The Proposal for a Local Judicial Mechanism for the ICC Trials by Mrs. Ida Odinga


The call for a local judicial mechanism for the ICC trials by Mrs. Ida Odinga[Ida calls for local trial of ICC suspects] is an insult to the intelligence and memories of the average Kenyans. Mrs Odinga would have us believe that in a burst of independence, prompted no doubt by the recent announcement by the ICC, she proposes to spare the respective families of the four whose charges were confirmed, the pain that they face. She might have added that the country too, our home, also faces wrenching pain.   


This proposal is, at best cynical, coming, as it does, from the very quarters that precipitated the crisis in the first place and added insult to injury by applying to the ICC. The collective memories of Kenyans are fresh with the sound and the fury of the Pentagon gang rampaging throughout the country and ultimately precipitating the post-election violence (PEV) which needlessly destroyed lives, as the IDPs remind us every day. Our memories are also unimpaired with respect to the debates in Parliament over a local tribunal to provide redress and dispense justice for the PEV. During those debates, calm and cool heads that foresaw the threat to our sovereignty as others use the ICC process to manipulate our destiny for their own ends, did not prevail. Calm and cool heads in Parliament were sidelined by short term expediency and the belief or hope that the ICC process would not come to haunt us. 

Therefore, given the late hour, Mrs. Odinga should be told in calm but emphatic terms that it is far too late to change camps. The process is under way. The chickens are coming home to roost and they are on two tracks. The first track is the ICC process which will unwind according to the rules of law. On the second track is the coming election whose momentum will accelerate in coming weeks. We cannot stop the chickens from coming home: they belong to us; we set both processes in motion. Therefore, rather than calling for a local judicial mechanism or abandoning the electoral process, the correct posture for all, including Mrs. Odinga, is to remain calm and carry out our civic duties such as following the ICC process or voting.  But please, Mrs. Odinga, let us not insult the memories and intelligence of Kenyans by telling them to do what we failed to do at the time when such an action would have made a big difference or by feigning to be anything but a proxy for others including your husband, Mr. Raila Odinga. 

Dr. Githua Kariuki





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