Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama, over the weekend, advised Kenyans to adopt locally groomed means of resolving their problems and avoid reliance on western culture, adding that its only path to promote cohesion.
The Minister gave the counsel while addressing a delegation from Kenya’s ministry of Justice, who had come to seek advice on how to promote reconciliation amongst Kenyans.
This comes after the post-election violence that rocked Kenya in early 2008 that left over 1,000 Kenyans dead and escalation of ethnic tension.
Karugarama, explained to the visitors mechanisms like the Gacaca courts that Rwanda put in place to strengthen reconciliation amongst nationals after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi,, and urged them to be innovative and initiate their own methods to solve problems.
“If you have an emerging problem, you must have new ideas to solve it. Do not depend on old methods to solve the new problems…think about new ideas that will suit the situation,” the Minister told the delegation.
Karugarama pointed out to the delegation that for reconciliation to be effectively realised, it must be backed by good leadership and nationals committed to develop their country.
“You must have nationalism and goodwill to build institutions, which will not happen if you are to wait for funding from overseas. Rwandans have been able to reconcile because of full participation of all the citizens.”
Michael M. Ndungu, the Secretary General of the National Cohesion and Integration department in Kenya’s Justice ministry, who headed the delegation told The New Times that their visit was aimed at learning from Rwanda.
“We came here to learn from Rwanda’s experience and to benchmark ourselves and get best practice of how we can promote reconciliation among Kenyans,” he noted.
He commended minister Karugarama’s advice saying that it was an informative lecture that would help Kenyans in shaping and reconciling themselves.
“In all the countries that we have visited, it’s our first time to get such advice. We have learnt a lot especially in developing our own way of solving our problems and not depending on International Criminal Court, having good leadership and political commitment”.
He said that during their stay in the country, they were able to witness firsthand the development the country has undergone and reconciliation within communities.