, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – Members of Parliament allied to the United Democratic Forum Party (UDF) want the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) to resolve the mystery surrounding the death of JM Kariuki.
Speaking during the commemoration of the 37th anniversary of his death, Mukuruweini MP Kabando wa Kabando said that TJRC provides the best opportunity to unravel the truth.
He also said that the TJRC should expedite compiling its report after it concludes its hearings.
“Investigations into the death of JM have taken a lot of time and we still do not know the truth, but President Kibaki said that Kenya must be told of JM’s killers. We want the TJRC to compile its report early before the President retires so that we know that truth,” said the Sports Assistant Minister.
Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni expressed concerns that the country has not overcome the issues of equity and fairness in resource distribution, matters that JM fought for during his political career.
“If we do not reform the way political parties are approaching issues, we will never address equity in the times ahead. Every successive regime will come to try and cover up the misdeeds of the preceding regime,” said Kioni.
JM’s daughter Rosemary Machua expressed confidence that their appearance at the TJRC starting Monday next week will bring closure to the family.
“We were not interrogated during the investigations by the parliamentary committee but as victims we will get our chance to get our voices heard on the truth that we know,” she said adding that even the admission of the guilt by the parties implicated will aid closure.
JM Kariuki’s remains were found by a Maasai herdsman, Musaita ole Tunda, in a thicket in the Ngong Hills, several days after his disappearance on March 2, 1975.
A Parliamentary Select Committee was immediately established to investigate the circumstances surrounding Kariuki’s murder. The committee’s report implicated a senior police officer, senior administrative officers and politicians although the committee admitted facing difficulties dealing with the police.
On Tuesday the basement of Nyayo House in Nairobi was filled to capacity following the commencement of public hearings by the TJRC listening to victims and survivors of torture during the Nyayo-era.
The public joined victims and relatives of the tortures that were rampant in the 1980s, during the agitation for multi party democracy and freedom in the country.
The commission lined up 11 victims to give their accounts of their sufferings at the hands of government machinery dispatched countrywide to silence any divergent views.
As the victims narrated their harrowing experiences, TJRC presiding chair Gertrude Chawatama, in her opening remarks, sought to assure them that the commission will ensure that justice is served to them.
The commission has received 24 submissions from Nyayo House torture chambers victims; a figure it says is low due to inability by a majority of them who have either died, or could not publicly give their statements.
“We will listen carefully to their submissions and later give a detailed account that will foster reconciliation,” said Chawatama.