Senate motion to push Parliament to consider TJRC report - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Senate motion to push Parliament to consider TJRC report

 A Senate committee wants the House to pass a resolution to push the National Assembly to consider the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission report to pave the way for its implementation.

Further, the Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee wants the same motion to compel Treasury CS Ukur Yatani to submit to Parliament regulations under the Public Finance Management Act to anchor the Sh10 billion restorative fund. 

In his State of the Nation Address to Parliament in 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Treasury to establish the fund over the next three years to be used for restorative justice.

During the address, the head of state also apologised to the victims of human rights abuses as detailed in the TJRC report.

"While there have been public pronouncements by H. E. the President and the Attorney General in support of implementation of the report, the National Assembly is yet to formally schedule the TJRC Report for consideration by the House, as required under Section 49 of the Truth Justice Reconciliation Act," the committee says.

The fund was aimed at promoting justice and reconciliation by addressing historical injustices through rehabilitation, compensation, restitution and/or collective reparations, in a degree that is proportionate to the gravity of the violations and the harm suffered.

In a report tabled in the Senate by committee chairman Okong’o Mogeni (Nyamira), the panel also wants the motion to come up with a way of supporting reparations by counties.

This, according to the report,should include budgetary allocations for memorials in the counties where massacres took place to remember and honour the victims and survivors and to stand as a symbol for non-reoccurrence of violations.

The committee report follows a petition to the Senate by two citizensBernard Waheire and Jacqueline Mutereon implementation of the TJRC report.

The TJRC report, produced by a team formed to investigate human rights abuses after the 2007-08 post-election chaos, has been gathering dust on the National Assembly shelves.

The violence resulted in at least 1,133 deaths, sexual and gender-based crimes, and thousands of people were forcibly displaced. 

The commission was chaired by the late ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat.  The MPs have not debated the report, seven years after it was submitted to them for consideration.

While the initial TJRC Act had recommended immediate implementation of the report, an amendment introduced in December 2013 scrapped the provision.

The amendments provided that implementation of the report by other government agencies would only commence "after consideration of the report by the National Assembly".

“The failure to operationalise the reparations framework by the state continues to unduly lengthen the suffering of survivors and the families of the victims of Kenya’s historical injustices and human rights violations,” the committee report reads.

In the Senate report, the panel recommends that the motion push the county governments to establish gender-based violence recovery and rehabilitation centres.

The commission’s mandate to investigate human rights violations extended beyond that period to include ethnic violence, economic crimes, community marginalisation, and other human rights violations committed in the country since 1963. 

More than 40,000 people testified before the TJRC. 

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