- Kenya’s truth commission chairman, Bethuel Kiplagat, has been asked to step down on the basis of findings by two government bodies that he allegedly committed improper or illegal acts.
The 10 former heads of truth and reconciliation commissions from around the world, led by Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said there would be a conflict of interest with his role as TJRC chairperson and put the commission’s work and reputation at risk.
“We are deeply troubled by serious allegations of bias and misconduct that have been made against Chairperson Kiplagat,” the statement from Mr Tutu’s group said.
The statement further said that the allegations about his role in the former President Arap Moi government have generated a widely held perception that he labours under an unavoidable conflict of interest and that he is unable to bring an impartial mind to bear on his important duties as TJRC Chairperson.
"To safeguard the commission’s work, we believe these international justice figures are exactly right in calling for the chairperson’s resignation," statement further said.
It further said that all commissioners must be seen to be upholding the highest standards of ethics and integrity. “They need to be seen to be scrupulously independent and objective. We are constrained to point out that Ambassador Kiplagat does not meet these essential standards,” it read.
It also stated that the truth commissions must enjoy the confidence of the public to succeed.
Since the Commission began its preliminary work early this month, it has been met by public walkouts, demanding the resignation of Mr Kiplagat.
The Civil society has sustained calls for Ambassador Kiplagat since his appointment and last week the Kenya Human Rights Commission alleged it had evidence to link him to some of the violations and gave him a seven-day ultimatum to step aside.
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