Is This Image From the TJRC Report?

This image claimed to be from a page of the TJRC (Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission) Report Summary. In the page, the report appears to implicate Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua in the ethnic clashes witnessed in Molo in 1992.

Background

By 1992, tensions between the Kalenjin and non-Kalenjin communities in Molo were rising and the conflict was increasingly becoming violent. The Akiwumi Report from the Akiwumi Commission of Inquiry into Tribal Clashes noted that; “In each clash area, non-Kalenjin or non-Maasai, as the case may be, were suddenly attacked, their houses set on fire, their properties looted and in certain instances, some of them were either killed or severely injured with traditional weapons like bows and arrows, spears, pangas, swords and clubs”.

“The attackers targeted mainly the Kikuyu, but also the Kisii, the Luhya and the Luo; other non-Kalenjin and non-Maasai communities were not spared,” the report added.

Violence across Rift Valley resulted in the death of thousands of people in attacks and counter-attacks carried out by gangs enabled by provincial officials sowing discord in the grassroots.

Verification

The image appeared online for the first time after it was shared on May 18, 2022. It was most notably reposted by @ItsMutai on the same day with the caption ‘TJRC Report on Rigathi Gachagua’.

According to the image circulating, Rigathi Gachagua is said to be culpable of human rights abuses such as rape, torture, murder and kidnap against the ‘Kikuyu and their sympathizers’ in the 1992 Molo clashes.

“Molo area settlement fell under the jurisdiction of Mr Geoffrey Rigathi Gachagua who was appointed District Officer by President Moi. Several residents and former youth militia recruits have testified that Mr. Gachagua was instrumental in the deployment of militia groups into Molo settlement area to conduct reprisals against Mr. Matiba,” the image states.

A look into the actual TJRC Report Summary available on the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights website shows no existence of the claimed page. In fact, the original summary has just 48 pages in total. Yet the image claims to be from page 108.

The original summary report does not contain any such page or information. Neither Molo nor Rigathi Gachagua is mentioned in the document.

The report does not cite his involvement in the clashes as a district officer or his presence during the assaults as alleged in the document circulating on social media.

Additionally, speaking to the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) for a fact-check on the same image,  Amnesty International’s Executive Director Kenya Irungu Houghton referred them to the Seattle University School of Law Digital Commons that uploaded all volumes of the TJRC report on their website.

KEG notes that they searched all these volumes for a mention of Rigathi Gachagua and the name did not come up.

Verdict

Claims that this image is from the TJRC Summary Report are FALSE.

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Thomas Mukhwana

Thomas Mukhwana is a broadcast journalist and fact-checker. He is passionate about storytelling, sustainable development and policy in the African context.