By Standard Reporter
Former PC Joseph Kaguthi has taken issue with the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation report, terming it erroneous.
The TJRC report has listed him among individuals recommended for further investigations for alleged offences. He says he is considering moving to court to set the record straight, after the truth team listed him among those who should be barred from holding a public office.
“I am not looking for a job, but I have two grounds against this report. First, the recommendations in connection with claims that I was a PC in North Eastern Province during the Wagalla Massacre. The truth is I was a junior under secretary in the Office of the President, and was nowhere near the decision making processes of the National Security Committee,” he said.
He added: “I submitted this information to the commission during its hearings at KICC but apparently they wrote inaccurate things. I am considering going to court to have the records set straight and my name expunged.”
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He said the report is flawed for neglecting to include the context in which the incident of 9 February 1984 at Wajir Airstrip which left hundreds dead took place.
“Innocent people should not be killed. But the State had a duty to protect the Ajuran clan against harassment by the Degodia clan. The Ajuran clan had complied with a Government directive to disarm, while the Degodia clan declined was killing and stealing from the Ajuran. The massacre happened as the military tried to forcefully disarm the Degodia. This context was important for balance” Kaguthi said in an interview on Wednesday.
The former administrator is among the few retired senior civil servants who never shies away from visibility on TV, radio talk shows or press interviews.
His easy smile paints a picture of someone at peace with himself happily enjoying his achievements and retirement until the truth team report jolted him with what he termed most unfair stain on his illustrious public service.
“It pains me that at after 40 years of dedicated public service, TJRC should come around to depict me as a fraud, by writing that I should never have held a public office, and should never hold a public office,” he said.
Kaguthi, who scaled the heights of the public service from a lowly District Officer to retire as the PS, Directorate of Personnel Management (DPM), is known for his knack of speaking his mind on topical issues.
Most Kenyans remember him for his achievements, at the National Agency for Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada).
Few recall he also served as Interim Independent Electoral and Boundaries IIEBC) Commissioner after Nacada.
He shot to national limelight in the 90s when, as PC in Nyanza (he coined the phrase Luo Nyanza), and often locked horns with opposition leaders in the then Ford-Kenya’s political strongholds.