Is the Kenya government ready to move beyond mere rhetoric towards reality? Will there ever be dialogue between the government and those marginalized minorities? The answers to these questions depend on whether there is a political will and good intention on the part of those in authority.
An instrument chosen the to facilitate dialogue between the citizens and the government of the day was the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).
TJRC was established in Kenya in August 2009, by the TJRC Act of 2008. Similar to the Truth and Justice reconciliation processes carried out in South Africa in the post apartheid era.
The TJRC act acknowledges that since independence was achieved in Kenya in 1963, there has occurred gross violations of human rights and abuse of power and misuse of public offices. Citizens of this country are therefore wrestling with the question of how to live with these atrocities. To bring justice and healing to the people, TJRC was formed.
The TJRC document an instrument of dialogue give power to marginalized people which will give power to the marginalized communities to express their voices on such issues as the rights, justice etc. It serves as an invitation to all Kenyans to walk together towards a true healing of relationships – grappling with the challenge of journeying from discord and mistrust towards reconciliation and respect.
Release of the TJRC report
By the time of writing this article, the TJRC report had been completed and presented to the government of Kenya for the implementation of the recommendations given. The most significant gains for the marginalized would be the content of the new constitution of 2010, in chapters which addressed the issue of marginalization of small communities.
But alas! no sooner was the report released than the legislators of Kenya planned to ‘Kill’ it or shelve it indefinitely. This was done and so the hopes of the disadvantaged people have been shattered.
Do you remember the saying ” Justice delayed is justice denied”?.
What does this mean to the people of Kenya?
To the people of Kenya, and particularly to the marginalized communities such as the Nubian community, it simply means that their suffering will continue. Social exclusion, where these marginalized communities are systematically blocked from rights, opportunities and resources ( eg housing, employment, health care and civic engagement), will continue.
The outcome is obvious as already seen. The affected individuals or communities are prevented from participating fully in the economic, social and political life of the society in which they live. Material deprivation is the most common result.