Circus at Kenya TJRC continues

April 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commissioners on Friday wrote to the Chief Justice requesting him to establish a tribunal to determine whether their Chairman, Bethuel Kiplagat, should be removed from office.

In the letter delivered to the CJ and copied to the President and the Prime Minister, the commissioners requested the CJ to establish a tribunal to investigate Mr Kiplagat’s alleged misbehaviour and misconduct.

“The basis upon which we request the creation of a Tribunal, is the allegation of “misbehaviour or misconduct” by the chairperson.  The chairperson has continuously, both privately within the Commission and publicly with other individuals and the press, insisted that he has not nor ever has been involved, implicated, linked or associated with any human rights violation that is to be investigated by the Commission under the Act,” the letter read.

In the letter the eight commissioners said Mr Kiplagat swore an affidavit as chairman of the commission in which he claimed he had never been involved in any human rights violations to be investigated by the commission yet similar allegations have been raised.

Mr Kiplagat has been mentioned over the Wagalla massacre, the murder of former Cabinet Minister Dr Robert Ouko and irregularities in land acquisition.

The commissioners asked the CJ to set the tribunal to finally decide on his fate to allow the rest of the team continue with the work of TJRC.

“We want to reiterate that we make this request conscious of the trust and responsibility that has been given to us by the people of Kenya, in furtherance of our mandate, and committed to the reforms of Agenda Four,” the letter read.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo on Wednesday said the entire team should be sent packing, accusing them of failing to resolve the controversies in the commission.

His predecessor, Gichugu MP Martha Karua echoed his stand saying the integrity of the entire commission was in doubt and that it was best for the law to be amended to disband the commission.

She also blamed the civil society for failing to do its work during the selection process.

The two political leaders asked the civil society to reflect on their actions and determine where they went wrong since they are the ones who settled on Mr Kiplagat.

Mr Kilonzo also said that he had contacted the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs to work on ways of disbanding the commission.


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