The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) sits today and tomorrow in Nairobi hearing testimony and statements to, ‘Identify and understand major patterns of political assassinations’. These ‘Thematic’ hearings will not reveal the murderers of Dr Robert Ouko in 1990, Pio Gama Pinto in 1965, or Josiah Mwangi Kariuki in 1975, or the identity of the “Big man” allegedly behind the assassination of Tom Mboya in 1969, just the ‘patterns’ behind them.
The Kenya Forum just hopes that the TJRC does not fall into some of the ‘patterns’ of previous inquiries; that the media do not fall into their usual ‘pattern’ of coverage; that Kenyan ‘Civil Society’ does not go into its usual default positions and respond with its standard knee-jerk reactions.
The pattern of previous inquiries has been to begin the process with preconceived ideas as to the truth of the matter, to then get carried away by hearsay and testimony of the most dubious origin in support of those ideas, and thereafter to descend into a witch hunt (see Gor Sunguh’s Parliamentary Committee into the murder of Dr Robert Ouko for a prime example). The press then reports the lurid findings of the court, commission or committee without doing anything so professional as to check the facts behind the case: “We just print what we’re given”, one journalist told the Kenya Forum. Then up pop the usual names from Kenya’s ‘civil society’ representatives screeching “impunity” and darkly warning against “adversely mentioned”individuals.
As the Forum has argued before, “adversely mentioned” won’t do under our new constitutional dispensation, especially when it is just used as a term to circumvent the slight matter of not having enough evidence to convict. “We all know who did it…” will also not do: the truth is that we mostly do not know for sure “who did it” or why. Was Dr Ouko’s murder, for instance, a “political assassination”? The TJRC have presumed that it was. It might have been but then again perhaps it wasn’t.
As regular Forum readers will know, we have developed a growing interest in the murder of Dr Robert Ouko and we know from that study there is far more to it than meets the eye and that the facts of the case tell a very different story to the one we have all had spun to us over the years.
The Forum fears, however, that the TJRC ‘thematic’ hearings will follow the same old patterns of previous inquiries, as will the media coverage and ‘civil society’ babble after the event.
So to help the TJRC Commissioners (will that include Bethuel Kiplagat we ask?), the press and ‘civil society activists’, the Kenya Forum provides the links below to some of the articles we have published on the murder of Dr Robert Ouko and related topics, many of them linked to primary sources of information. We hope it helps the TJRC and continues to inform objective readers.
Other sites of interest:
A site covering the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission contains some related postings:
- OUKO KILLED IN STATE HOUSE? GOR SUNGUH SHOULD BE QUESTIONED
- DR ROBERT OUKO, DOMENICO AIRAGHI, MARRIANNE BRINER-MATTERN AND THE KISUMU MOLASSES PROJECT – THE TRUTH HAS BEEN KNOWN FOR YEARS
- OUKO MURDER: THE KIPLAGAT INTERVIEW – CITIZEN TV
- TJRC DISOWNS KIPLAGAT BUT HAVE THEY DISOWNED THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WAGALLA MASSACRE AND THE MURDER OF DR ROBERT OUKO?
- US AMBASSADOR RANNEBERGER – HAND OVER THE OUKO FILES
- KIPLAGAT’S ‘INVOLVEMENT’ IN THE MURDER OF DR ROBERT OUKO