Kenyan MPs say they will not sign government military deal with UK until those responsible for the murder of Agnes Wanjiru are prosecuted

Nairobi – MPs plan to thwart the Kenya-UK defense cooperation deal signed in June by President Uhuru Kenyatta and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Lawmakers on the National Assembly’s defense committee have said that until the British perpetrators of Agnes Wanjiru’s murder are prosecuted under Kenyan laws, the military deal will not be ratified.

Wanjiru, 21, is said to have been partying with soldiers one evening nine years ago at a hotel in Nanyuki, where the British Army has a permanent garrison when she disappeared before her body was discovered in a septic tank behind the hotel.

The Sunday Times reported last month that a British soldier confessed to killing Wanjiru and showing comrades where he had thrown his body, and the crime was reported but dismissed by military officials. He was then flown home.

At a committee meeting on Tuesday, where Defense Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa was invited to brief lawmakers on progress on the matter, lawmakers insisted that ratification of the military accord was suspended until justice is served.

Wamalwa had told MPs that the existing agreement between the two states had expired and there was an urgent need to ratify the new one.

“Due to the Defense Cooperation Agreement, it gives us jurisdiction to deal with this matter. The agreement has lapsed and it is in our national interest to have this coverage legally in order to deal with any breaches due to the jurisdiction given by this agreement, including the Wanjiru murder case, ”Wamalwa said.

Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo lamented that for nine years the government had given assurances without any tangible action being taken to ensure justice for the family of Wanjiru’s family.

Kilonzo said governments’ delays show they could cover up the culprits.

“It’s been nine years of assurance. People want justice done. Then you (CS Wamalwa) tell us that you are in a rush to ratify the Defense Cooperation Agreement but that you are in no rush to prosecute culpable criminals, ”Kilonzo mentioned.

His Mandera North counterpart Bashir Abdullah asserted that until concrete evidence is provided to assure Kenyans that justice will be served for Agnes, the deal will be in limbo.

“We are looking at an agreement that has expired and now needs to be renewed, unfortunately now that we are on the verge of renewing this topic from Agnes Wanjiru. Until we have concrete evidence to suggest that the culprit will be brought to justice. in justice within the framework of the Kenyan justice system, only then will we put our signature on the pact of cooperation in matters of defense, “Bashir said.

Wamalwa, however, assured that the British government is committed to cooperate to ensure that those who murdered Agnes are brought to justice.

Speaking to the committee, the SC said it had held bilateral talks with British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Mariott on the case and that they had shown goodwill to ensure a swift prosecution of the case.

“I want to assure you that on our side we have engaged the UK government and we have received a high level pledge of cooperation. The UK government is ready and willing to cooperate with Kenya to ensure that the culprits are dealt with. ‘an investigation and be brought to justice, “he added. said Wamalwa.

He assured the committee that the British Secretary in charge of the British Armed Forces, James Heappey, who is in the country, had promised to ensure that the culprits are brought back to Kenya to be brought to justice.

“Everything will be done to ensure that justice is done in this case,” Wamalwa said.

Wamalwa further denied claims that the Kenyan government was actively involved in ensuring the case is covered to protect bilateral relations with the British government.

He revealed that the government was working to invoke the provisions of the defense cooperation agreement with the British to prosecute the soldiers involved.

“There is no such cover-up, there may have been delays and we recognize it. Indeed, justice has been delayed for Agnes Wanjiru but we must do all we can to ensure that justice is done,” did he declare.

If lawmakers tear down the military cooperation agreement, that would mean the end of British training in Nanyuki as there will be no agreement or legal support.

“We must look to the future on the issue of the Defense Cooperation Agreement, we must have jurisdiction so that things do not happen in our country by foreigners and we have no legal framework and institutional to deal with them, ”insisted Wamalwa.

Under the current agreement, the UK provides annual training to over 1,100 Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers, with courses in the UK or with UK military training teams in Kenya.

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