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Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 14:13 UK

Waki Commission: Kenya voices

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki (l) receives the Waki from Justice Phillip Waki (c) as Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga (r) looks on

As a report into Kenya's election violence is presented to Kofi Annan, who brokered a peace deal, Kenyans say they agree with its call for an international tribunal.

More than 1,500 people were killed in the violence and some 300,000 more fled their homes.

DONALD, 34, PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER, ELDORET, RIFT VALLEY

I think the Waki Commission revealed the fact that the government was very much aware of the violence and that the police were very much aware too and apart from that one could also say that they let everyone down.

Most of my relatives were badly affected in the violence and I feared for my family's life. I am forever grateful that we are all alive today.

Justice Waki on the Kenyan commission's report

What happened all started because the government at that time knew that they had lost the polls to [Prime Minister Raila] Odinga's ODM party.

I think that the electoral commission was paid money by [President Mwai] Kibaki's former PNU party to rig the election in their favour.

And then the rigging was a catalyst to the violence.

But the Waki report has not said all this.

In Kenya there are lot of inequalities, like land distribution and the fact that a very few people have a lot of money and control.

But since the violence ended, solutions for all these inequalities are still not forthcoming and thus the local population continue to remain jittery, while poverty levels stay sky high.

If nothing is done to re-balance these inequalities then our country should expect more violence.

Unless this Waki commission puts a new constitution in place to rectify the imbalances, I have no hope.

I was hoping that the commission would change the constitution so institutions could be established to stand the test of time.

But it hasn't changed anything.

The unity government has stabilised life lately but in regard to getting a lasting solution we really need a completely revised constitution.

The International Criminal Court should handle the criminals - it will be true and fair.

But if we don't sort out the root causes then more and more people will be sent to that court in the future because the wars will begin again and carry on.

I ask the international community - those ones who were the stakeholders of the peace and intervened to form a government of national unity - to endeavour to apply great pressure on the Kenyan government to give us, the people, a new constitution.

DENIS, 37, CIVIL ENGINEER, KISUMU CITY, NYANZA

The camp for displaced people at Eldoret showground
Hundreds of thousands fled their homes in the post-election violence
The response has not been enthusiastic to the report here in Nyanza Province.

There's a feeling of indifference to it.

I think because the situation in Kenya is different now and the motivation to read these things is not there because the public are still coming to terms with what happened.

The reason why is because the government system is still dealing with the last one.
This Waki report is coming at a time when people are still waiting on the former process to finish running through.

The impression I get is that the government hasn't come up with a proper way of getting to the bottom of the violence and it seems these commissions just keep coming one after another.

The government in Kenya really takes a lot of time to do things and so since we had these problems, the political system has been slow and the judiciary system has been moving very slowly too.

I for one am not considering this report realistically.

Even the fact that Kofi Annan is coming to read it and assess it will not make a difference apart from the fact that for us people, Mr Annan's presence is good for Kenya. He is a calming influence and we like him.

But, you know, I don't even think that he himself has got to the bottom of the report that he and his peacekeeping colleagues filed.

It will a bit of time before anything comes out of this one.

The situation here in Nyanza is a struggle in some ways.

The economy is suffering but in terms of the political side of life, things have been patched up.

Food is not readily available here because it is not coming from the Rift Valley like it used to because the production of crops there was interrupted.
The losses in Nyanza were bad; but not very great compared to those in the Rift Valley.

It was significantly less here.

Still, people talk about what happened and here in the urban areas, people are still fighting for their insurance appeals.

The violence remains to be a major scar on our city.

We need investment by government and businesses so that our lives can pick up once more.

MWANZA KIMEI, 31, LECTURER, KIBWENZI, EASTERN

I think the commission into the post-election violence by Justice Phillip Waki is to be commended and is a step in the right direction for our country.

I support the commission's findings.

The area where I live was not affected and remained peaceful throughout the troubles going on in other parts of Kenya.

Some of the people who ran away from Mombasa came to seek safety here.

But in the course of the months after, most of them have returned now.
I don't support anyone who kills - no matter what their political affiliation or reason may be.

I support the decision to send the names of those involved to the International Criminal Court because that court is worldwide recognised and it is fair.

Personally, I wouldn't trust the Kenyan judicial system to deal with bringing the perpetrators to account.




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