Monday, October 14, 2013

WHY PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA MUST ATTEND THE ICC TRIALS?

By Gordon Teti Ontario, Canada

While it is a fact that he was not validly elected by the Kenyan voters, what is factual is that during the presidential campaign debate, Uhuru Kenyatta was particularly asked not to vie for the presidency until he clears his name with the ICC.

During the entire campaigns including the presidential debates, Uhuru categorically and emphatically stated that the ICC case against him was a personal challenge and that at no point would he drag the entire nation into the case. He also promised the electorate that he would abide by the dictates of the ICC.

Six months after he forced himself into the office of the presidency of Kenya, Uhuru is telling Kenyans and the world that since his position has changed, he is not dealing with the ICC as Uhuru Kenyatta but as the President of Kenya, which is contrary to what he told the voters while campaigning for the same office.

To some people, it may appear as a sudden thought that Uhuru has realized the ICC case against him is no longer a personal challenge but to many this was the card that Uhuru hid under the table during the presidential campaign. Uhuru forced himself to the presidency to shield him from the ICC trials and the chicken have come home to roost with Uhuru declaring both in words and actions that Kenya is now part and parcel of what was hitherto a “personal issue” and he no longer wants to co-operate with the ICC.

Since forcing himself to the presidency, Uhuru has used every government resource available to him, including courting the African dictators like Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame, Robert Mugabe, to mention but a few, to subvert the course of justice by avoiding the ICC trials altogether. Uhuru almost succeeded in rallying the whole of the African dictators behind him thanks to massive personal wealth and government resources that has been used in bribing of the African dictators.

However, last Saturday, October 12, 2013 during the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Uhuru suffered a setback when many of the African big men who had previously pledged their support for mass withdrawal from the Rome statute that created the ICC developed cold feet like they did before when they abandoned Muamar Ghadaffi of Libya. The move left Uhuru with only Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Omar Al Bashir of Sudan as the only two die hard lords of impunity who are still clawing ferociously at ICC for obvious reasons. Both are suspected of mass murder, rape and genocide of their own citizens and as for Al Bashir, he has been indicted by the ICC.

The African dictators are using the principle of sovereignty in their crusade against the ICC while the reality is that it an attempt to insulate them against acts of Impunity. The question is, in the unlikely event that this ill campaign is granted, does it mean the African dictators can kill and maim while in office because they are immune to prosecution?

The Rwanda genocide of 1994 is still very fresh in our collective memories. In one voice, the world must unreservedly guard against the leadership of countries that may wittingly use the caveat of “sovereignty” and “immunity for sitting presidents” to discredit the ICC in an attempt to circumvent retributive justice.

When we all know that Omar Al Bashir of Sudan was indicted when in office, it is completely wrong for Amina Mohammed, Cabinet Secretary and the other government mandarins and sycophants of Uhuru Kenyatta to lie to Kenyans that it is unconstitutional for Uhuru to be prosecuted at ICC.

With the consequences of non-compliance with the Rome Statute so clear and decisively biting, Kenyans dread that their great country may be turned into a Harare or Khartoum. I am hopeful that like Harare and Khartoum, Kenyans will willingfuly accept to become collateral damage in the event Uhuru refuses to co-operate with the court.

This is why Kenyans of goodwill MUST not only exhort but demand from Uhuru that since this is his personal matter, he is obligated to go to ICC and defend himself. Uhuru has nothing to neither fear nor worry about if he has evidence of witness tampering and couching as he has said thousands of times. All Uhuru has to do is to go to ICC and prove his innocence.
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