…and why the Kenyan parliament has committed mass suicide
Based on a true story: The teenage boy was a real expert on snakes. He had started handling the slippery slithery reptiles that put so much fear in most when he was a very young child. He would catch the harmless water ones on the side of the Ewaso Nyiro river near his home. But on this fateful day he was distracted by many things including the fact that the very next day he was set to leave for University. He would be away from this place he called home which he loved so much.
On his right hand he held a deadly slithering snake and on his left he struggled with a glove. Suddenly the slippery slithering thing slipped from his grasp and bit his hand sinking its’ fangs into his flesh and releasing the potent venom into his bloodstream before disappearing under the table. He was alone and by the time somebody else got to him he was unable to speak. His mother arrived and desperately tried to get the dieing boy to tell him where the antidote was (kept in the same room) that would quickly reverse the deadly effects of the snake bite. But it was all in vain. Did you know that if a person is injected with the wrong antidote it can easily kill them? To cut a long story short the boy died with the secret of the correct antidote to save his life stuck somewhere between his brain and tongue.
That rather sad scene from the movie I dreamed of Africa based on a true story in Kenya has stuck on my mind and refused to leave since the dramatic events of Wednesday in parliament. Actually it describes very accurately exactly what happened in the August house as impunity made a dramatic comeback shortly after many including yours truly had strated writing lengthy obituaries.
Let’s cut to the chase. Old man impunity has fought back dramatically and delivered a deadly bite on our right hand even when we though we had him. And he has taken advantage of diversionary tactics. It is no accident that the same day that parliament unanimously passed a bill urging the government to withdraw from the Rome statute, leader of government business professor George Saitoti read out a list of drug barons in parliament. Regular readers of Kumekucha have had that list for a very long time but not everybody reads Kumekucha and so it stunned the nation and effectively diverted a lot of attention away from the other thing that the MPs did and its’ legal implications. Actually it was the main thing they were after. In other words what thye had done was start a fire at Police headquarters to rob the Central bank.
The passing of the ICC motion effectively means that the Attorney-General Amos Wako must table a Bill in Parliament to repeal the International Crimes Act. He cannot ignore a resolution of the house and get away with it without facing the wrath of the legislators. Indeed it is unlikely that he will do so because although the bill was sponsored by a back bencher, Isaac Ruto Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka insisted that the bill was “government business” which means that Wako will quickly comply right on cue.
The passing of the bill also means that the executive (Kibaki and Raila) will have to write to the United nations and notify them of Kenya’s withdrawal.
What all this does is to send a very clear message to the International community that Kenya is not interested in fighting impunity. Hardly surprising when you know the history
Sorry folks it seems that Kenyans started writing the obituary for old man impunity too soon. But once again the fact that the headquarters of impunity is the executive has been underlined very clearly because what happened in parliament was carefully choreographed at State house long before it unfolded before the eyes of shocked Kenyans. Complete with the reading of the list of legislators who are drug king pins which was designed to get Kenyans attention away from the deadly snake bite that impunity delivered shortly after that. Now my earlier post about the whole Mwai Kibaki game plan to stay away from the Hague has been emphatically confirmed. Including the co-operation of PM Raila Odinga and his ODM party. See this earlier post.
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At first glance the whole move to withdraw Kenya from the ICC does not make legal sense. Mainly because of the following reasons;
I) Article 2(4) of the new Constitution gives the ICC authority to arrest the suspects under customary international law. And so Kenya is legally obligated to hand over the suspects even if they are no longer in the ICC.
II) The cases were filed while Kenya was under legally committed to obeying the Rome Statute and so it does not affect the Ocampo 6 and the inevitable.
III) In any case the withdrawal cannot take place earlier than 12 months after the request for withdrawal is received (more evidence that somebody is thinking of 2012 and thereafter)
However if you study the past impunity of the presidency in Kenya then you will quickly realize that the whole thing is part of a wider scheme to discredit the ICC and dilute it’s influence, especially in Africa. What will follow is a campaign in the African Union (AU) and elsewhere to the effect that Africa is sovereign and should be left to handle her own problems within the continent.
Whatever happens next it seems that President Kibaki will soon be another Al Bashir of Sudan, a fugitive with very limited travel options. More so when he leaves office in 2 years time. And so will the Ocampo 6 if formally indicted.
But the good news my fellow Kenyans is that the political class has just committed mass suicide. What they have done will unite Kenyan voters more than ever before against them in 2012. Just watch angry voters wipe the slate, that is the Kenyan political scene, clean. For better or for worse that is pretty exciting.
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