Raila Odinga in Kilifi

Raila Odinga, the leader of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance, has now said he would protest President William Ruto's determination to establish a panel of investigators into the Shakahola hunger cult in court.


Just one day before, he had been refused entry to the Shakahola mass burial site, where forensics investigators had already unearthed 110 victims.


Raila argued that President Ruto lacks the legal authority to establish the commission in his remarks on Saturday at the burial of Mzee Daniel Mwachiro Korokoro in Chonyi village, Kilifi South Constituency, Kilifi County. He said that only Parliament has this authority.


Raila continued by asserting that Ruto purposely established the tribunal to hide the specifics of the Shakahola massacre.


"I saw Mr Ruto set up a commission of inquiry yesterday. The President does not have the power to form a task force to carry out an investigation. That is under Parliament and the other day I told our parliament to form a commission of inquiry. Parliament is sleeping; it has not done the work," he said.


"I will go to court to say that the task force has set up is against the constitution."


"They want to bury these atrocities, so they are forming a commission. We want to know who propelled these inhumane activities," he said.


"Those involved have been seen praying with the leaders of this nation... We want these deeds to be investigated properly, but they cannot be investigated and the government is suspected of being in there."


President Ruto announced the commission's members in a gazette notice that appeared on Friday. Lady Justice Jessie Lesiit is the chair of the commission.


The other members are Wanyama Musiambu, Albert Musasia, Lady Justice (Ret.) Mary Muhanji Kasango, Eric Gumbo, Bishop Catherine Mutua, Drs. Jonathan Lodompui, and Frank Njenga.


Along with Kioko Kilukumi serving as lead counsel, he also appointed Oliver Kipchumba Karori and Rachel Maina as joint secretaries.


Additionally, Vivian Janet Nyambeki and Bahati Mwamuye were named by President Ruto as the commission's supporting lawyers.


The panel was given a mandate by the Head of State to investigate the deaths of supporters of notorious self-styled pastor Paul Mackenzie and his Kilifi County-based Good News International Church, as well as claims of brutality and atrocities committed against them.

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