MPs pledge to adopt TJRC report by March, but fear resistance

February 11, 2016 4:01 pm
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On Thursday morning, MPs and survivors met face to face/CFM NEWS
On Thursday morning, MPs and survivors met face to face/CFM NEWS
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 11 – The Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights has promised to adopt the stalled Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report before end of March.

Speaking during a parliamentarians and survivors meeting in Nairobi, Kakamega MP Rachael Ameso who is a member of the caucus pledged that members of the group will work with other parliamentarians to ensure the report is prioritised.

“We have just come back from recess this week. It has to take about 60 days. It will be coming back to Parliament anytime before March. The Members of Parliament who are here, we are very ready to support this one so that when it comes we can push it together as MPs,” she assured.

She explained that the report was tabled before Parliament in December 2015 just before the Christmas recess.

Despite the assurance, more questions emerged as to why the report had taken such a long time to be considered by Parliament.

On Thursday morning, MPs and survivors met face to face.

Survivors of the Wagalla massacre, 2008 Post Election Violence and Nyayo House Torture Chambers recalled the tribulations they suffered.

Their stories left almost everyone in the room in tears.

“I was in Kibera during the 2007 violence. I was shot and up to now I have a bullet lodged in my body. I have suffered and I am still suffering,” Pamela Ouko narrated as she cried profusely.

The wounds and attacks are fresh that each of the survivors hardly spoke without tears rolling down on their faces.

Veronica Wambui, despite her old age has not forgotten the tragedy of searching for her son who she last saw when he was taken to Nyayo House during the era of former President Daniel arap Moi.

“I buried him but up to now I don’t know why they killed him? What did he do? They killed Karimi my son. I looked for him everywhere. Only after a long search that I finally got his body.”

The story was not different for Jackie Mutere who was gang raped during the 2008 violence.

They were moving stories that reminded MPs in the room that they indeed have to pass the TJRC report to pave way for implementation of its recommendations.

The report among other things recommends that the President, Chief Justice and Inspector General of Police acknowledge that violations were committed and offer apologies.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in March 2015 offered a public apology for atrocities committed in the past.

He at the same time announced that the government had set up Sh10 billion as a restorative justice fund.

READ: Uhuru apologises for past atrocities much to Kiplagat’s delight

But to date, the fund is yet to benefit the survivors.

According to Ameso, Parliament has first to agree on a strategy of how the kitty will be distributed among those affected to ensure the process is transparent and funds are equitably distributed.

“We need to come up with a formula, how will it be distributed? A formula has to come up so that it is implemented and it has to be done in open so that some are given and others are not,” she explained.

In the same room however, the differences or the underlying reasons that could probably explain the delay in considering the TJRC report emerged.

Molo MP Jacob Macharia pointed at land as a major disagreement that had contributed to derailing Parliament to act.

“It’s good to tell the truth. Land is what the problem is. Once we have a formula on land we will adopt the report, we will not waste more time as soon as we conclusively deal with land issues,” he explained.

Other members went on further to accuse their colleagues in Parliament of refusing to adopt the report for political reasons.

Matungulu MP Stephen Mule accused the Parliament’s leadership of stagnating adoption of the report.

“I will say things in black and white. This report is a property of few individuals who don’t want to give justice to Kenyans. They are taking over this process and refusing to subject it to implementation,” he alleged.

TJRC was formed in 2008 to unearth the truth behind historical injustices with a view of promoting peace, justice, reconciliation and healing.

Over 40,000 survivors of past historical injustices were interviewed and recommendations given.

Without adopting the TJRC report, the recommendations will not be implemented.

It was not the first time that different groups pushed for implementation of the TJRC report.

READ: TJRC report in spotlight after recent Kenya attacks

Survivors on Thursday hoped that the MPs of the caucus will keep their word of adopting the report.

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