KENYA: MP PROPOSES BILLS TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY
June 16, 2015: a MP presented two draft Bills whose enactment would result in the repeal of the death sentence from Kenyaâ€™s laws and stop the accumulation of death-row prisoners.
The bills, drafted by MP John Waiganjo, would remove death as a kind of punishment from the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.
Waiganjo argued that having the death sentence in the law was contrary to the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. â€śArticle 26 of the Constitution guarantees the right to life for all citizens and provides that this right may only be qualified by the Constitution or an Act of Parliament,â€ť said the MP. â€śThe punishment is immoral, ineffective as a deterrent and has failed to adequately restore victims of crimes for which it is prescribed,â€ť he added.
The two draft bills are at the stage where the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee is supposed to scrutinize them prior to publication and formal introduction in the House. The proposal has caused intense debate at the committeeâ€™s meeting, which was closed to the public, as a number of MPs in the team support the death sentence.
The last hanging in Kenya took place in 1987, when August 1982 coup plotters Hezekiah Ochuka and Pancras Oteyo Okumu were executed following a court-martial ruling.
The countryâ€™s prisons service is grappling with a rising number of death row convicts, who were placed at slightly above 4,000 in March 2015, according to government records. (Sources: gbooza.com, Hands Off Cain, 19/06/2015)