Let us give the Local Tribunal a chance

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I have been a proponent and persistent crusader for those who participated and funded the post election violence to be tried at The Hague.

I had put my faith in the International Criminal Court because of its credibility since I believe it cannot be manipulated or subject of political shenanigans that might plague a local tribunal or the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission.

I have all along believed – and still do – that justice must be done to bring to book the killers and funders of the post lection violence.

I have previously stated besides my view point, that it is also necessary to heal the nation and put to rest the past injustices, forgive and reconcile the country through the TJRC, but this is not the way to deal with the perpetrators.

Of late I have begun growing a soft spot for the Local Tribunal, not because it is better than the International Criminal Court but just because I believe it would be a quicker and easier mode of meting out justice on the violators and giving justice to the violated.

I have put aside my liking for The Hague because it may not bring ultimate justice as desirable. Given that it is a lengthy process, it is not likely to be timely with its action. And we know that justice delayed is justice denied.

But I want to make something clear here. The TJRC is not an alternative to The Hague. The Special Tribunal is.  Our eyes should not be clogged by the recent Cabinet decision, which seemed to mandate the TJRC as an alternative to punishing killers and bankrollers of the post election violence.

The issue of a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission is not new to Kenyans. As early as 2003, the then government of President Mwai Kibaki attempted to end impunity, corruption and other historical injustices. We saw the Nyayo torture chambers opened to the public and Human Rights crusader Professor Makau Mutua later handed a verdict that the country needed a TJRC.

However his proposal was shelved after receiving opposition from the very people who are now the big pushers of TJRC.

I do not therefore think that these people are genuine when they say they will use TJRC to sort out the post-2007 mess. The TJRC is not a judicial process as such it cannot try the killers.
               
The only option is the Local Tribunal or ultimately, The Hague. As I have said above The Hague is too far from us. It is limiting because of time. Luis Moreno-Ocampo already has his hands full and has no urgency to deal with the Kenyan issue.

It is not also guaranteed that the Kenyan case in the first place satisfies the requirements of an ICC intervention.

I say we desperately need a Local Tribunal to end impunity!

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