President Uhuru Kenyatta asks Kenyan MPs to cut ties with ICC
In a report tabled in the National Assembly, the Head of State asks the MPs to implement three resolutions passed by the House seeking to “suspend any links, cooperation and assistance” with The Hague-based court.
“Parliament is urged to take necessary measures to ensure the actualisation of these resolutions, but to do so in a manner that respects our constitutional order,” President Kenyatta says in the report.
But as he urges MPs to sever the ties, the President is emphatic that his administration would put measures in place to deal with crimes such as the ones that were committed during the 2007-2008 post-election violence if they recur.
“Prompt and effective national prosecutions of mass atrocity crimes will ensure that the ICC remains a ‘court of last resort’ as envisaged in the Rome Statute. (Kenya) will continue to support the principle of complementarity,” Uhuru says in the report.
According to the President, his administration’s push for the country to opt out of the ICC arises from the perception of the court as a tool for “neocolonialism and imperialism”.
“Manipulation of the ICC as a political tool continues to affect the court’s credibility,” the President notes, adding that Malabo Protocol on the setting of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights remains a priority for his administration.
The Protocol is set to be submitted to the House for approval. “Kenya is also engaged in efforts to create a robust continental judicial architecture to ensure that international crimes do not go unpunished,” he says.
In the report, Uhuru also accuses ICC of “inadequate investigations, biased prosecution, unprocedural recharacterisation of charges, perjury by intermediaries and corruption in recruitment”.
Currently, a bill that seeks to repeal the International Criminal Act- the law that binds Kenya to the Rome Statute – is also pending in the House.
In the bill, the MPs allied to President Kenyatta’s coalition, which has a near-absolute majority in the House, have dismissed the ICC as “most important threat to the country’s stability”.
In a memo to explain the rationale for the Bill, its mover, Boniface Otsiula (Bumula), accuses the ICC of “terrorisation and disappearance of Kenya’s citizens”.
“By adopting a flawed, unsound and perfidious investigatory process, the court has developed into a handmaiden for victimisation and evidentiary collusion unknown to the Common Law system which ours and many Commonwealth countries have embraced for centuries,” said Otsiula.