Uhuru Kenyatta (seen on your right with running mate Will Ruto above) was declared the President elect of Kenya recently after winning elections against Raila Odinga by the slimmest of margins. His win has caught the attention of the world as he is yet another African wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity in his country Kenya. These alleged crimes took place at the last Kenya elections when ethnic groups were pitted against each other and led to the loss of lives of over a thousand kenyans and hundreds of thousand more displaced.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has come under huge criticsms for seemingly going after the prosecution of Africans. US involvement in torture and atrocities in Iraq has gone unpunished. As long as the USA fails to recognise the ICC, and Western European leaders are beyond its touch, the ICC will rightly be seen as just Western partisan justice .
The Obama administration’s top Africa diplomat, Johnnie Carson, warned pointedly before the Kenya elections that ‘choices have consequences’, a comment widely seen as a recommendation that voters back Kenyatta’s opponent, Raila Odinga or else they will face the brunt of the USA. Imagine American reaction to a similar warning about its own presidential elections from a foreign diplomat. The hypocrisy of a country that does not recognise and has not Ratified the Rome statute and WILL NOT turn over it’s citizens to the ICC lecturing another on the same is simply beyond belief. British politicians have been more measured in their reaction to Kenyatta’s win, but they still remain a country with a brutal history as a colonialist, that will admit NO WRONG or reveal it’s records on what went on during it’s handling of the MauMau rebellion in Kenya where it has been accused of torture and other crimes against humanity.
Once again it seems democracy is only good in the so called developing world when they elect people the West approves of.
If ‘ international law ‘ is to have any meaning, it must be universal in its jurisdiction against both the powerful and the powerless . Until the U.S is willing to send it’s citizens to the ICC and the U.K comes clean about the 1950′s State of emergency in Kenya, when murders, amputations, castrations and other forms of torture against detainees were carried out, they are just being hypocritical. What moral authority do they have to accuse Kenyan politicians of crimes against humanity?
No independent country should allow a court sitting at The Hague (European Union) to try its own citizen, even if that citizen is the devil himself! It was highly insensitive that the appointed ICC official who investigated the 2008 election violence in Kenya was a South African white judge by the name Kriegler. He was flown in from South Africa to unearth the truth about the deaths of over a thousand innocent Kenyans, meanwhile the murder of thousands and thousands of black South Africans during apartheid has never been investigated. Instead, blacks in South Africans were asked to forget, forgive and move forward.
The ICC remains a flawed process. Ocampo the Head of the ICC in 2008 used local Kenyan inter-mediaries most of whom were ardent supporters of one side of the conflict instead of starting his investigations from the ground. What he was left with was hearsey, fabricated lies and innuendos. This is what the ICC prosecutor calls evidence? The way forward is for the UN security council to terminate the case and facilitate a local mechanism which mostly should focus on re-concilliation. Should the West continue pressing with Uhuru Kenyatta to follow through with ICC, then that will amount to an act of angression against Kenya which will be sternly rejected by the people.
Kenya is a sovereign state.When the Kenyans elected Kenyatta, they were privy to the fact that he was facing crimes against humanity charges by the ICC. He is innocent until proven guilty according to the basic canon of criminal law. Despite this, they have elected him as head of the republic. For how long shall African leaders remain appendages and stooges of the West. If they do not need Kenyatta, then the Kenyan government can foster relations to the East. In fact much of the development we have witnessed in the past 10 years has largely been attributed to the focus on China-Kenya development partnerships.
In echoing our President elect’s sentiments, we celebrate the triumph of democracy; the triumph of peace; the triumph of nationhood. Despite the misgivings of many in the world, we demonstrated a level of political maturity that surpassed expectations. That is the real victory . A victory for Kenya. Kenya should be proud of the fact that even when the world’s media descended on Kenyan soil and looked at us skeptically and prophesied doom, a week later everything is back to normal, and we are glad to be moving on and concentrating on nation-building.
We, like other African countries are tired of being shoved around by the west in the name of OUR best interests, and yet they try to pit us against each other. We are trying to move away from that as a people, and we are united in asserting our voice. We are not oblivious to the fact that all the West want from us is our resources and a Kenyatta presidency will not make that easy! How glad we are of that! We are now better equiped to negotiate for better terms and are ready to deal with the one who offers the greatest advantage to the growth of our nation.
Now Africa is rising and we are understanding that there is no 1st, 2nd or 3rd world, but only 1 world. We understand that labels are really a way of intimidating others, and we aren’t standing for it. The fact that both Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are standing on opposite sides in th ICC trials and yet they came together to commit to lead together is an indication that we are more than capable of resolving our own issues. We anticipate that even their chief opponents, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka will join hands with them when the dust settles and we will move forward together as ONE NATION!
We will defy others’ expectation just like we did this past week, because the God of all Creation is still in charge, and we invoke His blessings everytime we sing our National Anthem.
May God bless Kenya and may God bless mother Africa!
Submitted by Peter Muramira