The much awaited report is here
have been delivered, and endorsed
To people like me, the report was what was expected;
for the victim, the ousted government, it was a shocker;
for the current government, it was what they wanted.
I note the following extracts from the report:
It was soon apparent to the Commission from all it received and increasingly experienced that the context of the unforeseen transfer of power owed much to the challenges for governance of a young democracy which is deeply divided. Especially relevant are problems with basic institutions of democratic governance, notably the rule of law and administration of justice, the effective functioning of Parliament, and the politicization of the media.
Justice may take time, but needs to be speedy and needs to be seen to be done in order to reassure the public and inspire their confidence. This is unlikely to materialise in the absence of the rule of law which depends on effective institutions and the scrupulous conduct of responsible authorities over time. Above all, the Heads of the branches of government must by their own actions conform to the rule of law notwithstanding the political and practical challenges. (p. 3)
I take special note of that second paragraph.
Also of note is:
A significant problem in getting to the truth has been the level of rumour, suspicion and idle gossip lacking any serious evidential foundation. This has been disseminated and repeated irresponsibly. Women and men have believed and relied on this material to the very great disadvantage of the nation. It has fuelled the division and discord which has sapped the country for six months. Repeating an error does not give it any substance nor does the volume or emotional content of the expression. (p. 13)
This makes be believe that the committee members had already formed an opinion prior to them commencing work. This opinion was sympathetic towards the coup Government.
In terms of the recommendations by the Committee, I make a special note of the following. Especially since Government officials, in a press briefing today, stated the Government do not need to take any action based on the report.
2. With respect to the administration of justice, in particular concerning allegations of police brutality and acts of intimidation, there is an urgent need for investigations to proceed and to be brought to public knowledge with perpetrators held to account and appropriately sanctioned. (p. 61)
I also note the following comments by the international observers:
Although the Commission’s terms of reference cover a relatively confined period it is apparent that the issues which lead to the transfer of power go back a long way. There are tensions within the Constitution itself with a Presidential system engrafted into a Parliamentary system which will always be problematic. The creation of Independent Commissions and Offices will only be the safety valve intended when they are adequately resources and fulfil their mandates in a timely and decisive manner.
Fundamental to the operation of a modern democratic society is the existence of an operating and absolutely independent Judiciary which has the confidence of the entire community. Radical action is required to breathe utility into much of the State framework, especially to ensure the proper administration of justice. This cannot wait.
The report concludes that the current Government is legitimate.
This still do not make me believe what happened should have happened.
We lived through a chaotic time with the then opposition making a racket every night in the name of religion, in the name of the constitution.
The two media channels owned by the then opposition was nothing but inciting hate and disobedience calling upon the security forces to mutiny.
On that note I make a note from the recommendations of the Report:
5. There is also an urgent need to address an apparent climate of popular discontent and division engendering hatred between individuals and communities, propelled by the politicization of the media. To counter this trend, attention needs to be directed towards the promotion of journalistic ethics, tolerance and public reconciliation. (p. 62)
The sad truth is that, today, only the media channel sympathetic towards the ousted President is seen as politicised.
I just hope the country can move forward putting this behind, making peace. This is rather unlikely given the current environment where no one is ready to compromise. Everyone still wants to prove that their truth is the only truth.
I am eagerly waiting to see what drama evolves in time for the next Presidential Election to be held later next year.