By Mzalendo Contributor Moreen Majiwa – @mmajiwa
‘We shall not discriminate…we will mobilise all resources and hire the best
lawyers so that the suspects are fully represented at the Hague’ this was the
statement made by Kiraitu Murungi, Minister for Energy on Tuesday this week.
How much will it cost to ensure that each of the six suspects receives the best
possible legal representation at the International Criminal Court? According the
Energy Minister the each suspect will require at least Kshs. 150 million each
to hire a team of top-notch defence lawyers. At Kshs.150 million a piece for 6
persons that’s a total of nine hundred million shillings.
Where? How? And from whom is the money is supposed to be raised? Will
it be raised solely from MP’s contributions? No. Will the money be come
from the Treasury? No. Are the normal wananchi expected to contribute to a
special ‘Hague 6 defence fund’? Yes. According to the minister they want to mobilise all Kenyans who feel as outraged
as they do to support the fund.
The Energy Minister went on to explain that if five million Kenyan’s contributed
Kshs. 100 each, they would reach the goal, and that Kenyans should not think
about just a few rich people contributing for the process. He continued to explain
that a bank account managed by trustees would be opened and ‘outraged’
Kenyans could deposit funds into it. He stated that the motivation behind setting up the defence fund was neither tribal nor political and that similar efforts had been made to settle IDP’s.
However, the situation of the independently wealthy ICC suspects and the thousands of homeless, penniless IDPs could not be more dissimilar. Just five days ago, 17th December 2010, the government said that it would not be
possible to resettle all the remaining IDP’s before the end of the year, in fact it is
unlike that they will be resettled before June next year, the reason – lack of funds.
The Ministry of Special Programmes estimates 7,000 households are still in IDP
camps awaiting resettlement. Kenya Human Rights Commission has found that
IDP’s are living in camps with little or no government support. The Minister for
Special Programmes Esther Murugi says that at least Kshs. 2 billion and 20,000
acres of land is needed to resettle the remaining IDP’s.
However resettlement of the 7,000 households is just a fraction of the job that
remains with regards to resettlement of IDPs. According to the Minister the
Ministry of Special Programmes still has another 350,000 displaced persons to
cater for. This number is made up of persons whose homes and belongings
were destroyed during the 2007/2008 post-election violence but who went to
live with family and friends instead of tented IDP camps. There are a further
641 Kenyans who fled to Uganda to escape the post election violence, these
Kenyans still need to be repatriated.
How any one can draw an analogy between contributing to the defence fund and
the IDP’s defies all reason. It is difficult to see why money should be raised to
support the independently wealthy six suspects while the IDPs are still resident in
Who will you be contributing to?