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Workshop on the Truth Commission

I am currently attending a workshop on lessons Kenya can learn from the South African Truth and Reconciliation process. I’m here wearing my concerned Kenyan citizen hat (otherwise my Saturday mornings are precious family time) and my Ushahidi hat…focusing mainly on the process of documentation and on how we can help ensure that information collected through the process is easily accessible. The following are quick notes I’m taking as the workshop proceeds:

– Civil society needs to start simplifying the process of Agenda 4 and of the TRJC to the ordinary mwananchi e.g. explaining the open forums and how they would work to the people, articulating the agenda to the people.
-There is a big danger that Kenyans (and not the govt) are in the its time to move on mode, growing sense that Kenyans feel agenda 4 items are pointless, the crisis is over and Annan needs to butt out. If this sentiment was from govt, that’s expected but from citizens that’s a big problem.
– Agenda 4 items really depend on a new constitution (whether we will have one is another question altogether)
– Active engagement with the media is required as the process unfolds.
– One needs to remember that the TJRC was part of a political settlement so politicians / partisan interests are necessarily part of the process and have to be managed.
– Important to remember that once the work has started, it must be finished otherwise the work of the TRC would have failed.

18 comments to Workshop on the Truth Commission

  • Charles Nyagah

    I think Kenya has just conceived an “Obama” moment with Martha Karua’s resignation and am calling on all like minded Kenyans to mid -wife this moment to bring to term in 2012 wherein we shall break from the shackles of political dynasties and support one of our own. The USA did it with one of our own and so can we. 45 years after independence we still have characters who feature in “Makers of the Nation” giving us Vision 2030 .


  • mwafriqa

    Is the Government serious about Reform and implementation of Agenda 4? The foot soldiers movement have been holding regional peace football tournaments dubbed the National Accord Peace Tournament. On Easter Friday during the Western province tournament our National coordinator was arrested for leading a number of youth carrying a banner stating ‘Stop wasting time, Implement Agenda 4’ and charged with incitement. He spent the night in Jail and was only released on Saturday after the intervention of one of our partners.

    Both Kibaki and Raila claim to be serious about implementing Agenda 4, so what makes it wrong for us to remind them of this obligation

  • Sijui

    Hi Ory,
    First belated congrats on Baby KP #2!!! GO MAMA!!!

    Next, just wanted to leave a casual comment on the unfolding events in Kenya. In my opinion this is a classic case of “we have seen the enemy and the enemy is us.” I think in many regards, most Kenyans are internalizing this fact now which is a positive and healthy step in the right direction. Avenues like the Waki report et al are good in this regard: they allow protagonists from both sides of the divide in a deeply polarized and dysfunctional family to air their views, vent and say their peace…….any outcomes based solely on the search for justice from a legal/law enforcement standpoint is wishful thinking at best because all Kenyans collectively have blood on their hands.

    And I know that sounds like a cop out and moral equivocation at its worst but frankly I think we have the country we deserve. Plain and simple……warts, darkness and all. I think in our own way we are making a ‘more perfect union’ to paraphrase an inspirational man, but the basic tenet applies, we have made political, social and economic choices collectively through errors of omission and commission, the most recent election was a turning point FOR THE BETTER I think because at the very least it proved that Kenyans would no longer be passive in expressing their political frustrations even at the behest of brutal savagery, and so whilst we have produced and will continue to produce the calibre of leadership we richly deserve, at least we’re being more forthright in confronting the divisions and resentments that fester amongst us.

    Kenya is not one big happy family, it probably never has been, at least now we’re not pretending it is…..and most of what’s happening is the after effects of the schitzophrenia worn off. I remain optimistic that in the long run, KENYANS WILL GET OVER IT, in terms of making ammends and moving beyond these issues, in the meanwhile I think it is productive to let the sore run.

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