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The Situation in Kenya: Uhuru and Ruto Should be Exonerated From the ICC Crimes Against Humanity Charges

Updated on March 10, 2013

As I write this, there is no doubt that Uhuru Kenyatta, who will be deputized by William Ruto, is set to be the fourth president of the Republic of Kenya. The duo trounced stiff competition from fellow IEBC 2013 Presidential elections contestant, Mr. Raila Odinga, to emerge victorious in the highly contested presidential race.

There is however a reason we are not seeing merriment nor hearing jubilations across the street. The victorious duo have both, but separately, been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.

Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta is charged together with Mr. Francis Muthaura and former Kenya police boss, Mr. Mohammed Hussein Ali. The three face five charges against humanity in the ICC. The charges include murder, rape, forceful deportation, persecution and inhumane acts. They were charged as indirect perpetrators of these crimes in locations that included Kibera, Naivasha and Nakuru.

Mr. William Samoei Ruto is charged together with former Kenya minister of Industrialization Henry Kosgey, and a radio journalist Mr. Arap Sang. The charges against the three are almost similar to what Uhuru Kenyatta et al have been charged with.

If the charges are to stick, Kenya will probably suffer a power vacuum. This is however the least of the concern among the majority of Kenyans. After all, the pair has always maintained that they can effectively rule the country digitally from whichever correctional facility cell they will be holed in at the Hague.

What worries most Kenyans, especially the business entrepreneurs, is threats that have been issued by some members of the EU convoy that they will embed sanctions against Kenya in case power is transferred to the Hague duo.

Coalition to Defeat the Hague Trials

Of course the 2013 IEBC candidature of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto has been interpreted by many political pundits and the western blocs to be an avenue that they were seeking in order to avoid or delay their trials at the Hague. The pair has however maintained that they are determined not to 'do an Al Bashir'. They have constantly sworn their full cooperation in the ICC process whether they won or they lost the 2013 IEBC Presidential elections.

Whether it is true or false that the pair formed the Jubilee Coalition to defeat the Hague and the ICC charges remains to be verified by what the two will do once they are sworn into the statehouse. Though the most probable reason why the two formed a coalition its that they, just like their competitors in the Kenya 2013 presidential elections needed to form a formidable force that will help them sweep most of the votes in the Kenya 2013 elections; elections which due to the ratification of the constitution in 2010 were much more trickier to win than the elections of previous years.

It is however of little concern why Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto formed that formidable coalition; what matters is that Kenyans have spoken. They want to be governed by the pair. There is also the possibility that Kenyans were also voting against the Hague Option when they trooped to the ballots in their millions on Monday.

The fact that Kenyans chose to vote-in Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. William Ruto should be a concise indicator that Kenyans have forgiven and forgotten who the perpetrators of the 2007/08 were. The European Community and other western power structures, including the Hague, should borrow a leaf from Kenyans, who were the main victims of the post-election violence in Kenya, and move forward. There is no justifiable reason why they should keep trying to poke the scabs that Kenyans have chosen to forget and ignore; this is what Wanjiku was stubbornly saying when she went to the voting booth on Monday!

And if this does not serve to convince the ICC prosecutors at the Hague, then they should maybe remember that the judiciary in Kenya has witnessed massive reforms; justice and order and fairness has been restored in the judicial system. We are not a failed country! We can fairly prosecute our own countrymen.

The ICC must realize that maintaining the arrest warrants against mr. Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto might actually be detrimental to the country's socio-economic wellbeing. As happened in Sudan when an arrest warrant was given against Omar Bashir, he kicked out many NGOs which he thought were cooperating with the ICC. We do not think that Uhuruto will get to such a point, but there is always the slim probability that you cannot predict a man whose freedom and livelihood is threatened will do. One of the possibilities is for the duo to ratify the constitution to award themselves an infinitum term in the statehouse. We pray that this does not happen; We pray that the Hague exonerates the charges against Uhuru and Ruto in the ICC.

The ICC trial chambers must also recognize that there are instances when peace and stability of a country may require forgoing punitive justice. Seeking international justice may be an impediment to the peace that Kenya now enjoys. Creating a power-vaccum by shoving the president and his deputy to the Hague might cause this country to precipitate to the brink of civil war.

What Kenyans require at this crucial moment is restorative justice not retributive international action by some foreigns who does not understand the simple yet concise mentality of the Kenyan.


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    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 

      5 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      You raise an interesting, yet troubling issue. If the purpose of the International Court is to promote national stability, then your argument is sound. But if it is to pursue justice regarding crimes, then the political popularity of the criminals should not be an issue with regard to their trial and imprisonment. But, by that standard, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should probably be in jail in the Hague!

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