Raila: I asked Annan to extend Waki deadline

Published on 01/02/2009

By Standard Team

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has asked former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to relax the deadline set by the Waki commission.

Speaking on arrival from Switzerland on Saturday, Raila said he explained to Dr Annan the progress made in implementing the report’s recommendations by the Government and Parliament.

“I met Dr Annan and we discussed the Waki issues at length. We evaluated the progress made in the implementation process of both the Waki and Kriegler reports,” Raila said.

The PM said Annan promised to consult President Kibaki on the matter following the halting of legislation of the Waki Bill in Parliament last week.

The Prime Minister arrives from Switzerland on Saturday. Photo: Evans Habil/Standard

According to Raila, there was no cause for alarm over the failure to pass the law adding that other players in the process can understand that MPs and the Government have shown willingness to pass it.

“The Waki Report is not cast in stone. No one should panic that the deadline was not met. Everything is on course,” Raila said.

He described the failure to enact the law last week as a technical hitch detected by MPs and expressed optimism that legislators would pass the Bill this week.

Legal experts have raised fears that the chairman of Eminent Persons is now at liberty to forward a list of persons suspected to bear greatest responsibility for post-election violence to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Blocking Bill

Some ODM MPs, furious at the failure by Parliament to block the Bill, voted in protest for the reinstatement of Kipipri MP Amos Kimunya to the Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister William Ruto has termed as inconsequential the move by Parliament to block the Government from enacting a statute for a local Special Tribunal and its entrenchment in the Constitution.

The Minister said Justice Phillip Waki had only made recommendations, which could either be adopted or disregarded.

Speaking at Kaguru Farmers’ Training Centre in South Imenti constituency, Ruto said it was irresponsible for some leaders to imply that the trial of those implicated could only be at The Hague.

He at the same time claimed that some politicians in the Coalition Government had resorted to threats on their colleagues over The Hague issue.

—Stories by Isaac Ongiri, Ramadhan Rajaab and Patrick Muriungi

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