5 December 2012

Kenya: Tana River Deaths Probe Team Seeks More Time

THE commission of inquiry into the Tana Delta massacre that left more than 100 people dead and scores displaced has again sought for more time to take "crucial" evidence from some individuals.

Commission chair Justice Grace Nzioka told reporters in Mombasa that they need a month to write the report. "Our stipulated time ends on December 10 and we feel this will not be enough for us to compile a comprehensive report. We are hoping that if given more time, a minimum of one month, we shall be able to do a thorough analysis of evidence given to us by the witnesses,"she said.

Nzioka said 86 witnesses gave evidence, but key some individuals have yet to submit their oral or written memoranda on the September violence.

"For us to write a comprehensive report, time is needed for to gather more evidence from people to enable us write a balanced and analysed report on the violence," she said.

Nzioka said the commission will make recommendations on the history of violence in Tana River and land in Kenya. She said the commission visited the violence hotspots of Kilelengwani, Chamwanamuma, Semikaru, Nduri and Riketa to gather evidence.

The Nzioka-led commission was sworn in on September 27 for a 30-day period to investigate the cause of the violence. The term was extended on October 27 for another 45 days which ends on December 10.

But a source privy to the inquiry said the commission may not come up with cause of the mayhem because key witness adversely mentioned as perpetrators have yet to give evidence.

"Time is the key factor in this matter. The committee may end up not giving Kenyans what is expected of them. People adversely mentioned including the then acting Internal Security minister Yusuf Hajji have not appeared despite the summons sent to them," said the source.

The source said Coast provincial police boss Aggrey Adoli and PC Samuel Kilele, Tana Delta DC David Kiprop and Galole MP Dhadho Godhana have not given their evidence to the commission.

"These are the people whose evidence will give substance to this report, but they have not appeared and time is running out," added the source.

"Some of the IDP camps among them Maharini and Magogoni camps have not been visited for the victims to give their side of the story." The other commission are Emily Ominde and Lolot Rajab.

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