, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 21 – The credibility woes at the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission have worsened with the resignation of American commissioner Prof Ron Slye.
The American professor pointed an accusing finger at the government, saying it had failed to support the commission.
“I have lost my faith in the Commission’s ability to fulfill even a small part of its mandate. That loss of faith comes not from the work of the staff of the Commission but from the clear lack of support from the Government of Kenya and from the still-unresolved allegations against the Chairman of the Commission,” he said
His resignation came amid a worsening cash crisis at the Commission which was only allocated Sh190 million by the Treasury against its budget Sh2 billion.
Moments before he sent his statement indicating his decision, members of the TJRC were desperately seeking an appointment with Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo to push for further funding. They later met the Minister (see subsequent story).
There is indication that from November, the Commission will be operating on a deficit.
Prof Slye was one of the three foreigners who were appointed into the nine-member Commission to spearhead reconciliation and national healing for historical injustices in various parts of the country.
“I no longer feel that my continued stay at the Commission contributes effectively to furthering truth, justice, and reconciliation in Kenya. I have been willing to remain with the Commission so long as I felt that I could make a meaningful contribution to the work of the Commission,” he said.
Prof Slye was one of the vocal commissioners who had earlier in the year pushed the setting up of a tribunal to assess allegations that have been raised against TJRC Chairman Bethuel Kiplagat.
The Chief justice has remained mum on the setting up of the tribunal six months on.
He becomes the second Commissioner to quit the body after Betty Murungi who resigned in April.