, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 4 – The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) on Thursday summoned 27 individuals to appear before it mid this month at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.
Former Cabinet Ministers G.G Kariuki, David Mwiraria and veteran broadcaster Fred Machoka are among those given the notice to appear before the commission on May 17.
Others to appear on the same day are former Provincial Commissioner Joseph Kaguthi and ex military chief General (rtd) Joseph Kibwana.
Former TJRC Chairman Bethuel Kiplagat and current Rift Valley Provincial commissioner James Ole Serian have also been summoned to appear on May 18.
They are expected to give the commission information in regard to the security operation in Wajir during the Wagalla massacre.
“You are notified that summons have been issued requiring you to attend a hearing before TJRC and provide information relating to security operation that took place in Wajir at Wagalla airstrip and district security committee meeting on the February 8, 1984 at the DC’s office in Wajir,” the notice stated.
According to the notice, if they fail to appear before the Commission legal action will be taken against them.
“Be advised that any person who without lawful cause fails to appear before the Commission pursuant to any summons by the Commission commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both,” the statement read.
The 27 are among the 42 former Kenyan security officials the commission has asked to appear before it since it started its hearings.
The exact number of people killed in the massacre is unknown and estimates range from 57 (the official government toll) to more than five thousand while human rights groups estimate 3,000 people were killed at the Wagalla airstrip in northeastern Wajir.
The unsettling story of the Wagalla Massacre reads like a chapter from the 2008 post-election violence. It all started on February 10, 1984, when members of Degodia, a Somali clan, were gathered by security forces and taken to an airstrip in Wajir.
First, the army surrounded Bulla Jogoo and ordered the residents to leave their homes. During the swoop, women were raped, houses burnt and property looted.