AG blames MPs for stalled TJRC report

Thursday, November 28th, 2019 18:56 | By
Parliament in session. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

Office of Attorney General is now accusing the National Assembly of obstructing the implementation of the controversial Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).

At the same time, the state law office has blamed the parliamentarians for failing to pass aiding legislation to operationalize a Sh10 billion restorative justice fund for historical injustices and victims of PEV.

The TJRC report was handed over to Members of the National Assembly in May 2013, where an amendment to the TJRC Act was debated and passed, giving the House the power to determine how the commission’s recommendations would be implemented.

Appearing before the Senate Legal Affairs Committee, Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto said the MPs have blocked the government and its institutions from administering justice to the victims of historical injustices as recommended in the report.

According to Ogeto, the lawmakers amended the TJRC Act, 2008 that required the attorney general to operationalize the report within six months of its publication.

“The new law requires the National Assembly to first consider and make recommendations on the TJRC report and its implementation may only commence after such consideration and recommendation,” he said.

Ogeto told the Senator Samson Cherarkey that the amendment clipped the powers of all the agencies of the government including the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Chief legal adviser, who forms the critical committee tasked with overseeing the implementation of the recommendations.

However, he advised the senate committee through its chair to originate amendment to the TJRC Act to enable other agencies of the government to begin the process of implementation.

“The Senate may consider initiating amendments to the law in terms of Article 109 (4) of the Constitution. The amendments, if effected, would give the Senate the authority to also consider the TJRC and make its recommendations,” Solicitor General observed.

The Commission that was chaired by the late Bathuel Kiplagat investigated and documented cases of human rights violations and historical injustices from independence.

The team made radical recommendations to cure the past injustices meted out on Kenyans by the state, groups and individuals.

The document was handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 21, 2013 and to Parliament two months later for implementation.

To date, however, the report has not been implemented and has continued to gather dust on the shelves despite the victims of past injustices – rape, violence and historical land injustices – pushing for justice.

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