IT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF KENYA FOR UHURU AND RUTO TO COOPERATE WITH ICC
Once again, Kenyans silenced the naysayers and prophets of doom who wished Kenya harm and envisioned ethnic cleansing and political instability. In her newly acquired peace-loving national character, Kenya reclaimed her rightful place at the table of the civilized nations.
Our peaceful voting process sent a powerful message to the world that we can agree to disagree without harming each other. Kenyans deserve a pat on the back. Congratulations are in order for our motherland of Kenya-a land where our ancestors lie.
Moreover, additional congratulations are well deserved for our fourth president of Kenya Mr. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and his deputy Mr. William Ruto. Their youthful exuberance and vision for the country is “sexy.”
However, today I congratulate Mr. Uhuru not for his win and assumption of office but for ensuring that president of Sudan Mr. Omar El Bashir, an international fugitive and warlord for crimes against humanity; did not attend the inaugural ceremony. President Uhuru passed his first foreign policy test.
For the starters, International Criminal Court (ICC) has released a warrant of arrest against Mr. Omar Bashir. Mr. Bashir stand indicted allegedly for masterminding mass murder and displacement of innocent people in the Darfur region of southern Sudan.
Sadly, Mr. Bashir has defied court summonses, an indication that he is afraid of something. Yet, when Kenyan newspapers reported about plans by the Kenyan government to invite Mr. Omar Bashir to attend inaugural ceremony, concerned Kenyans implored Mr. Uhuru to respect Kenya’s international obligation by ordering immediate arrest and extradition of Mr. Bashir were he to set foot on Kenyan soil. Thank God Mr. Bashir smelt a dead rat and skipped his trip to Kenya.
By and large, it is imperative to note that as long as Kenya remains bound by the Rome statute, our choices are limited to abiding by it. Moreover, Rome statute, which is legally domesticated in our Kenyan constitution; require our president Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy Mr. William Ruto-both indicted by ICC for crimes against humanity to appear at The Hague based court to face charges of crimes against humanity in respect to 2008 post-election violence that left about 1,300 people dead and about 500,000 other displaced.
More importantly, however, the natural law of justice dictate that president Uhuru and his deputy Ruto remain innocent until proven guilty. All things considered, and in fairness to the ICC’s investigative report, my school of thought presume that by the virtue of confirmation of the charges against Uhuru and Ruto, the two; including all ICC indictees remain a “half-guilty.”
That is why I believe until all ICC witnesses recant their testimonies and as long as ICC still claims to have sufficient evidence linking the two to the aforementioned crimes, the duo must attend to all court proceedings. Uhuru and Ruto have a legal responsibility to stand before the court of law to exonerate themselves from the charges and rebut evidences against them.
As president and deputy president respectively, Mr. Uhuru and Mr. Ruto must honor their word and respect all international obligations.
Failure to which there will be a domino-effect that will negatively spiral into Kenyan economic landscape and impugn our Kenyan international reputation.
Failure to respect the rule of law will cast Uhuru and Ruto and by extension Kenya, in bad light and the international community will regard Kenya as a nation that thrives on the culture of impunity. Our economic partners may reconsider their economic engagement with Kenya, a situation that will reverberate negatively and affect ordinary Kenyans.
But there’s hope. In his inaugural speech, president Uhuru emphasized the need for international interaction that will be based on the doctrine of “reciprocity”, otherwise called in biological terms as symbiotic relationship.
I encourage Uhuru to uphold that faith. The two leaders have relentlessly and consistently affirmed their innocence. Indeed if they are innocent, they have nothing to fear. In the fullness of time, they will be vindicated. We hope they will honor ICC process towards its logical conclusion. Obeying summonses and picking up ICC calls will not only be good for president Uhuru and deputy president Ruto in terms of nurturing the rule of law, but it will also be in the best interest of Kenya.
by Jacktone S. Ambuka, a Kenyan residing at state College Pennsylvania. You can reach me at [email protected] or check my Facebook page called Bunyore Discussion Board.