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Daily Nation : February 15th 2014
2 | National News DEBATE | Audience told that political issues can only be tackled through the Constitution and negotiations Courts will not dare overturn presidential election, says scholar Professor claims fear of plunging countries into chaos influences judgments that the Judiciary makes BY DENNIS ODUNGA @dennisakwenda firstname.lastname@example.org a solution to civil wars in any country, a public forum was told yesterday. Prof Mahmood Mamdani of I Columbia University and Makerere University’s Institute for Social Research said the courts might fear plunging a country into a crisis. He said the courts can only overrule a parliamentary election, something that left part ‘‘ In your Why Kenya’s 2013 polls were peaceful t is not possible for the courts to overturn a presidential election and neither can they be of the audience contemplating whether Kenya’s Supreme Court ruling that upheld President Kenyatta’s victory was indeed based on evidence or the fear of chaos. The scholar, who spoke dur- ing an event dubbed “University debate series” at Kenyatta University, said solutions to political problems did not lie in the courts. The debate question was “Can courts end civil wars?” The forum was sponsored by Nation Media Group in partnership with Kenyatta University. Company chief executive Linus Gitahi and the university’s ViceChancellor, Prof Olive Mugenda, attended. In an apparent reference to the Kenyan situation where the President and his deputy are facing charges for crimes against humanity at the International EMMA NZIOKA | NATION From left: Human rights crusader Betty Murungi, Permanent Secretary in the Defence ministry Monica Juma and Prof Peter Kagwanja welcome Nation Media Group chief executive Linus Gitahi to the event at Kenyatta University yesterday. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Olive Mugenda, is on the right. Criminal Court, Prof Mamdani warned against the culture of taking political leaders to the courts. “You cannot take a political leader to court unless you isolate them politically. You cannot find a political solution to a political problem from the courts,” he said during the event moderated by human rights lawyer Betty Murungi. Prof Mamdani said it was You cannot take a political leader to court unless you isolate them politically. You cannot find a political solution to a political problem from the courts,” Prof Mahmood Mamdani through legislation, the Constitution and negotiations that political issues could be tackled. “Taking leaders to The Hague cuts the gains made previously as both sides of the political divide believe they are wrongfully targeted,” he said. He said political leaders must be delinked from political crimes to enable them to lead reforms in their countries. Prof Mamdani said viewing the world in terms of victims and perpetrators was not the way forward for a country determined to achieve social justice. ”Let’s think of ourselves as survivors as opposed to victims and perpetrators whenever there is a conflict. Punishing 15 to 20 people at the expense of hundreds of thousands is not the solution,” he said. He said in a scenario where rights have been violated and atrocities committed, the solution lay in countries focusing on constitutional reforms. Citing the case of South Sudan, he warned that reconciliation without reform could only lead to a ceasefire, which is a temporary solution to a problem. He faulted claims that the In- ternational Criminal Court (ICC) was established to end impunity in the world. ”ICC is much about enforcing impunity for the big forces and their cronies. It’s not about justice,” said Prof Mamdani. He said the ICC would not try the five permanent members of the Security Council with veto powers over the court’s operations or their allies. Prof Peter Kagwanja said transitional justice was a political process as opposed to a legal one and called for a mind shift on the role of courts in enhancing justice. UPDATES SMS ‘NEWS UPDATES’ to 20667 NEW 20667 S SATURDAY NATION February 15, 2014 Tomorrow Fresh twist in ODM polls drama The battle for the soul of Kenya’s biggest single political party has exposed deep cracks that party leader Raila Odinga is struggling to seal ahead of party elections on February 28. With rebellion brewing in Luo Nyanza, the Coast and Western Kenya, we go behind the scenes to expose fresh intrigues that will make or break the Orange party. lifestyle Hustler who built business empire in Mombasa, Kenyans and the world were worried that the country would once again fragment along ethnic lines. The two-horse-race nature of the election heightened this concern. In a detailed anaylysis tomorrow, we explain why the polls were peaceful, and what the elections mean for Kenya’s democracy. We identify reasons to be both optimistic and pessimistic about Kenya’s future. A head of the 2013 elections, fear of further civil unrest was widespread and palpable. From the streets of Kibera to executive offices in Nairobi and the beaches He left Lithuania a poor refugee and found himself in the mosquito-infested swamp that was to become Kenya’s capital city. From doing small odd businesses like selling cattle and supplying grass mattresses, Abraham Block established a chain of businesses that included the Norfolk and Stanley hotels, Farmer’s Choice and East African Industries. Lifestyle gives you a glimpse of Abaham’s People, a new book which will be launched later this month, which intertwines an intriguing story of one man’s struggles and triumphs with that of the rise of Nairobi. Only in the SUNDAY NATION. Don’t miss your copy Seven killed in two separate accidents BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Seven people were killed in two separate road accidents yesterday. Four died at Chepsir in Keri- cho County, when the matatu they were travelling in veered off the Kisii-Kericho Road and plunged into a valley. The matatu rolled several times. Eleven passengers were injured. Area traffic base comman- dant Maurice Okul said three men and an elderly woman died on the spot when the Classic Prestige Shuttle matatu headed to Nakuru from Kisii veered off the road in the 1.30pm accident. “We cannot tell what exactly happened as the matter is still under investigation but we suspect that the vehicle rolled due to a tyre burst or brake failure,” he said. Nine adults and two babies were taken to Kericho District Hospital, where three were admitted and the rest discharged. The bodies were taken to Kericho District Hospital Mortuary. In the second accident, three people died after an accident at Duka Moja on the Narok-Maai Mahiu Road. The three died after a lorry carrying timber from Narok to Nairobi hit a stalled truck that had developed a mechanical problem. 1.30pm The time in the afternoon when matatu rolled killing four The dead were the lorry driver, a woman and a mechanic who was repairing the truck. Narok North sub-county police boss Peterson Maelo asked motorists to be careful when driving on the smooth road. The bodies were taken to Narok District Hospital mortuary.
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