Nairobi 08 May, 2012…….The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) term expired on the 3rd of May 2012 after its extension was granted late last year. The International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) notes that the extension did not serve any meaningful value to the Commission’s truth, justice and reconciliation efforts as expected by the taxpayers and the general public. Instead more efforts were put on the fight for non value adding efforts of infighting by the commissioners and staff and conducting of non scientific haphazard hearing across the country in a bid to beat strict deadlines and justifying expenditure of hundreds of millions.

Notable is the reported corruption on tendering particularly of transport providers among other non supported expenditures in the commission. When the commission requested for an extension last year it was understood that this was to assist it recover the wasted time on its fight for its credibility and legitimacy to the public and the victims of human rights violations.

It is worth noting that the current call for a second extension by TJRC is not only illegal as per the TJRC act 2008 but also lacks convincing reasons to be accepted. Even with this realities TJRC work has been a sham characterized by credibility and legitimacy crisis from the start with a secretive selection of commissioners characterized by the signing of false affidavits on the past involvement on human rights violation by some commissioners and the dishonesty of some commissioners in resigning upon realization that there was no much that can be accrued from the TJRC work. Only the vice chair Betty Murungi was honest enough to leave.

The Truth Commission work has been made worse by the ambivalent behavior of most civil society groups and donors who could not be brave enough to declare it dead but applied selective memory loss to justify its worth. The TJRC needs to close its work now and hand over its reports which in our estimation may not serve much but just a record of failed truth seeking efforts in Kenya.

Kenya’s right to truth remains a going concern but it is highly unlikely to succeed when the impunity infrastructure remain intact as handed over from the Governor, Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki administrations with even the current political regrouping diminishing this possibility further.



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