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Monday, September 13, 2010

The Standard | Online Edition :: MP faults President's move on Indemnity law

The Standard | Online Edition :: MP faults President's move on Indemnity law

MP faults President's move on Indemnity law

Published on 12/09/2010
By Ally Jamah and David Ochami
Nominated MP Mohammed Affey has expressed disappointment at the move by President Kibaki to veto the Indemnity (repeal) Bill.
The proposed law, passed unanimously by Parliament in April, would have lifted immunity from Government officials and security personnel against claims of human rights violations in parts of North Eastern and Coast Provinces between 1963-67.
But Affey said he is confident MPs will roll back the President’s veto when they resume sittings this month by raising the required two-thirds majority.
"The President’s rejection is quite unfair since the Indemnity law denies victims of human rights violations the right to seek legal redress and compensation," he said.
The Indemnity Act was passed in 1972 to grant blanket immunity to members of the military and Government officials who participated in operations in Isiolo, Lamu, Marsabit and Tana River.
Draconian law
According to documents seen by The Standard, the President justified his veto, saying the draconian law only required a few amendments. But Affey differed.
"For me, there is nothing to amend in that law since the whole piece of legislation goes against the spirit of the new Constitution and must be done away with," said Affey.
President Kibaki rejected the proposed law on September 1, despite its approval five months earlier.
Sources told The Standard the Attorney General delayed submitting the Bill to the President contrary to procedure.
"The AG is required to submit a Bill approved by Parliament to the President within two weeks while the President has another two weeks to approve or veto the proposed law. But Wako took months before submitting it," said the source.
The Nominated MP urged his colleagues to prioritise the Bill, saying it will boost national reconciliation and allow the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission to work in areas affected by that law.

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