The petition on the report of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) has finally been tabled in the National Assembly and will be debated in 2016.
The petition was tabled Thursday 3, 2015, by Abdullahi Diriye, Wajir South Mp who is also the chairman of the Kenya Parliamentary Human Rights Caucus on behalf of victims and survivors of various human rights violations in the country.
The petition was drafted by the National Victims and Survivor’s Network (NVSN), which comprises of about 150 victims and survivors of various human rights violations in Kenya from 1963 to 2008.
The Caucus has been actively involved in pushing for the adoption and implementation of the report since it was released in 2013 by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Seconding the motion, the leader of majority in the National Assembly Hon. Aden Duale who also doubles as the leader of the House Business Committee (HBC) was seized of the matter and pledged to prioritize the debate of the TJRC report when parliament reconvenes its sittings 9th of February next year.
House speaker Hon. Justin Muturi welcomed the report and promised that its debate will be prioritized early next year.
“This is a matter of national importance and it will be debated by the whole house come next year,” said Muturi.
Diriye noted that survivors of gross human rights violations continue to suffer.
“That National Assembly’s inability to prioritize, debate and act on the TJRC report is a source of great frustration to thousands of Kenyans still nursing injuries: physical, emotional and psychological from the dark years of our history,” reads a clause in the petition.
The petitioners pray that the National Assembly, in addition to adopting the report, enacts necessary legislation requisite to anchor the implementation process in law.
Speaking to Journalists for Justice outside parliament precincts, the coordinator of the National Victims and Survivors Network Wachira Waheire said the tabling of the report was historic.
“Today is really a historic day for the network. We have reached a milestone. It has been a long wait since the TJRC was submitted to parliament in 2013 and nothing has taken place.”
He added that the network drafted the petition in September this year having been inspired by the State of the Nation Address by President Uhuru Kenyatta in March. The president had directed parliament to process the report without further delay and during which time he also set up the Restorative Justice Fund for Ksh 10 billion.
“Today is a day that we will sleep tight,” he added.
Diriye who termed the move as a milestone, said the task before hand is now to lobby MPs to support the implementation of the report and he is optimistic that it will receive the backing it deserves.
“We want to unpack this report and study it thoroughly before it is debated by parliament next year,” said Diriye.
*Chichi*, a 22-year old woman who suffered sexual violence in the 2007-2008 post-election violence is equally elated by the tabling of the report. She followed the proceedings from her small television in her Mathare house.
“I feel that this is good news for us women survivors who have been living with rape scars since 2008. I just pray that parliament will implement the report without any amendments so that we receive some form of justice.”