TJRC report may not be ready by Friday
The TJRC may not beat the Friday deadline to present its report after staying at the Serena Beach Hotel in Mombasa for three months. Government sources said the commission may be seeking further extension. However, the official position of the commission remains that the report will be released on Friday when their second extension of three months expires. The first extension was granted between November last year and May. When it was apparent the commission would not finish by May, it sought parliamentary extension which was granted retrospectively last month.
Despite the two extensions, the commission was unable to do reparation and amnesty hearings which are part of its mandate. “Some in OP are concerned about the potential impact of the report on the political atmosphere given the upcoming elections. Thus there are some in OP who would like to have the report come out after the elections,” a source privy to the process said. “I don't know about that, I just don't know. We have not been told anything of the kind. We are all working on an assumption that we will deliver our report on August 3 as per our plans, this is our position,” Commissioner Tom Ojienda told the Star when asked about the possible extension.
The commissioners are divided with a number opposed to any form of extension. Others led by the chairman Bethuel Kiplagat favor some form of extension. The extension could either be indefinite, that is without a deadline or definite. If an indefinite extension is granted, the commission would shift much of its work towards reconciliation and civic education ahead of the election. If a definite extension is granted, the commission will use part of its winding up time to finish the report.
None of these matters were raised in parliament last month when Mps debated and passed the Miscellaneous Amendment Bill which extended the commission work. None of them formed the basis of the commission's second request for extension of time. In fact, before the Bill could pass, the commission had long retreated to Mombasa to compile the report and beat time.
Accommodation at Serena Beach costs around Sh15,000 per bed per night. For the three months the commissioners and their technical staff will have stayed there at the end of this month, each would have spent Sh1.3 million shillings on accommodation alone. This is minus the meeting venue costs, flight tickets (for those commissioners who fly back to Nairobi over the weekends) and extra meals among other miscellaneous expenses. Assuming the remaining seven commissioners have been attending plus their official drivers and key technical staff, the report writing bill could hit tens of millions.This does not count the actual printing costs, publicity and other costs associated with such events.