Responses to testimonies at the TRRC

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It has become common to read reactions from people or institutions mentioned at the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission. Every other day, we read in one of the local newspapers a response from people or institutions regarding what a witness or the other has said at the sittings of the TRRC.

It is necessary for everyone to remember that the Commission is not a court of law and the Act of the National Assembly that established it only mandated it to seek and document the truth of what happened in the twenty-two years of the previous regime where there are allegations of human rights violations.

The TRRC is also expected to present a set of recommendations on whether some people should be prosecuted or not. It will also recommend that some people be given reparations to help their healing process. It will be the duty of the government to then decide what should be done about the result of the exercise.

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If therefore someone wants to object to something said in another’s testimony, such a person should approach the commission to be granted the opportunity to also testify. That is a more reasonable step to take. If everyone wishes to use the media to clarify a point or two, there will be too much focus on that and may distract people from the real issues being revealed there.

It is essential for us to remember that the main purpose of this exercise is to reconcile and heal. This will help provide closure for the victims and their families. The TRRC is not a witch-hunt or prosecution. It only wishes to establish the truth and make recommendations to ensure that these violations never occur again!

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