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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Should security agencies investigate themselves?

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There is little or no doubt that there have been many human rights violations during the previous regime. There were extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, false imprisonments, illegal sacking of public officials, seizure of people’s properties and so many others.

Thus, since the new Government came into being, there have been calls for those violations to be investigated so that justice may be served. This is important for the healing and reconciliation process of the country. There is no doubt that these violations have left the country polarized and something needs to be done about it.

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The question though is this: who will investigate these violations? Is it possible for the same security agencies accused of violations to judiciously and properly investigate these crimes of which they stand accused as institutions? The answer is certainly not. Therefore, it will be futile to expect them to do a good job when they are to investigate themselves.

It is well known that when people work together they develop feelings of mutual respect, and even love for each other. Therefore, if someone is to investigate another, who may be a friend or an acquaintance, it is not farfetched to say that that person can – and may – slant the investigation in favour of the friend or acquaintance.

Due to the foregoing, it is necessary for government to assign independent bodies to conduct the investigations into the alleged human rights violations under the different security agencies.

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