Sunday, November 1, 2009

Why Kibaki and Raila are top candidates for The Hague

By George Nyongesa
Bunge La Mwananchi

It is foregone that ICC prosecutor Mr. Ocampo shall on 3rd of November be a guest of the people of Kenya. The ICC prosecutor will be in the country to shop around for the fastest ship or airplane services that will shortly route the masterminds of the 2007 post election murders, rape and plunders to The Hague. Mr. Ocampo's excursion seems a basket of mixed reactions for 2012 presidential hopefuls as for all Kenyans.

For Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, Ocampo's mission to Kenya is a living nightmare they wish was just a bad dream. The duo is already sleep deprived and experiencing serious weightloss. For Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka alias 'miracle-man' this a divine tsunami that will drown competitors especially if Raila Odinga is part of Waki envelop. Is it any wonder that Kalonzo is on new found mission to unite Kenyans? Ask yourself where he has been over the last 2 years. For Raila Odinga, Ocampo's visit heralds good tidings for fixing the Ruto problem in the Orange Democratic Movement. On the other hand, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki are also suffering a migraine from a likelihood of second miscarriage of project Uhuru.

However, Ocampo's mission considered in the right way is not a mission to fix political antagonism. It is a journey of hope for Kenyans who have for so long suffered grand impunity from their political leaders. It is the rays of dawn after a midnight of disrespect of human rights and rule of law by the powerful.

In all these it should slip our mind that it would be great injustice and an even greater debacle of democracy if the two principals are not indicted to The Hague. The violence that ensued after the bungled 2007 elections was composed of wars fought by persons who were doing it for their preferred leader between the two principals. If anything, none of the two principals is on record as coming out in condemnation of the violence. In fact, one of them issued a call for mass action to protest the stolen election, while his antagonist employed state resources of terror to quell the resulting protests. Whichever side of the divide you may have viewed it from, what ensued was nevertheless murder, rape and wanton destruction of public and private property.

If The Hague process is truly about addressing the impunity that has dogged Kenya for a long time, it must remain clear that there are very few top politicians that can claim to be clean of the impunity. The two principals cannot be absolved while their soldiers bear the brunt of the prosecution. No matter that there were people who executed the orders on their behalf, those people acted on the instructions of or misguided ambitions of their principals. Therefore, if the generals are to be indicted, it is only befitting if not imperative that the principals should lead the pack as they did during PEV. Otherwise, the Hague process would be a cosmetic approach to addressing the roots of impunity. Why should ICC come for William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta and leave Kibaki and Raila? If Uhuru and Ruto are guilt of crimes against humanity for post election violence, Kibaki and Raila are more guilt on the same account. Why should Kibaki and Raila get a soft landing? Who doesn’t know the two were protecting the interests of their masters? Didn’t Waki tell us that some part of violence was planned in the house on the hill?

Further, there is every logical reason that the events that led the run up to, those that characterised the elections and thereafter, are ample basis to indict the two principals. One for having failed as the president of the country, and the other for having failed as a leader of his followers. This leadership vacuum necessarily triggered the senseless killings and plunder by leaving Kenyans confused and with undirected negative energies as the two principals faced off. We cannot pussyfoot around arresting and bundling the principals in MV Hague for fear that their arrest might re-ignite post election violence. We must have the two most powerful men taken to The Hague to reassure the ordinary Kenyans that after all the rich and powerful can also face justice. We must have these two arrested to warn anyone else nursing motives of deploying tools of violence in order to acquire power. Anything short of making Kibaki and Raila to account for their commissions and omissions; for their action and inactions shall be a mockery of justice.

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