Women MPs want Ali out  

Nominated MP Rachel Shebesh addresses the press at Panafric Hotel on Tuesday during a meeting for women MPs. Photo/ PHOEBE OKALL.

What you need to know:

  • 400 of the 900 rape cases reported to the Waki Commission were committed by the police.

  • Difficult for the force to investigate itself.

, durinWomen Parliamentarians are anxious that victims of rape during the post-election violence will not receive justice.

The have said that since 400 of the 900 rape cases reported to the Waki Commission were committed by the police, it will be difficult for the force to investigate itself.

Nominated MPs Rachel Shebesh and Millicent Odhiambo said Major General Ali should step aside before the envisaged Special Tribunal for Kenya starts its investigations into the cases.

“Honestly, we do not expect the victims to receive any form of justice if the Commissioner is still holding office,” said Ms Shebesh, during a breakfast meeting for women MPs at Panafric Hotel.

The Draft Statute for the Special Tribunal for Kenya has defined rape and other forms of sexual violence as crimes against humanity, which will be investigated and the perpetrators tried on the basis of the evidence that will be collected.

For the women to seek justice for sexual crimes, they need protection from physical and psychological harm.

“The witness protection section does not seem sufficient to address the safety of the victims and witnesses.”

They proposed that a witness protection programme be put in place to guarantee the physical and emotional integrity of the victims and witnesses of gender-based crimes.

“Rules of procedure and evidence should be sensitive to the fact that sexual crimes are a source of shame, humiliation and indignity for women,” said Ms Alice Njau of Foundation for Women’s Rights in Kenya.

The legislators also discussed provisions of the Special Tribunal such as how to try suspects of post-election violence who are currently holding public office.

Ms Odhiambo noted that chances of compromising justice were high with the police and influential politicians playing critical roles in the process.

The violence, which killed at least 1,000 people and displaced 350,000 others, was triggered by the disputed results of the presidential election pitting President Kibaki and Raila Odinga of the opposition ODM.

The two agreed to share power following mediation talks brokered by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and bring an end to the violence.


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