News 2008


‘Legislate Truth and Reconciliation body’

February 16, 2008


By Susan Anyangu and Lucianne Limo

Parliament should be given the powers to establish a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission.

The International Commission of Jurists Kenya Chapter (ICJ) said the proposed truth commission should be constituted by an Act of Parliament to be credible.

Mr Wilfred Nderitu, ICJ-Kenya chairman, said the commission should be established via legislation to protect it from the whims of the Executive.

"Establishing the commission through an Act of Parliament makes it legitimate in the eyes of the people," said Nderitu.

A task force on the establishment of a Truth and Justice Commission in 2003 recommended that such a commission be set up by a presidential order.

The proposal was embedded in the belief that such an Executive order would expedite the work of the commission. But history has proved that reports arising from public inquiries have been shelved.

Nderitu cited the Ouko inquiry that was stopped by the Executive midway through its hearings.

"The constituting of such a commission should, therefore, be enshrined in law to promote public trust," he said.

Nderitu was addressing a public forum on modalities of setting up such a commission on Friday.

Mr Ken Nyaundi, an advocate, said the working of the truth commission would be largely dependent on its composition. He proposed that various political parties nominate the members.

"A commission established by a presidential order shall suffer a confidence deficit," said Nyaundi.

Meanwhile, women politicians have been urged to advocate for peace, justice and reconciliation to end the post- election violence.

Former Burundi Prime minister, Mrs Sylvie Kinigi, asked women leaders to build their own strategy to spearhead peace initiatives and to support the negotiating teams.