Kenya proposes Truth and Justice Commissioners

April 22, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – Fifteen Kenyans have been shortlisted to serve as commissioners of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), and their names now await Parliament’s approval.

Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi topped the list which included Amb. Bethwel Kiplagat, lawyer Tom Ojienda and Dr Maria Nzomo- a renowned political scientist. The list was compiled late Tuesday by the Select Panel on the TJRC to help the country heal from the deadly post election violence of 2008.

“We conducted our interviews on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the KICC and then retreated (out of Nairobi) to deliberate on the names,” a source sitting on the panel told Capital News. The source requested anonymity as the panel had taken an oath of secrecy.

The select panel was one of two nominating organs mandated to pick the names of the nine Commissioners, with the President to appoint the Chair of the TJRC.

The National Dialogue and Reconciliation Negotiators who were led by Kofi Annan are to pick three candidates who will join the nine proposed commissioners.

Others were: Elias Muli, Tom Njoya, Dr. Joseph Alouch, Betty Murungi, Maragaet Shava, Thomas Letangule, Abubakar Zein Abubakar and Joyce Majiwa.

They met the criteria alongside Tecla Namachanja, Gen. Ret. Ahmed Sheikh Farah and Dr Daadab Mohammed.

The announcement late Tuesday came as South Africa (S.A) warned Kenya against secrecy in the setting up of the TJRC saying the country risked losing the confidence of the people.

S.A High Commissioner Tony Msimanga told Capital News he was concerned with reports that the select panel was interviewing possible commissioners undercover.

“It has to come out in the open because you are going to be dealing with human rights violations. So why do some things back door. Transparency is quite key because people have to feel they own the process. Otherwise you will have some very serious challenges.”

He said his country was willing to help Kenya set up a Truth and Justice Commission based on its experience ending the bloody apartheid regime.

Details to follow…


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