A minority in Kenya will be pleased by Kibaki’s announcement today that a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation commission will be formed. Former ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat will head the group which will investigate much of what has taken place internally over the period of Kenya’s independence. Some MP’s had called for this as an alternative to the local tribunal/Hague debate. I have tried a bit to learn more about Kiplagat and found little. I am sure that more will come out after the announcement.
Personally, I am in support of the commission to run along with the local tribunal and the Hague. For high level officials, it is nearly impossible for there to be a fair trial in country. If Kibaki or Ralia appear on the Waki list, they must be tried by an impartial body. As for individuals lower down, a local tribunal with complete transparency can act to try those accused. The commission will give an outside and independent opinion of the tribunal. It will seek to find the ways that the violence began and was stoked. I support a thorough look into the events leading up to the election of 2007 and after to determine what happened. Amongst the investigation, there has to be time given to the accusation of vote rigging. If it is found that the votes were rigged for Kibaki, then the violence must be seen through this as a legitimate cause for unrest. That does not excuse violent action. All who took part in attacking any group should be tried and convicted. However, if the election was stolen, those at the top of the PNU must also bear the responsibility of inciting the violent acts which led to the death of over 1,300 Kenyans.