NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 10 – The High Court has declined to block the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report from Parliament.
High Court judge Isaac Lenaola on Monday declined to grant the prayers sought by a lawyer and a Nairobi businessman who wanted the TJRC report withheld from Parliament until a case they have lodged challenging some of the recommendations is heard and determined.
Justice Lenaola said it would be imperative to first hear the responses of the commission, the Attorney General, the National Intelligence Service (NIS), The Inspector General of Police, and the Chief Justice before giving any orders.
Justice Lenaola gave the respondents three days to file responses to the petition in order to fast-track the hearing on June 19.
Last Friday, Njenga Mwangi and James Mwangi went to court complaining that the recommendations by the commission violated several provisions of the Constitution.
Through their lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, they wanted the High Court to block the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, the Clerk Justin Bundi and the Leader of Majority Adan Duale from admitting or having the report tabled in Parliament before the suit was dispensed with.
Kilukumi said a recommendation in the report – that the President, the Chief of Defence Forces, the NIS boss and the Judiciary make a public apology – threatens the fundamental rights to freedom of conscience.
TJRC recommends that the president offers a public apology for all the injustices and violations of human rights committed by successive governments within six months of the release of the report.
The report also recommends that the police, Kenya Defence Forces and the National Intelligence Service also apologise together with the president for acts of extra-judicial killings, arbitrary and prolonged detention, torture and sexual violence.
According to the applicants, the report has no finding on any culpability on the part of the president, the police bosses and the Judiciary.
They hold that the TJRC did not establish any direct and personal responsibility on the persons it demands apologise publicly for acts committed during the reign of other governments.
They have argued that the report had not found any wrongdoing or personal responsibilities in the ills committed on the part of the president and the other senior government officials it wanted to tender apologies.
They aver that TJRC had established that the crimes were committed by identifiable individuals and that there are mechanisms for detection, prevention, prosecution and punishment for those who are criminally culpable.