Implement TJRC report, say Kenyans in diaspora

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Kenyans in the diaspora want the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission report fully implemented.

Kenya Diaspora Alliance conveners Shem Ochuodho and Hebron Mosomi said the implementation of the TJRC report will help reconciliation and national healing.

“Like many other fellow citizens, KDA welcomes the recently released Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Report, the culmination of over 4 years of testimony, investigation and analysis of the many acts of gross injustice that were committed in Kenya between 12 December 1963 and 28 February 2008,” the two said in a statement.

They said as the country continues to celebrate 50 years since attaining self-rule, Kenyans should “reflect on the path we have walked so far, the successes made, but also the missed opportunities especially the well known and now documented historical injustices of the past 50 years”.

KDA said although TJRC Report has had a mixed reception, “it is noteworthy that it has not shied from naming names and apportioning responsibility for the various injustices visited upon Kenyans by both the State and other Kenyans in the past”.

“KDA applauds the TJRC for carrying out its mandate without fear or favour, and for releasing the report against all odds. We encourage all Kenyans to thoroughly read, validate, internalise, debate and critique the report for people-ownership,” the statement said.

Undue delay

KDA regretted that previous reports given to the government were not implemented and that the TJRC one should mark “a break from that unfortunate past”.

“The injustices named in the TRJC report are too grave to be swept under the carpet. It is KDA’s considered view that if this great nation ever needed reconciling and healing, this is the moment we must grab as a people, without malice and innuendo,” KDA said.

It said necessary steps should be taken, without any undue delay, to address the injustices committed and to institute the appropriate actions against suspected perpetrators as provided for by law and by the TJRC Act.

KDA further called for the formation of “an all-inclusive” National Transitional Assembly (NTA) as a platform to address the ‘justice and reconciliation’ components of the TJRC.

“The NTA should include the Executive (both at national and devolved levels), legislature, clergy, community elders, youth and women representatives, professionals, Diaspora, workers, victims, among others,” KDA said.

KDA said TJRC report marks a watershed in Kenyan history, “and that the full implementation of the recommendations of the TJRC report becomes the beginning of the end of such acts of impunity in this country, moving forward”.

KDA is a federation of some of the largest diaspora organisations across the globe. It is estimated that there are over three million Kenyans leaving in the diaspora around the world.

Dr Ochuodho is an information and communications technology consultant in Juba, South Sudan while Mr Mosomi is based in Dallas, USA.

On Monday, the High Court, for the second time, declined to stop Parliament from receiving the Truth team’s report on past human rights violations.

Justice Isaac Lenaola ruled that although the petition by novelist Kiriro wa Ngugi and others raised serious questions about the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation.

Commission’s report, there is clear separation of powers between the three arms of government and it is not the court’s duty to interfere with their constitutional mandate.

“I am not satisfied with the prayer to stop Parliament from receiving the report or stop its implementation. In any event, Parliament is only performing messenger duties since it has no role in debating or implementing recommendations in the report,” the judge said.

He, however, allowed the petitioners to apply for a judicial review of some sections of the report they claimed were unconstitutional, inaccurate and incomplete.

Among the recommendations the petitioners want the court to quash is the requirement that the President, police, military and chief justice offer a public and unconditional apology to the people of Kenya for all injustices and gross violations of human rights between 1963 and 2008.

The proposal that the Lands ministry design and implement measures to revoke illegally obtained titles and begin surveying, demarcating and registering all remaining government land should also be reviewed, they demand.-nation.co.ke

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