The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) finally submitted its report to the president on Tuesday 22nd may, three years after it was formed. The commission under the chairmanship of Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat was formed to look into historical injustices that have taken place since the country gained independence. The historical injustices range from illegal land acquisitions, political assassinations, incitements, political massacres among many other.
Senior government officials who include sitting MPs, former PCs, security chiefs and politicians are among hundred of Kenyans recommended for prosecution in the report. Hosts of serving senior police officers have also been included in the list.
Something notable is the inclusion of President Uhuru and his Deputy William Ruto who have been adversely mentioned over the 2007 post election violence for which they are facing trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The truth justice and reconciliation commission Act number 6 of 2008 established the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC). The commission was to investigate, analyze and report gross human rights violations and other historical injustices in the country between December 1963 and February 2008. This task was part of the accountability component of Agenda Four of the National Accord signed by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former president Mwai Kibaki in 2008.
Ironically, the report which is now in the hands of the president also recommends that the TJRC chairman Bethuel Kiplagat should be investigated over the bloody 198 Wagalla massacre and recommends he should not hold any public office.
The report has come up with recommendations that have to be adopted and implemented. It has recommended President Uhuru Kenyatta and respective heads of the Kenya police and the Kenya Defense forces within six months after the issuance of the report offer a public and unconditional apology for extra-judicial killings committed during the mandate period. It further recommends the fast-tracking of reforms in the police service. The report further recommends the abolition of death penalty and the calls for moving all death sentences to life imprisonment and or other appropriate sentences.
The commission also recommends the establishment of a fully equipped national modern forensic laboratory within 36 months of this report, and thereafter, in every county. This are just among the many recommendations the commission came up with. Recommendations that if implemented are expected to bring national healing and reconciliation.
Question is, will these recommendations be adopted and implemented or will this report just be among the many other commission reports that have taken ages to be implemented?
Speaking while receiving the report, the president said that the government was committed to deepening the healing and reconciliation process in the country. He said that the government was going to take the recommendations of the report more seriously and ensure they are implemented. The president said that addressing the causes and effects of past injustices would contribute towards national unity, reconciliation and healing and enable Kenyans to move forward with a new sense of nationhood. These were very promising remarks from the president and Kenyans will be keen to monitor how things will turn around. Here is the link to the report as presented by the TJRC http://tjrckenya.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=573&Itemid=238