu Gitu, and Mrs Allison Smith, an official from the commission said to be helping with the investigations.

The details of the closed-door meeting were however not be immediately available.

But commissioner Florence Simbiri-Jaoko told a news conference on Friday that the MP was assisting them unravel what caused the clashes after the disputed presidential poll tally.

At least 1,000 people were killed and 350,000 others forced to leave their homes due to the violence.

Said Ms Simbiri-Jaoko: “We are indeed glad that Mr Ruto honoured our call. He comes from one area – the Rift Valley – that was heavily affected by the violence. We are glad he told us what he knows.”

The commission has been investigating and documenting the post-election violence to ensure that there are as comprehensive as possible records of the violations committed.

The commission expects that the perpetrators of these acts will eventually be held accountable.

Ms Simbiri-Jaoko confirmed that a number of high profile politicians was scheduled to be questioned by the commission but could not reveal who they were.

She said the investigations were still on and disputed claims that they had gathered hard evidence against certain politicians.

Progress report

On Thursday, the commission, in its progress report, had indicated that it had gathered evidence implicating a host of politicians in the violence.

In the report, the Commission said that some of the politicians financed militias involved in the violence. It also implicated the country’s security forces in acts of violence in parts of Nyanza and Western provinces.

A mini commission to investigate the clashes is yet to be formed although both PNU and ODM negotiators in the mediated talks have agreed on its composition; two international experts and one local one. A list of potential candidates has been drawn and is being scrutinised.

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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