This week’s request by the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) for six more months to complete its work is untenable.
The proposal comes when public confidence in the commission is at its lowest ebb due to the false starts and boardroom intrigues and court cases. Gadflies from the civil society further injured the commission.
The TJRC probably failed to draw lessons from the work of the truth commission in East Timor, which engaged actively with community, media, and used sports and cultural icons to engage the public.
Previous TJRC extensions did not yield much. The truth remains that even if the extension is granted, it may not effectively promote peace, justice, national unity, healing and reconciliation.
As the TJRC process comes to an end, there is need for the commission to submit its report as it is, to provide a viable framework to finalise the unfinished business of the TJRC.
The commission’s work will form the basis of establishing a revived credible process if Kenyans find it necessary. It is then sensible for Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa to halt the proposed extension and receive the report.
This will pave the way for a reloaded TJRC process to finalise the task of establishing truth, ensuring justice is done, addressing historical injustices and reconciling communities.
It is clear that there was not enough consultation with regard to the drafting of the enabling legislation that led to the establishment of TJRC. The commission had an expanded mandate with limited timelines. It was overstretched not only to looking at State-sponsored atrocities against individuals, but also State-sponsored atrocities against communities as well as inter-community crimes.
The current commission failed to keep alive the spirit of transitional justice. But all is not lost. This remains one of the Agenda Four’s unfinished businesses.
ELIZAPHAN OGECHI, Nairobi
Jobs for the boys
Kenyans have lost their hard earned cash with bogus commissions without results. This is the way politicians create jobs for their old friends and family members at the expense of the taxpayer.
I speak for many when I say we are against the extension for any commission, particularly TJRC which completed its term fighting among themselves.
What have they done for Kenyans so far to get extension? They are just sojourners for fun in parts of Kenya. They better refund our money.
MOHAMED DIRIYE, Kapsabet