It could be recalled that the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) submitted its final report to the president on 25th of November 2021. The report of course outlines the findings and gave recommendations in order to ensure that what transpired in the country during the more than two decades of dictatorship never happens again.
Among the recommendations given was for some of the victims to be given reparations for the atrocities they went through at the hands of the state or its agents. This was a key component of the commission as evinced by the name, Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission.
Indeed, after some time, some of the victims were given some form of reparations but it was problematic as some of them saw what was given to them as too small considering the trauma they endured. It is even reported that some of them returned what was given them as a way of protest.
Information has it that the government then decided to discuss the matter at cabinet level and later sends it to the National Assembly in order to formalize it. This, it is believed, will give it a structure as victims will be categorized according to a set system.
The main issue now is the delay that has been observed in the process as it is taking too long. It is almost two years since the report was presented to the president of the republic and victims are wondering what is taking so long. It can be noted that some of the victims are dying and that will complicate matters more.
A lot of time and resources have been expended in the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission. The work of the TRRC generated a lot of interest and goodwill. It brought hope to the victims and their families and opened doors of reconciliation and unity in the country after the long and dark night it endured.
If this delay prolongs, there is fear that the entire purpose of the TRRC will be defeated. This will certainly be unfortunate given that the whole nation was eagerly waiting for the recommendations of the TRRC to be implemented. One wonders what is it that is taking the government so long in bringing this to the national assembly so that citizens, the victims in particular, will know what is going on.
There is an urgent need to expedite the process and inform the public of any and all steps taken towards giving befitting reparations to the victims. This will certainly go a long way in contributing to the peace and stability of the country. Government should up its game and make sure that victims are not forgotten.
It is high time reparations were paid!