Amb. Bethuel Kiplagat is a diplomat with vast experience having served as ambassador to France and Later to United Kingdom.
He is also an experienced peace builder having served as Deputy Secretary-General of National Council of Churches and secretary to church and society committee which dealt with political, social and economic issues including community relations and reconciliation. Having served as Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs for close to nine years, Amb. Kiplagat initiated peace processes for Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia and the Great Lakes, work which culminated to signing of the peace agreements for Somalia and Kenya.
Amb. Kiplagat has also served as Kenya's Special Envoy for Somalia National Reconciliation Conference from February 2003 until after formation of Somalia Transitional Federal Government, Chairman of Eminent Person of Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) - a body which evaluates governance with strong emphasis on democratic value and human rights where he was lead panelist for Nigeria, Egypt, Mozambique to mention a few.
On 24th February 2006, he was appointed as Chairman Committee of Eminent Persons on Constitution Review Process, a committee whose recommendations were used by the team of experts to implement the writing of the new constitution.
Amb. Kiplagat is also the Chancellor Egerton University, the Chairman of the first Micro Credit Finance Bank in Africa (K-Rep) focusing on alleviation of poverty, the Chief Executive Africa Peace Forum, an Ambassador for peace of the African Union for the year of Peace and Security Campaign and a COMESA Elder.
Amb. Bethuel A. Kiplagat - Chairperson, Kenya
Amb. Bethuel Kiplagat is a diplomat with vast experience having served as ambassador to France and Later to United Kingdom.
Tecla Namachanja Wanjala - Vice Chairperson, Kenya
She is a peace builder and community social worker experienced in conflict management, transformation and peace building across the region. Commissioner Wanjala is one of the three women recognized as Pillars of Peace for intervening in the Kenya’s 1991-92 and 1997 ethnic clashes and is globally recognized as one of the 1,000 women nominees for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.
She has an MA in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg Virginia, USA and is currently a PhD candidate at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, studying peace and conflict. During her thirteen years peace-building career she has engaged in conflict resolution processes nationally as well as in Sudan, Rwanda and Ethiopia and has conducted numerous regional training workshops. Until joining TJRC, Commissioner Wanjala headed the Regional Party for Peace in East and Central Africa (PEACE 11) Program that aims to enhance African leadership in conflict management in the Horn of Africa.
Commissioner Wanjala also helped the Nairobi Peace Initiative train over 500 workers in basic skills in conflict transformation in 1997 and 1999. In addition to this, she also consulted on peace building and post-conflict reconstruction in Eastern and Southern Africa for Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) 2005-2008 and coordinated the Peace and Development Network (PEACENET) efforts in organizing coalition and advocacy meetings on conflict and peace.
During the infamous Kenya ethnic clashes of 1993 to 1995, Commissioner Wanjala journeyed with internally displaced persons for their humanitarian assistance and co-ordinated for relief and rehabilitation for over 40,000 survivors of ethnic clashes.
Ahmed Sheikh Farah - Commissioner, Kenya
Widely travelled in the world and with a very clear picture of the regional and international security environment, Major General Farah brings this important perspective to his role as Commissioner. Throughout his successful military career in the Kenya Armed Forces he has worked diligently, rising to the highest rank in the military command structure. His academic and professional qualifi cations span across international training attained from England,
Australia, America and Israel and he has served in numerous positions in the armed forces in his capacity as commander. He is well versed in conflict prevention, management and resolutions at the regional level as well as UN peace support operations in the international arena.
At his last appointment at Kenya’s National Defence College, he was part of the directorate and responsible for overseeing strict adherence to the curriculum by university lecturers in addition to formulating lecture guides. His emphasis was on domestic and foreign policy studies. He has a track record as a resourceful, reliable and capable manager, whether at corporate level in the private sector or at strategic and policy level in government. After retiring from DoD, he went into business and security consultancy in Mombasa
Berhanu Dinka - Commissioner, Ethiopia
A diplomat with 27 years in the Ethiopian Foreign Service and an illustrious career in the United Nations and international peace-keeping, Commissioner Dinka continues to take on special assignments though now retired. Thus, he assisted in the Abuja talks on the conflict in Darfur when requested by the African Union, chairing the Power-Sharing Commission until the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) was concluded in Abuja in March 2006.
Earlier he served in Ethiopian embassies in Monrovia, Cairo and Washington, D.C., becoming an ambassador in 1975 and heading the Department of Africa and Middle East Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was the first Ethiopian ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti (1980-84) and then Permanent Representative
to the UN in New York with concurrent accreditation to Canada. In 1992 he moved to the UN and served in Cambodia, South Africa and Somalia. He was the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Sierra Leone 1995-1997; Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa 1997-2002 and SRSG for Burundi 2002-2004.
Having attained the rank of Under Secretary-General in the UN, Commissioner Dinka represented the Secretary General in the Arusha negotiations on Burundi and the Lusaka negotiations to resolve the confl ict in DR Congo.
