Annan’s stand clear sign Uhuru, Ruto face injustice

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MACHEL WAIKENDA

It is becoming increasingly clear that Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto do not stand chance of fair trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the crimes-against-humanity charges they’re facing.

In recent weeks and months, key figures involved in the prosecution and in the so-called continuing mediation efforts are making reckless pronouncements designed to prejudice the cases.

The ground is clearly being expertly prepared for a massive miscarriage of justice and the first international show trial of the 21st Century.

Indeed, on Monday this week, Uhuru significantly observed, “Even suspects have their own rights in their own nations. From the time we were named, we said we were determined to follow due process to clear our names, but this does not mean we should be denied our rights.”

The Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, and Kenya’s chief mediator Kofi Annan, have made remarks that are explicitly intended to stand in the way of Uhuru and Ruto’s ultimate political ambitions. But both have denied that they are interfering in Kenya’s politics.

In October, soon after a week-long visit to Kenya, Bensouda issued a press statement in which she made clear for the first time the extent to which she was going to rely on evidence adduced by hidden witnesses against Uhuru. Such ‘evidence’ and such ‘witnesses’ are the stuff that show trials in the totalitarian states of the 20th Century used to be made of. Even Uhuru’s worst enemies inside Kenya can see that the ICC really has it in for the DPM.

And then, this week, in remarks that somehow coincided with the announcement of Uhuru and Ruto’s joint ticket for the 2013 presidential race, Annan parachuted into the centre of Kenya’s General Election campaign.

On the BBC, Annan told Kenyans that it is “not in the interest of the country” for the electorate to elect a leader “who will not be able to freely interact with the rest of the world, including travelling to some countries.”

When the BBC reporter urged Annan to come out and state whether he was in fact urging Kenyans not to elect Uhuru and Ruto, he denied this and snapped “do not put words in my mouth.”

Every Kenyan could see right through Annan’s cynicism and advance-rigging mentality.

If this is Annan in public, how does he behave behind closed doors at, say, the Kenyan Judiciary, where he has met the President of the Supreme Court and Chief Justice of Kenya, Dr Willy Mutunga, not once but twice in recent weeks?

The fiction about Kenya’s international isolation being peddled by the likes of Annan in the event Uhuru and Ruto are elected is nonsense.

For completely different reasons, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta did not travel abroad after 1964 for the rest of his life, yet Kenya enjoyed a profile that was higher than anything that came before or since. A competent, high-profile head of the Foreign Office (the Foreign Secretary), the rest of the Cabinet outside the presidency, and the Brand Kenya Board launching a particularly creative nation-branding campaign is all we would need.

The thing to note is that we are looking at a political fault line here, a political divide, the fruit of adversarial politicking and negative ethnicity.

And yet Annan can stand there, with a smirk on his face, and assure the world that the ICC process is devoid of politics. From where I am standing, he is himself a political player now and anyone who says otherwise is a psychopathological liar.

Enough of mind games: The ICC is clearly out to bring down its biggest prey yet – two top political leaders from a functioning, not a failed, State. This is an act of desperation and a clutching after continuing relevance. But it is not justice.

In fact, it is the ICC itself that runs the highest risk of isolation and international opprobrium in 2013 should the perception gain ground inside Kenya, and elsewhere in Africa, that a free and fair trial is just not possible at The Hague for these two national leaders. It is a perception that, with their recklessly partisan periodic utterances, operatives like Bensouda and Annan are doing their damndest to spread and entrench.

(The writer is the Director of Communications of The National Alliance, TNA. [email protected])

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  • onetwo

    ni kazi tu

  • doreen

    Waikenda,You are a young chap on a payroll…….we understand!
    But just note that the prosecutor and Annan are not the judges and that someone from africa-DRC was acquited this week.Also note that out of 40 million kenyans-if surely Kenya is greater than all of us..the two candidates can wait for the trial to end and then contest for acquited that holding all of us ramson under the guise that they are pursuing their democratic right-which i respect but which is not greater than the good of the nation.

  • Jesus H. Christ

    The real injustice is being suffered by the IDP’s, many of whom still live in tents just 40km from Nairobi in Mai Mahiu, who have waited years for government help which has not arrived and for those responsible for the violence that uprooted them to face criminal proceedings. The above article is a poorly written bit of propaganda nonsense that speaks to the sad state of the authors concerns for truth and or justice.

    The writer is cheap shill and this is a miserable excuse for journalism that should never have been published.

  • thegame

    many kenyans will still vote for uhuruto unless they are barred by our courts from contesting (which to me is unlikely to happen). This is the biggest nightmare for annan and associates now.

  • CK

    Those are five minutes of my life i will never back! perhaps author credentials should be placed at the beginning of the article so readers don’t look for insight where none exists. The work of a prosecutor (read Bensouda) is to prove one is guilty and that of defense lawyers to show otherwise. And does the author expect us to believe Kenya had no relations with the international community after 1964 because Mzee Jomo K never travel abroad (if thats even true)? I’d imagine anyone with a title ‘director’ would know international relations is not just about travelling outside your borders!

  • @Doreen In Life times you can be deceived by sights.When are you Old enough to Make your own decision without expecting Payment? If You`ve voted in 3 elections then I think your Old more than Enough to be called Young Chap which is the case with Machel. Am a believer A people been Given their Right to Vote who ever they want cause it`s their Right Unless your NOT a Reformer Like RAO @fa342e1061ff9d2c4aa289c3d62b1915:disqus then you should respect Opinion without resulting in name calling.

