25 April 2012

Kenya: ICC Trials, MRC Demands Focus of MPs' Debate

Debate on the pending trails at the International Crime Court and secessionist demands by the Mombasa Republican Council took centre stage as MPs began debating the president's State of the Nation address.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka kicked off debate by reaffirming that the government will deal decisively with the outlawed group and even called on the media to give them a 'blackout' saying they were not promoting the spirit of nationhood.

"This nation will not accept any secessionist moves because they're unconstitutional. You cannot negotiate with people who claim not to be Kenyans," said Musyoka.

On her part Gichugu MP Martha Karua said recent cases of police brutality had eroded the government's human rights record, and further urged authorities to ensure transparency when setting up a local mechanism to try the post elections violence suspects.

"I personally begged the president and the prime minister to come to the House, debate and support the Special Tribunal Bill. But they just came to vote. They said we should not be vague but go to The Hague. Why the vagueness at this time? We asked for Hague and Hague it became," said Karua.

Forestry and Wildlife Assistant Minister Josephat Nanok who represents Turkana South where oil was recently discovered said residents were keen to see their area benefit through infrastructural and social-economic development and avoid resource.

"The Sessional Paper of 1965 which categorised this country as high production and low production areas should not be repealed. If money is being allocated based on the potentiality of an area, now we have Turkana County that is super-potential, we will want to see resources located to its super-potentiality," he quipped.

Baringo East MP Asman Kamama said that the Constituency Development Fund which came to effect in the first term of President Kibaki, was part and parcel of his legacy.

Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba said that the controversy over the appointment of Godfrey Wahungu to the National Environment Management Authority as Director General, was an opportunity for the president to demonstrate national unity, but he blew it.

"Just look at the people in Finance, security, police, intelligence, Defence and other departments of government. Do you see the intention to reflect the face of Kenya matched with action? Unfortunately, from where I sit, I don't," said Namwamba.

The skewed allocation of resources also featured in the debate with MPs questioning why some areas lagged behind in development.

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