NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 21 – More than 10 civil societies under the Kenya Transitional Justice Network banner are mulling court action over the delayed gazettement of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report.
The group told journalists in Nairobi on Friday that they would sue the Office of the President, the Attorney General and the Government Printer alleging that they were to blame for the delayed publication of the report.
Kenya Human Rights Commission Deputy Executive Director Davis Malombe, explained that the government agencies were frustrating efforts to publish the report in accordance with the law.
“There has been interference by people who are close to the Office of the President. They have asked the Government Printer not to have that report published,” he claimed.
“The AG also has an obligation to ensure that the process is managed but the people in the government have decided to interpret the report to fit their interests.”
Malombe added that the delays and lack of political goodwill were jeopardising the implementation of the report.
International Center for Transitional Justice Deputy Director Africa Programme Njonjo Mue said that the group would write to the three offices on Friday requesting them to publish the report.
“The TJRC Act is a law and therefore when it says that the report must be published in the Kenya gazette as soon as it is handed over to the President that is not a request. What civil societies are urging the government to do right now are not favours,” he argued.
The TJRC Act gives the Commission three months, after the handing over of its report to the President, to clear shop.
The civil societies however noted that the government was still mandated to implement the recommendations of the report whether or not the TJRC was in office.
“Parliament is the body that is supposed to take up the job of implementation but even if the stalling happens to go beyond the lifeline of the TJRC it will not affect implementation,” explained Mue.
The group also expressed concern over the impunity that was threatening the implementation of the report.
The report mentioned powerful individuals from the past and current administrations among those who committed various historical injustices.
Concerns around extra judicial killings, land misdeeds and other economic crimes, marginalisation and massacres from the moment Kenya gained independence took centerfold in the report.