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Three MPs mentioned in Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission report claim innocence

By Vitalis Kimutai | May 22nd 2013 | 3 min read
President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) receives TJRC report on historical injustices from the commission Chair Bethuel Kiplagat. (Photo:Standard)

By Vitalis Kimutai

Nairobi, Kenya: Three MPs adversely named in the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report have pleaded innocence over claims of perpetrating human rights abuses.

Kajiado Central MP Joseph Nkaissery, John Serut (Mount Elgon) and Samwell Moroto (Kapenguria) said they had no involvement with the alleged human rights abuses as claimed in the report released on Tuesday evening.

Nkaissery accused TJRC of recommending he be investigated over alleged role in injustices meted against the Pokot by the military during a disarmament exercise 29 years ago, without giving him the right of reply.

Nkaissery a retired Major General said that TJRC did not invite him to respond to the accusations levelled against him before drafting the final report.

He also denied claims that the military committed human rights ills in the process of the disarmament exercise adding that no one was killed by the soldiers during the exercise.

“TJRC has used the most unorthodox means to arrive at the conclusion of their report. It has not investigated the incidences as they claim because had they been serious about executing their mandate, they should have invited those adversely mentioned to defend themselves,” Nkaissery said.

He added: “I will be instructing my lawyers to sue TJRC because I have never received invitation by the Commission to clear my name over the accusations and I only learnt through the media that a recommendation had been made that I be investigated.”

Nkaissery said during disarmament in Pokot which he led as a Major in the military, nobody was killed and that locals surrendered illegally acquired firearms after their animals were confiscated.

Moroto said he was a church leader with a squeaky clean record and that he was surprised that his name was in the report adding that he will sue the Commission over the issue.

“Let the Commissioners come out in the open and own up to the fact they were not only groping in the dark but wanted to fix some people to justify their stay in office,” Moroto said.

The MP said the TJRC Commissioners had extended the differences they had among themselves for compilation in the report.

Serut said he had no association with the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) which was responsible for killing, injuring and displacing residents of Mount Elgon and raping of women and young girls.

“SLDF killed two of my brothers – Edward Serut and Jeremiah Serut and Ms Milibah Serut. They also shot two others –Moses Serut and Kiplangat Ndiema besides many other relatives. If I had an association with SLDF, how could they have killed and injured my own people?” Serut wondered.

Serut said he had repeatedly been attacked by SLDF after he reported their activities to police adding that those behind the group were well known to the public and the government.

Serut said he appeared before TJRC Commissioners in Bungoma and tabled documents which he said had seemingly been ignored in drafting the final report.

“I am waiting for the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko to contact me, then I can table the documents before him. I have recorded several statements with the police over this matter and I have copies of the documents complete with numbers which were used to threaten me,” Serut said.

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