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Imanyara withdraws Bill on local tribunal

By | December 10th 2009

By David Ochami

Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara has withdrawn the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2009.

The Bill sought to establish a special local tribunal to try suspects of last year’s post-election chaos.

The private Bill was set for debate Wednesday, a day set for private Motions, but Imanyara has written to the House Business Committee indicating he wants to reintroduce the Bill in the next session of Parliament.

Parliament is expected to adjourn for Christmas recess mid-December.

Traditionally, Parliament reconvenes in March when the President prorogues it. Last week, Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo said he would advise the President to recall Parliament early to enable it support the constitutional review.

The Committee of Experts is expected to organise for a referendum on the draft in March or April, implying the House could resume in February. Debate of the Bill had been assailed by lack of quorum three times, believed to be the product of sabotage by MPs opposed to the establishment of the tribunal.

The last attempt to move the Bill was last Wednesday — the day former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived to assess progress on reforms.

Annan criticism

Dr Annan criticised Parliament’s reluctance to create a special tribunal under international law to tackle the post-election violence.

For initiating the Bill, Imanyara said his Internet site promoting the tribunal had been hacked. He also said opponents of the Bill had threatened to harm or kill him.

He was not available for comment by the time we went to press.

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