28 February 2011

Smackdown 101 for ICC Boycotters

Kalonzo Musyoka, the ‘servant leader’ – and yes, these are quotation marks of derision - has wasted plenty of public funds and his servant-leader time that is also paid for with public funds by running around the continent to badger other countries presidents to support Kenya’s bid for an ICC deferral.

For this little pet project that he so diligently executes on behalf of the president, Kalonzo Musyoka came up with a couple of astonishing statements. Reportedly. I use the word ‘reportedly’ here on purpose because Mr Musyoka often calls up media houses and complains that a) he never said such a thing ever, and also that b) he was quoted out of context.

According to a Star reporter, he argued that under the law, the government was obliged to pay the legal fees of those who were acting in the course of their employment during the 2007/2008 post poll chaos, i.e., Hussein Ali and Francis Muthaura. More interestingly, he added that ‘it would be very expensive for the six named as bearing the heaviest responsibility for the violence and further called on Kenyans to help each other in catering for the fees as it would serve to also bring us closer together as a nation.’

More recently, he also said that local prosecutions would enable the courts to ‘dig dipper’ (although I credit Nation’s copy-editing with the ‘dipper’ bit).

Let’s look at this for a second:

Kenyans – yes, those people who elected the servant-leader, I presume (he *did* get a couple of votes) and the whole other sorry lot – overwhelmingly want the prosecutions to take place in Den Hague. End of. Be a servant leader, Mr Musyoka. Or, to use an expression that has become incredibly popular with politicians recently, ‘read the mood of the country’.

And remember that it was the MPs who coined the fun term 'Don't be vague, it's The Hague' while they voted against a local tribunal repeatedly.

No, Kenya most certainly doesn’t have the capacity to prosecute those cases. The judiciary is notoriously corrupt, and even if – and that’s a huge if – Kenya actually made any credible moves towards cleaning up the judiciary, it will take years for this to take root. These cases don’t have years. And if we ever needed a reminder (we don’t), the infuriating bitchfest around the appointment of the AG and CJ are evidence that Kenya doesn’t have its act together.

The new constitution won’t make a blind bit of difference here either – spend ten minutes in traffic and you know how nobody, from the minister with flag to the ordinary citizens, has any respect for rules. None.

Local prosecutions ask a government to investigate itself. A classic case of conflict of interest. It will not happen.

Kenya cannot ensure witness protection. Period.

Nothing in the old or new constitution made chopping someone up with a panga legal. Nor was it legal to chase someone away from his/her property, loot his/her property, or burn people. I am not aware of a single prosecution. Why not? What’s stopping this? It doesn’t need Den Hague, and if anyone were serious, there’d have been plenty of court cases already.

Kalonzo Musyoka also said that alongside a local tribunal, the government would resettle IDPs. I, for one, don’t understand why a resettlement is necessary in the first place. If there is no fight and no acrimony, Mr Ruto, why can’t those people go back to their own property? What’s the problem? Is there any reason why they can’t go back? And if there is a reason, then what has stopped the Kenyan government from resolving this problem? This has nothing to do with ICC or not ICC. At. All.

Remember this?

1 comment:

  1. Andrea, your analysis is spot on. Kenya lacks leaders and we are very unfortunate to be under the rule of businessmen and selfish pleaders. Their calculations all the time revolve around self, self interests, and supporting impunity to protect you guessed it self. They have balkanized Kenya and made it Elite vs Ordinary. Kalonzo has been a clown, except he's not that funny. Can you believe a picture of him in an embrace with Gaddafi only 2 weeks ago. I mean is the guy smoking pot? Our Judiciary is a joke. Imagine Uhuru being tried in a courthouse on Kenyatta St across the corner from Mama Ngina Ave??! My proposal through KPTJ was we reform the institution, then we test it for 5 years. Only then can one credibly cry that it's more feasible and meaningful to try these cases locally. This whole switch to push for cases to be brought here is a gimmick. They know it and so do we.
    Benji Ndolo