Threats over Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission’s explosive report on past injustices

May 18, 2013

By Martin Mutua and Felix Olick
The explosive contents of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission report are causing powerful figures in Government sleepless nights, we can report.
TJRC commissioners are allegedly divided over a section on illegal land acquisitions that is said to name prominent individuals who could face prosecution.

Tom Ojienda-TJRC Commissioner

Tom Ojienda-TJRC Commissioner

As they wait to hand the document to President Uhuru Kenyatta days after a deadline to do so, the commissioners are allegedly under pressure over the contents of the report.
Well-placed sources revealed that Vice Chairperson Tecla Namachanja has gone into hiding in fear for her life after receiving unspecified threats from unknown persons.
We could not establish whether she has reported these to the police.
Namachanja, who temporarily took over from Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat when his leadership was challenged over alleged conflict of interest, is among the commissioners that want the report handed to the President in its original form.
Sources who have seen the report say the bone of contention is the chapter on land, which has captured historical injustices since Independence. It implicates senior Government officials in the current and former regimes in criminal acts.
TJRC is recommending the prosecution of these officials. This has alarmed some top officials in Government because the process, which was part of the National Accord of 2008, is “self-propelling”.
This means that, like the report of the Commission Investigating Post Election Violence (Waki Commission) also formed under the Accord, its recommendations must be implemented. The self-propelling mechanisms ensure that once the report is handed over to the President, the wheels of justice are set in motion and the culprits must be brought to book.
Highly placed sources say dozens of persons are recommended for possible prosecution in the detailed four-volume report. Apart from the explosive land chapter, others that could end careers include those on political assassinations, massacres and ethnic incitement.
Commission Chairman Bethwel Kiplagat was locked out from writing the sensitive chapters after integrity complaints from a section of the public.
Our investigations reveal that TJRC is under pressure from some Government officials to edit out sections implicating some powerful personalities. The demand has split the commission, with some opposing the move. Sources say a section of the local commissioners are up in arms against their foreign colleagues who insist the report should not be altered.

May 17th 2013

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