Uhuru did not receive the 'official and legal' version of the TJRC report

President Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru did not receive ‘official and legal’ version of the TJRC report, writes ex-commissioner

“I sat at a coffee shop at Yaya Centre on Tuesday May 21 reflecting on the past four years at the commission.

“I had still not received a clear answer to the question of whether our dissent would be included as part of the bound version of the final report.

“At 1.30pm, as I was discussing the current state of affairs with friends and colleagues, our CEO sent an email to all of the commissioners with the subject line, ‘Handing Over Report at State House’.

Attached to the email was a letter from Francis Kimemia to Ambassador Kiplagat, dated the day before (May 20) and marked urgent and confidential, informing the Ambassador that we should be prepared to be at the President’s office at 4.30 the next afternoon (May 21) to hand over the final report.

It was not clear why we were only now being informed of this development.

Upon receiving this email, I immediately tried to ascertain what version of the final report was to be handed over -- the version with or without our dissent. I called our CEO and asked him which version of the report was being handed over.

He replied that he did not know but that he would find out and call me back. After not hearing from him for over half an hour, I called again, only to be told that the version being handed over did not include our dissent.

Land chapter

Based upon this information, both Judge Chawatama and I asked that our signatures be removed from the volume of the report that included the land chapter.

While 48 hours was claimed to be not enough time to include our dissent, the volume of the report including the land chapter was run again and bound without our signatures in a matter of hours before the final handover.

When I was finally able to speak to Commissioner Shava, she informed me that she had not read the flurry of emails over the weekend because some of them were vitriolic and that she did not see how our dissent could be physically included in the report at such a late stage of the process.

This logistical barrier appeared to be a red herring as it had already been demonstrated that the report could be printed and bound within a matter of hours.

It was now less than two hours before we were to assemble to meet with the president. I later learned that some staff had been informed about the handover earlier that day but had been expressly ordered by other commissioners not to inform me.

Even Commissioner Shava conceded that she had been informed sometime in the “late morning” about the possibility of a handover that afternoon. I did not attend the handover, primarily because the version of the report being handed over was not, in my view, the official and legal version of the report without our dissent.

Even if I wanted to attend, it would have been difficult for me to have returned home, changed into my suit, and then met everyone at State House given the late notice and the notoriously bad Nairobi traffic.”  

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TJRCPresident Uhuru KenyattaBethuel KiplagatKoffi AnnanFrancis KimemiaProf Ron Slye