In essence, the chosen ‘circumlocution’ through the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union was a desperate attempt to go the beaten path, which failed miserably in the case of Sudan. In fact, there is really no rocket science required to see that African States are hell-bent on passing self-serving resolutions to resist change, or better still, protect elite members of society.
The ICC would become an irrelevant misnomer if it failed to see through such obvious “transparent concealment,” manoeuvres, as writer Francis Imbuga would probably say. In terms of our first reason herein, it is unfortunate that the PNU side of the governing coalition does not seem to realise that on the ICC, the country needed to present a truly agreed, more nuanced and sophisticated petition.
To merely rehash some of those banal claims that have already been routinely dismissed cannot be expected to win against the serious charges facing some of our own compatriots at the ICC.
Sample this: “the government was at all times trying to quell the civil strife associated with the 2007...” This is a tired line, considering that by most well-known accounts, also available to the entire international community, police brutality alone has been confirmed to have caused most (more than 600) of the reported 1,300 or so deaths.Another tired line is the assertion that the country is undertaking, interalia, serious judicial reforms. Now, who can believe this?
By the single act of a unilateral decision to fill-up key judicial positions without the slightest pretence of adhering to the most basic requirements under the new constitution, Kenya, yet again confirmed to the world that sorrowful streak of stubborn reverence for the politics of impunity. It does not matter here, the quibbling by some lawyers over the true meaning of ‘consultations’. As any reasonable lawyer would interpret it, ‘consultation’ in the context of public appointments could not have meant any other thing, other than the agreement on the names - but that is another story!
A cursory glance of Kenya’s aid memoire currently in international circulation confirms that a partisan, PNU bias was sneaked as a ‘Government of Kenya’ position. This is not just unfair to the many victims of the post-election violence, but also strikes one as a poorly conceived endeavour to hoodwink the UN’s Security Council, and by extension, the international community. Of course, in the Cold War days, such ‘tricks’ could fly, but only because they were bolstered by the rather undeveloped forms of communication. Today, it is unlikely, because the ICT revolution has ensured virtual access to multiple, complex, and most plural sources of information. It means (oh, yes!) that you can still fool a few people, but certainly not everyone.
More fundamentally though, is the regrettable fact that there is still a failure to fully appreciate the realities of a coalition government. The fact is that the Office of the Prime Minister of Kenya is a solid and square creature of the constitution. You ignore it and risk a furore in government.
Many can vouch that the Prime Minister of Kenya is certainly not a jingoistic hardliner but a realistic and often accommodating politician. He compromises in a manner that often confounds even his closest friends.
Nevertheless, the conviction of all reasonable citizens is that we could still use this ICC monstrosity to not only redeem the Ocampo Six, but to also plant the eternal seeds of a more genuine national reconciliation programme
Dr Outa is a multi-disciplinary scholar working as ‘Communications Advisor’ in the Office of the Prime Minister. His views are personal.
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