The Star (Nairobi)

22 November 2012

Kenya: MPs to Investigate Claims of Military Brutality in Garissa

The government has been taken to task today over alleged brutality and destruction by the military in Garissa in an emotional session of parliament ... ( Resource: Kenyan Lawmakers Demand Answers Over Garissa Chaos

MPs have approved a motion to allow Parliament to thoroughly investigate the alleged atrocities committed by the Kenya Defence Forces in Garissa county on Monday.

The MPs want the joint committees on Defence and National Security to also investigate circumstances under which 42 police officers were killed in a botched rescue operation in Baragoi, Samburu County.

Deputy Farah Maalim ordered the two committees to co-opt members from the Equal opportunities and Legal Affairs so that the investigations are carried out expeditiously. He ruled the committees to table their report to the House in a week's time.

"They must move with speed and investigate the matter. They must divide themselves in equal members so that they visit all the areas in the shortest time possible," he said.

The adjournment motion was moved by Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi. MPs described the security situation in the country as a "crisis of law and order" .

They accused the executive of intimidating legislators from speaking out on issues "affecting our people". Dujis MP Aden Duale, in whose constituency Garissa town falls. recounted to the House events leading to Monday mayhem and urged president Kibaki to speak out.

"President Kibaki cannot afford to keep quiet on this one. He kept quiet when his officers were killed in Baragoi. He kept quiet when people were killed in Tana River," he said.

Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo warned that the deployment of KDF to deal with civilian matters was a "test run" for the violence to be witnessed next year.

"There are people who want to use KDF to legitimize an illegality. They went to make this a military country," he told parliament. The MP further warned that it was inconceivable that the army could loot, rob and commit acts of arson in self defence.

He said he was planning to go challenge the deployment of the military in Samburu and Garissa because on the grounds that it violates the constitution.

He said the provisions of the law that government relied on to deploy KDF to the streets was meant for emergency and disaster situations.

Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto linked the military deployment to handle civilian to a scheme by some within the government to undermine devolution "in the guise of insecurity". "The whole scheme is to roll back the gains the country has made since the passage of the new constitution. "

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InFocus

Kenya Launches Inquiry into Police, Civilian Killings

The Cabinet has approved an investigation into the deaths of 42 police officers and subsequent atrocities committed by troops sent to Garissa to find the killers. Read more »