Gertrude Chawatama - Commissioner, Zambia
Commissioner Gertrude Chawatama is a Judge with the High Court of Zambia with over 19 years of professional judicial experience. Trained in Canada as a judicial educator, mediator and trainer of mediators, Judge Chawatama, holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of London. Until her appointment to the Commission and in her capacity as a Judge of the High Court of Zambia, Judge Chawatama’s duties included unlimited and original jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil and criminal proceedings under any law, supervision of any civil or criminal proceedings before any subordinate court or any court martial and making orders, issuing such writs and giving appropriate direction for the purpose of ensuring that justice is duly administered.
A Board member of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute based in Canada and a council member of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association for the East, Central and Southern African region, Judge Chawatama is also the Chairperson of the Juvenile Justice Forum in Zambia.
Margaret Shava - Commissioner, Kenya
A committed and accomplished professional, Commissioner Shava was educated in law and democracy in UK and has over 17 years experience working in law, management and peacebuilding. An advocate of the High Court of Kenya, she has also practiced conveyancing and commercial law with a leading Nairobi law firm and excels in modern corporate and human resources management. With her experience in the economic sectors as well as the UN and national & international NG0s specializing in human rights, governance and international refugee law, she brings a very special set of skills to her task as Commissioner.
Regional Senior Programme Officer; 1998 – 2003 she served with UNHCR in Kenya, the E. Horn and Great Lakes Region; Geneva and Sudan, driving UNHCR’s core mandate of Protection, with regard to asylum seekers and refugees from the E. Horn and Central Africa. From 2002 she managed the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) exercise for Eritrean refugees in Gedaref, North Eastern Sudan. Working with various human rights NGOs has honed her skills – she has facilitated civic education
workshops, developed concept papers and been an observer in the 1997 Kenya General Elections. The Institute for Education in Democracy, FIDA-Kenya, a women’s NGO with UN observer status, and the Education Centre for Women in Democracy are among the NGOs she has consulted with. Also, while chairing Young Career Women (Kenya), affiliated to the International Federation of Business and Professional Women, Commissioner Shava spearheaded strategic planning of the organisation’s programmes, expanding their existing programme of educating girls from poor families.
Ronald Slye - Commissioner, USA
Professor of Law in Seattle since 1997 with an honorary professorship at the University of the Witwatersrand, Commissioner Slye teaches, writes and consults on public international law and international human rights law. International criminal law is his special area of expertise, including legal responses to genocide and other mass atrocities especially tribunals and truth and reconciliation commissions.
Author of dozens of articles and book chapters on international law, human rights, environmental and poverty law and co-author of two books on international criminal law including the major textbook in the US, he previously served as a legal consultant to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission 1996-2000. He is currently writing a book on that commission and its amnesty process.
Having studied and evaluated the response to mass atrocities in South Africa and Cambodia, Commissioner Slye has advised the main repository of documents on the Khmer Rouge era, the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which was instrumental in creating the current tribunal that is prosecuting former members of that regime,
Prof. Tom Ojienda - Commissioner, Kenya
Commissioner Prof Tom Ojienda is a past President of the East African Law Society, past Chair of the Law Society of Kenya and Financial Secretary and Vice President of the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU). An alumnus of the University of Nairobi and a Chevening Scholar, Ojienda obtained his masters degree from Kings College and a doctorate degree from the University of South Africa. A seasoned lawyer and land expert, Ojienda was a consultant for both the Njonjo and Ndungu Land Commissions, and served as a member of the Legal and Technical Working Group in the National Land Policy formulation process.
Over the years, he has been involved in the civil society and advocacy networks of Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi and Mozambique and was part of a team of fi ve eminent lawyers appointed by the International Bar Association on a mission to the DRC. Commissioner Ojienda chairs the Land Acquisition Compensation Tribunal, sits on the Council of Legal Education, the Board of the American Biographical Institute, the International Bar Association, the Kenya Industrial Property Institute and has previously chaired Legal Clinics at the School of Law, Moi University.
He has written two books on land law, one on the Law of the Sea and another on corruption and has also edited two books on democracy and constitutional change. He has consulted for the World Bank, USAID, ACCORD and EAC and continues to consult in the area of land reform.
Elijah Letangule - CEO/ Commission Secretary
CEO Elijah Letangule is a holder of a MA degree (Rural Sociology and Community Development) and a bachelors degrees both from the University of Nairobi. He has 18 years working experience in diverse fields including the Constitution making process (With the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission- CKRC and the Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review -COE) social and community development with various Civil Society Organisations. Mr. Letangule has also worked extensively in arid and semi arid areas of the country with various organizations including The Christian Children’s Fund (CCF), The Mid Rift Tourism & Wildlife Forum and Mainyito Pastoralist Integrated Development Programme ( MPIDO). He ascends to the position of CEO/Commission Secretary from his previous position of the Director Civic Education and Outreach at the Commission