“Let the dead bury their dead”, bemoans the Past. “We have to move on and not rock the boat”
[Parodying Baba Jallow in one of his poems on Facebook] “We cannot run to the future and leave our legs in the past ” shouts the Present. “We cannot understand the future if we forget the past. The ostrich buries its head in the sand to escape the present danger at its peril”
The building of a new society, one which is anchored in justice, rule of law, equality, constitutionalism and dignity would require that the people confront their past, not for vengeance but to learn lessons, to rectify wrongs, to have a just society. New and past are linked.
Thus, the link between our TRRC and the new Constitution we want to have, a bridging of the old and the new. We cannot build a new society unless we heal the wounds of past. It would be self delusory to think that we can transition into a just society by “erasing the past from our memory”. We need to deal with this past. The new Constitution will help us knoe how to heal these wounds.
We negotiated a terrible past. The TRRC and the new Constitutional building process are expected to “transition” us into our future, the just society we envisage.
I am optimistic of the future. But we cannot run to future by forgetting our legs in the past. The dead cannot bury the dead, only the living can bury their dead.
“To the living, we owe respect; to the dead we owe nothing but the truth.”