I tend agree with Fred Oluoch Ojiwah’s assessment that maybe Kenyans may need some sort of ‘Gacaca’ adapted to the Kenyan reality to solve the issues caused by the post-election violence ( The Bigger Picture A Kenyan’s perspective of the Gacaca System.
I was one of those that were extremely shocked, disappointed and very sad when we watched the unfolding on TV. My reaction was one of disbelief.
I believe that the Gacaca-type judicial process is advantageous, as compared to the Western approach, because it strengthens the healing processes.
When entire neighborhoods are gathered together, including the perpetrators and victims, and the whole story told (even if the perpetrators aren’t served life sentences) the victims are able to grieve properly, and come to terms with what happened to their loved ones.
And then the healing proper can start in earnest.
I was in East London, South Africa, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission sessions actually started.
I followed it on radio and heard Steve Biko’s wife and Desmond Tutu break down upon hearing the details of what befell Steve Biko.
This has to happen for people to be able to continue leading normal lives.
I keep reading in the Daily Nation of people in Kenya craving for justice. I believe Gacaca-like sessions are ideal for these families. Just seeing that the authorities are organizing such a session in order to serve some sort of justice to the perpetrators and in the can send a strong message to the entire community that there isn’t impunity.
Thus offering some sort of olive branch to the, usually, forgotten victims.
Name withheld on request