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Raila now attacks security agencies

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March 9, 2009

By Citizen Correspondents (The Citizen (Tanzania))[1]

Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Saturday tore into the country's security agencies over extrajudicial killings and said acts of impunity must be brought to an end and the rule of law restored.

Mr Odinga spoke a day after the US Embassy in Nairobi offered help in investigating the latest killings, those of Oscar Foundation director Oscar Kingara and official Paul Oulu.

And the matter threatened to throw the struggling grand coalition government into a fresh crisis over the strong positions taken by cabinet ministers.

The Prime Minister, one of the two principals in the coalition, has twice this week lashed out at the same government he serves and half of whose Cabinet members belong to his ODM party.

Mr Odinga appears to be growing frustrated with the government he helped form a year ago and this week asked for a renegotiation of the deal that brought his ODM and President Kibaki's Party of National Unity together.

On Friday, he fired a salvo at government spokesperson Alfred Mutua saying that he did not speak for the grand coalition government.

Mr Mutua issued a statement on Wednesday alerting the public that the Oscar Foundation and members of the proscribed Mungiki sect were planning to paralyse transport the following day and warned that the law would take its course.

The protests went ahead Thursday, but the day ended tragically with the execution-style killings of Mr Kingara and Mr Oulu.

On Saturday Mr Odinga called for a halt to the rule by the gun the security officers have displayed while purporting to discharge their duties in recent times. People should not be shot without following the due process of the law. We have had cases where the officers shoot dead innocent citizens before they plant a gun on the body of the deceased"

He attributed the lawlessness to the collapse of the country's justice system and said the office of the Attorney-General was guilty of abetting the practice after officers implicate defenceless people with trumped up charges to justify their actions.

On Saturday the police said they were questioning six people in connection with the killings Thursday evening near the junction of Mamlaka Road and State House Road

Two weeks ago, the police and the AG came under intense scrutiny in a report prepared by UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Philip Alston who accused the force of engaging in such killings, sparking outrage from the public.

Speaking in his Gatundu South constituency, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta called on security forces to ensure that the killers of the two human rights activists were apprehended immediately.

We need justice, and police should speed up investigations. People should also stop politicising the killing and instead seek the truth you cannot politicise everything, Mr Kenyatta said.

We should stop persistent wrangles in the coalition and concentrate on solving problems that face Kenyans for development. We should stop shouting at each other every now and then. ODM should accept whatever the party has been given and serve Kenyans.

The Sunday Nation learnt that the US government has offered the services of Nairobi-based detectives from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate Thursday's killings. A diplomatic note to the Foreign Affairs ministry says the American detectives are ready to "offer immediate assistance".

The FBI within the US Mission (Nairobi embassy) is standing by and is able to begin working immediately on the investigation, read part of the note dated March 6, 2009

First seen in the The Citizen. Thanks to The Citizen and its reporters for covering these documents and the tragic loss.

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