  • Nairobi Gal

    We can’t have our cake and eat it, not with this issue. The accused are still innocent until proven guilty. However, it is in the best interest of the country to have an unbiased electoral process and vote for the best candidate who can focus on rebuilding Kenya. We are far from perfect and for the sake of future Kenyan’s, our leaders should be leading by example; not setting one. What would Kenya be if our leader(s) are found guilty? Do we risk our entire country for the sake of a few who have already had their opportunity? If we want real change, it has to come from a larger desire to have a candidate who represents the greater good; which is selflessness. And there was this opportunity for our leaders to show if not for politics, for the greater good, that they too care about our country.

    It’s a valid point. We have for years looked at leaders from around the world who have had baggage with much less respect than those who have no baggage. We are not an island and need to gain back the worlds respect, not forsake it for a few.

    Virtue in leadership is paramount to establishing unanimous support from all Kenyans; is this the case at present?

    Surely, we have internal problems, poor infrastructure, corruption, and more that affects common wananchi, surely we should as Kenyan’s understand that no politician today is facing the life of the common wananchi; they are far too removed from our reality. Yet our focus is on their well being and innocence Will we really receive the undivided attention we need from a leader? Has it happened yet?

    Kenya is slowly being enveloped by countries from Asia and are very effectively going to change and effect our lives, not our leaders lives. Yet, its our leaders who have opened the door to this.

    The worst enemy a Kenyan has today is another Kenyan. We don’t protect our brothers and sisters and yet we want to protect our leadership. What will we do if they are found guilty? Or, do we not care?

    Good luck to our politicians, I wish them a speedy trial and that the outcome is fair and unbiased. Let justice be served,not circumvented.

    I would expect nothing less than good leadership; and this has to be set by the leaders themselves. Just because we can get away with it doesn’t make it right.

    • Ugali Saucer

      Best comment I have read anywhere in 2012! Happy new year !

  • Boiyot

    This is a bunch of gibberish from a very educated person!
    I am sure if you cared to look at our laws you’ll find that if one is a murder suspect, they get locked up straight away. No bail, just prison rights.
    So, which court is being lenient? And don’t forget it’s not only Uhuru facing these charges, there are four other Kenyans. Would you put up such a defence as a party? Or is this only for Uhuru?
    One other thing, Anan and the prosecutor’s utterance were outside any court and they count for zilch in front of a judge! In fact it gives the defence lawyers an insight of what the prosecution might have in store!
    Better research next time… This article and its arguments are just plain STUPID!

  • Kwessi Pratt

    You wont go very far when you take tribalism to international level. First, when international personalities comment on ICC cases, they only confine themselves to well known universal norms that apply in all democratic countries. If for instance, Uhuru was a leader in UK, he could have long quit public life. However, since we are used to jettisoning justice on account of the wealth we have, when we are told that it wont be business as usual if suspects become head of states, we get pretty jittery. We forget that anyone touched by scandal in a democratic society has to bow out. Only very recently, we saw IMF chief lose his job because of mere accusation of sexaul misconduct. Needless to say, sexaul misconduct compared to mass murder is a child’s play!
    We need to move away from tribal desire to lord it on others and then pretending thats pretty normal. Infact, your piece is based on the fact that a kinsman, with potential to become a president, is being urged to lay off because of the stigma he carries. Am sure if Uhuru was a Turkana or some guy from Witu Tana you wont care a thing. I guess, you would be praising Kofi Annan for laying it down properly! Perhaps, we need to understand diplomatic language before we use our “jua kali” knowledge to attack highly respected international personalities! I have even witnessed brothers Uhuru and Ruto apparently telling off those they claimed were interefering with “Kenya’s internal affairs.” But when you look at what they were responding to, you truly get amazed. If a diplomat is asked a pointed question, he politely replies and then goes on to point out consequences of such eventuality. That CANT be interference at all unless you have no time for truth and reality!
    We need to understand that Mr. Kofi Annan would have had nothing to do with Uhuru if we had not misbehaved. Actually, the chances are that Annan didnt know Uhuru before he became a suspect. Those guys too at the Hague also had no particular interest in him untill evidence showed that he was a suspect. So to start creating a situation that point to bias or even personal grudge, is to awfully insult! We need first to clean our act and stop the tendecy to employ self-righteousness. Why are we breaking known international norms if we are as innocent as we claim? Priming your tribesmen in believing that you are being denied opportunity to lead, while ignoring the enormity of charges against you, is pure incitement, if not treachery of the highest order! That also raises curiosity about you. Thats because criminals are known to create escapist scenarios in attempts to defeat justice. Thus, my friend, you are only burrying Uhuru and his friends six feet under by coming up these awafully misplaced tribal arguments!!!!

  • mkenya mzalendo

    In my honest estimation.. we need to rise above this. Let us not be angry when our man is being tried if in deed we expect justice to ever happen in Kenya. The thought that the ICC is targeting Uhuru can only be conceived by a person who supports Uhuru and therefore feels the loss. But please look at the bigger picture, If we never hold any leader accountable for such grave crimes then we are doomed as a country.
    I think the ICC has superior abilities to administer justice and therefore, if in truth the man is innocent, then the triumph will be so big that he would almost automatically be the president in 2017…
    I think everything will play out for uhuru’s advantage if he doesn’t run and is found innocent..
    We also need to think of the worst case scenario where he is president and is found guilty.. ( if he agrees to cooperate in the first place) Kenya would be in a dilemma.
    Again unlike in the 60’s, we are living in a global village my friend, having a president who cant travel will have negative tangible implications on our economy

  • catskillz

    what a load of crap! Uhuru & Ruto should give up their presidential ambitions if they truly care for this country and instead prove their innocence in the Hague.

  • Harold Kinyanjui

    It is an open truth that what caused the 2007/2008 mayhem was a dispute between two contestants,that aside,the two men now facing charges were in opposing camps then,that means if they would talk and speak the truth loudly,and be allowed to express themselves without fear;the scene would completely change,but it’s not too late,they can tell all in court.

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