5 August 2012

Kenya: TJRC Is a Waste of Time, Claim Civil Society Groups

A section of the civil society under the banner Kenyans for Peace, Truth and Justice has opposed a request by the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) that it be granted three months to complete its mandate.

Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRE-CO) Executive Director Kawive Wambua told a press conference on Saturday that TJRC lacks credibility and support from Kenyans and such an extension will be a waste of public funds.

"The commission has been in wrangles since the beginning. Some commissioners are saying that the report is ready, we wonder why they should they seek for their time to be extended, what are they hiding?" Wambua posed.

"The Ethics and Anti-Corruption should find out on how the commission has used its funds."

They urged the Bethuel Kiplagat led commission to fast track their report as it would be a vessel to vet political aspirants during the forthcoming General Elections.

"When we will be vetting the aspiring leaders we want to use the TJRC report as a tool for reference. The report has information on people whom we wouldn't want to elect and so we urge that the report be released as soon as possible," he asserted.

The civil society has urged Parliament to reject a Bill seeking the extension of the commission.

"Parliamentarians should not accept the Bill despite the Cabinet decision to approve," he said.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa on Thursday filed a motion seeking Parliament's permission to extend the term of TJRC by three months for it to complete its mandate.

Should Parliament approve the extension, the truth commission established in 2009, would now submit its final report in November.

The Commission was initially supposed to hand over its final report to the President by August 3 this year but is yet to finish compiling it due to internal wrangles.

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