NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – The Kenya Catholic Church top organ has added its rejection of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) as a vehicle to prosecute perpetrators of last year’s post poll violence.
In a statement, The Kenya Episcopal Conference (KEC) Chairman Cardinal John Njue said the government should pursue a Special Tribunal.
“We wish to remind all Kenyans that the government agreed upon a special tribunal to be set as a court that was to sit within the territorial boundaries of Kenya and seek accountability against persons bearing the greatest responsibility for crimes…,” the statement read in part.
He said the route agreed upon should ensure investigation, prosecution and adjudication of crimes committed in the violence without any sort of cover up.
The statement, signed by 24 Catholic Bishops, says TJRC should be separated from making the perpetrators accountable and helping the nation to heal.
The bishops noted that it was important for the TJRC to be formed alongside a local tribunal clarifying that the commission targets more at leading to the reconciliation of the country while a local tribunal will hold engineers of the violence for the crimes committed.
They however say TJRC should meet the criteria of honesty, healing, reconciling people, and breaking barriers that led to the violence.
The catholic leadership also urged the government to ensure the local tribunal and TJRC will facilitate justice to the victims and help move the nation forward in unity.
On the Mau complex which has also stirred controversy over government’s plans to evict settlers, the bishops stressed that it was urgent for the government to move with speed to restore the country’s main water catchment area.
KEC urged the leaders to stop politicising the issue and instead provide for a peaceful process that will evict the people.
At the same time the church warned the government on a risk of increasing the number of internally displaced persons during the evictions.