Commissioner Kiplagat refuses to quit his position
In Kenya, the Chairman of the country’s newly created Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, Bethuel Kiplagat, has refused to quit his position. This is despite mounting pressure to do so by a number of former chiefs of Truth Commissions from around the world, including respected South African Cleric Desmond Tutu.
The Commission was formed after the deadly post election violence in Kenya two years ago, and is expected to investigate crimes related to human rights violations dating back to Kenya’s independence 47 years ago.
Kiplagat "was well-respected in the past," Mwalimu Mati, the spokesman for civil society group, Partnership for Change, told RFI. But he said that there is equally growing internal pressure for Bethuel Kiplagat to quit.
"Civil society has given him an ultimatum," he says. "If he does not leave within the next week, we will organise rallies and protests" to step up the pressure.
Kiplagat has come under fire for two reasons that can be substantiated with documents in the public domain, says Mati.
He has been named by the public inquiry into taking public land out of the public holding for properties that he personally received. Mati says Kiplagat admits this, but denies that this was an illegal action.
In addition, Kiplagat was found to be an untrustworthy witness in an investigation into the mysterious death of former Kenyan foreign minister Robert Ouko. This report has yet to be published by Kenyan parliament, says Mati.