, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) has now moved to court seeking orders to restrain its embattled chairman Bethuel Kiplagat from interfering with its work.
Through Lawyer Waweru Gatonye the commission claimed that Kiplagat was disrupting its operations after he reported back to work before getting a formal clearance on allegations levelled against him.
Gatonye told Justice G.B.M. Kariuki that Kiplagat, who’s been out of office for 14 months, was a threat to the TJRC’s work.
The commission wants the court to compel Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to constitute a tribunal to investigate Kiplagat after the tenure of another one formed by former CJ Evan Gicheru expired before it had even commenced its work formally.
The lawyer said commissioners had threatened to boycott public hearings in Mombasa if the embattled chairman remained in office.
Justice Kariuki will rule on the application on Friday.
On Wednesday Kiplagat wrote to the commissioners and TJRC staff informing them of his intention to resume his work at the commission.
He said he did not require their approval for him to resume his duties, “The Chairman does not need any “consultation” or “authority” of any Commissioner or staff member to resume office.”
Last week, the commission had written to Kiplagat asking him to stay away from the office but the embattled chairman that the appointing authority (the President) had not replaced him.
Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo has maintained that Kiplagat is free to resume his work as chair of TJRC.
Last week, an umbrella body for civil society groups called for Kiplagat to stay away from the commission saying he did not enjoy public confidence.
They argued that it was wrong for such a controversial individual to chair an important commission which was seeking for truth and reconciliation of Kenyans.
They also said it was not right for Kiplagat to continue with his work since he has been adversely mentioned in the Ndung’u Land report and the Wagalla Massacre.
They also petition the Chief Justice to constitute another tribunal and asked the President and the Prime Minister to give their word on the controversy that has weakened TJRC’s work.