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Accept what happened at ICC, move on

On September 12, 2015 the monument to the Mau Mau struggle was unveiled at Freedom Corner, Nairobi.

It was a glorious occasion with hundreds of veterans clad in red reliving their liberation campaign and jubilantly celebrating their victory in London courts on compensation claims against the British Government.

The occasion was graced by many opposition figures as well as the British High Commissioner but given a wide berth by President Uhuru Kenyatta although he lives just a stone’s throw away from Freedom Corner.

THE HAGUE
The veterans were very disappointed but the organisers were hardly surprised.

Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) had successfully and singlehandedly spearheaded the litigation exercise in London without any support from successive regimes.

The victory was theirs but KHRC were never going to get plaudits or recognition from the Jubilee team.

Mr Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have continuously linked their tribulations at The Hague to KHRC and Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG).

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POST-VOTE VIOLENCE

Of course neither organisation concealed their commitment to justice for the victims of the Post-Election Violence (PEV) of 2007.

Successive executive directors of the country’s leading human rights body have been a thorn in the side of three regimes.

Besides, the current boss at Gatanga Road had been joint secretary to the Waki Commission that investigated the same PEV.

The Jubilee regime does not hide its contempt for human rights organisations in Kenya.

FAZUL MAHAMED

But it holds particular disdain for the staff and boards of both Africog and KHRC because of the ICC cases.

The government appears to be on a confrontational revenge mission.

This is the third time that Fazul Mahamed has been unleashed as the Jubilee turn boy on KHRC.

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All the more disgusting is how KRA have been roped in as partners in crime in dirty political games.

As board members we can verify that KHRC have complied with all KRA recent demands and received a clean bill of health.

ELECTION

I, also, am the nearest thing to a ‘foreigner employed’ by KHRC but I have nothing in my pocket to show for that!

My reward is the joy of freely supporting a team committed to reform.

However, for this third assault to take place within days of the announcement of the presidential ballot was both malicious and ferocious.

The clear intention was to prevent both organisations from filing a case with the Supreme Court challenging the elections outcome.

Makes you wonder why Jubilee should be bothered and upset by its critics if it won the election fair and square.

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RECONCILIATION

Guess that we will have to wait for the Nasa election petition to answer that.

In any case, for four years we are exhausted with the mantra, ‘accept and move on’.

Perhaps, it is time now for Jubilee to accept what happened at the ICC and move on.

When one’s conscience is clear then it is easy to ignore and forget about one’s accusers.

RESILIENCE

When it is still troubled then that is telling.

KHRC and Africog are here to stay.

Muhuri and Haki Africa survived their ordeal. Civil society is strong, robust, competent and professional.

Whoever is sworn in early September should see human rights organisations as partners and not threats in the governance of this great nation.

Fr Gabriel Dolan is a Catholic priest based in Mombasa. [email protected] @GabrielDolan1

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