Critique of the KNDR Committees & Commissions

CRITIQUE OF THE MANDATE OF COMMISSIONS ESTABLISHED BY THE KENYA NATIONAL DIALOGUE AND RECONCILIATION (KNDR)

(Justin N. Kimani, Chege Muli and Moses Kirama)

Comments

1. It is acknowledged that the Independent Review Committee’s work is urgent in order to address the public anxiety regarding the December 2007 disputed presidential elections and has therefore, to work separately from TJRC which will concentrate on the historical aspects of the intension. However the Commission of Inquiry on the Post Election Violence and the Independent Review Committee’s methodology and indeed all the other Commissions involve the same Kenyan public for inquiries. This will aggravate and infuriate the publics and therefore erode confidence and co-operation of the interviewees.

2. In addition the mandate of the commission of inquiry in the Post Election Violence tends to overlap with the mandate of the IREC which covers all aspects of the 2007 presidential elections as enumerated under key activities of IREC.

3. In view of the negative public attitude towards commissions and committee’s of inquiry it is prudent to consider harmonizing the two mandates into one the findings of which should report to the TJRC

4. Whatever number of commission there are, they should be seen to complement the crucial post conflict peace-building stage of Reconciliation. This Reconciliation process has already been seriously jeopardized by the intransigence of the principal’s attention whose has been perceived by the public to concentrate on the power sharing, to the disregard and therefore, neglect of the continued suffering of the IDPs, who are looking up to then for Reconciliation and Settlement. The conduct of these commissions and committee’s will affect the future of the Reconciliation Process, especially with regard to giving of evidence, offer of repentance and forgiveness, which are critical to the success and sustenance of Reconciliation and long term peace.

5. It is critical that the range of skills, backgrounds and professional expertise of members of the commission include educated and experienced peace-building professionals.

6. The commissioners themselves should undergo peace workshops and seminars to acquaint themselves with concepts of conflict transmission and experience in other parts of the world especially Africa. Deliberate and concerted effort must be made to the public to instill lost confidence and trust on commissions due to the action on the part of the government on the findings. In this connection, assurance should be given on respect for commission’s time lines and implementation of recommendations made.

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