Home » Opinion Leaders » Uhuru: ICC is a toy of declining imperial powers

BY UHURU KENYATTA

Chair of the African Union, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, Chair of the Commission of the African Union, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Colleagues Head of State and Government, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me special pleasure to join your Excellencies at this Special Summit, where we have assembled to reflect on very significant matters relating to the welfare and destiny of our nations and peoples. I thank you for the honour of addressing you today, because as it happens, I crave my brother and sister Excellencies’ views on some issues.

We are privileged to lead the nations of a continent on the rise. Africa rests at the centre of global focus as the continent of the future.
Although we have been relentlessly exploited in the past, we remain with sufficient resources to invest in a prosperous future.

Whilst we have been divided and incited against one another before, we are now united and more peaceful. Even as we grapple with a few regional conflicts, as Africans, we are taking proactive measures to ensure that all our people move together in the journey to prosperity in a peaceful home.

Even though we were dominated and controlled by imperialists and colonial interests in years gone by, we are now proud, independent and sovereign nations and people. We are looking to the future with hope, marching towards the horizon with confidence and working in unity. This is the self evident promise that Africa holds for its people today.

As leaders, we are the heirs of freedom fighters, and our founding fathers. These liberation heroes founded the Organisation of African Unity, which was dedicated to the eradication of ALL FORMS OF COLONIALSM.

Towards this end, the OAU defended the interests of independent nations and helped the cause of those that were still colonised.

It sought to prevent member states from being controlled once again by outsider powers.
The founding fathers of African Unity were conscious that structural colonialism takes many forms, some blatant and extreme, like apartheid, while others are subtler and deceptively innocuous, like some forms of development assistance. It has been necessary, therefore, for African leaders to constantly watch out against threats to our peoples’sovereignty and unity.

In our generation, we have honoured our fathers’ legacies by guaranteeing that through the African Union, our countries and our people shall achieve greater unity, and that the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of our States shall not be trifled with. More than ever, our destiny is in our hands. Yet at the same time, more than ever, it is imperative for us to be vigilant against the persistent machinations of outsiders who desire to control that destiny. We know what this does to our nations and people: subjugation and suffering.

Your Excellencies,
The philosophies, ideologies, structures and institutions that visited misery upon millions for centuries ultimately harm their perpetrators.

Thus the imperial exploiter crashes into the pits of penury. The arrogant world police is crippled by shambolic domestic dysfunction. These are the spectacles of Western decline we are witnessing today.

At the same time, other nations and continents rise and prosper. Africa and Asia continue to thrive, with their promise growing every passing day.
As our strength multiplies, and our unity gets deeper, those who want to control and exploit us become more desperate. Therefore, they abuse whatever power remains in their control.

The Swahili people say that one ascending a ladder cannot hold hands with one descending. The force of gravity will be compounded and the one going up only loses. The International Criminal Court was mandated to accomplish these objectives by bringing to justice those criminal perpetrators who bear greatest responsibility for crimes.

Looking at the world in the past, at that time and even now, it was clear that there have always been instances of unconscionable impunity and atrocity that demand a concerted international response, and that there are vulnerable, helpless victims of these crimes who require justice as a matter of right. This is the understanding, and the expectation of most signatories to the Rome Statute.

The most active global powers of the time declined to ratify the Treaty, or withdrew somewhere along the way, citing several compelling grounds.
The British foreign secretary Robin Cook said at the time, that the International Criminal Court was not set up to bring to book Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom or Presidents of the United States. Had someone other than a Western leader said those fateful words, the word ‘impunity’ would have been thrown at them with an emphatic alacrity.

An American senator serving on the foreign relations committee echoed the British sentiments and said, “Our concern is that this is a court that is irreparably flawed, that is created with an independent prosecutor, with no checks and balances on his power, answerable to no state institution, and that this court is going to be used for politicized prosecutions.”

The understanding of the States which subscribed to the Treaty in good faith was two-fold.

First, that world powers were hesitant to a process that might make them accountable for such spectacularly criminal international adventures as the wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and other places, and such hideous enterprises as renditions and torture. Such states did not, therefore, consider such warnings as applicable to pacific and friendly parties.

Secondly, it was the understanding of good-faith subscribers that the ICC would administer and secure justice in a fair, impartial and independent manner and, as an international court, bring accountability to situations and perpetrators everywhere in the world. As well, it was hoped that the ICC would set the highest standards of justice and judicial processes.

 


  • MrJagwen

    Please don’t be vague, kindly go to Hague!

    • kate

      The presence of a group of African sell-outs
      is part of the definition of underdevelopment. Any diagnosis of
      underdevelopment in Africa will reveal not just low per capita income and
      protein deficiencies, but also the gentlemen who dance in Abidjan, Accra and
      Kinshasa when music is played in Paris, London and New York.

      Walter Rodney-How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,

      • MrJagwen

        No need for philosophical statements, we all know the root cause of the African Problem, it leaders/politicians. I mean the African himself/the big man syndrome.

      • Kwessi Pratt

        And if thats true to you then there is no better sellout!

  • Phills Ammy

    tough and touching speed, Congrats Mr President

  • Qwani

    Good speech Mr. President!!

  • kush

    prejudice!!

    • kush

      The people of Ethiopia warn against the deplorable presumption of chopping up meat for a lion

      • rss1234

        at least the people of ethopia don’t have a criminal for a resident

  • kush

    spoken like a King.

  • MuthiigiWaithekanyi9

    Who did Uhuru rape, loot or pillage? Did you see him? And then you call the President of your country a dog? What does that make you?

    • MuthiigiWaithekanyi9

      Obviously you are good with insults and curse words. THAT says more about your thinking and personal situation than it says about the ICC or Kenyan situation. Take it easy on the alcohol by the way. A Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) ticket will only make what you are going through worse.

      • rss1234

        Only God Can Judge.

        • MuthiigiWaithekanyi9

          Really???
          Did not seem like it when you said “wafungwe” and called the
          President of your country a dog! You seem to have judged. What does that make you?

          • kush

            leave this uncle toms alone.They’ll die ignorant if you let them.

          • MuthiigiWaithekanyi9

            I feel you. Thing is, Kush, they are still our brothers and part of the oppressed. We have to try and save as many as possible. Can’t you tell this guy is in great pain and is only trying to vent?

          • MuthiigiWaithekanyi9

            Really? Sorry, but that nonsense was not my level even in primary school let alone now.
            Kush, I agree with you. Tried my best but this type is beyond me.

          • rss1234

            At least us uncle tom’s know our grammar. Try and learn kidogo, it’s not a sin.

          • kush

            illiteracy is not a sin,but ignorance is!!

          • rss1234

            Isn’t it obvious?

            I AM GOD.
            OR NGAI TO YOU.

  • MuthiigiWaithekanyi9

    “For numerous reasons, the United States decided that the ICC had unacceptable consequences for our national sovereignty. Specifically, the ICC is an organization that runs contrary to fundamental American precepts and basic constitutional principles of popular sovereignty, checks and balances and national independence.”
    John R. Bolton, US Ambassador to the United Nations

    • Carey

      Who asked us to join? and why did we join?

      • Kwessi Pratt

        Impunity forces wanted to prove to international community that our democracy was maturing. But they never let go their brutal ways of assaulting citizens. I guess, thats why ICC, which just charged three individuals, is turning out to be a major problem for the country. Impunity forces were only pretentious. They never intented to fulfill their obligations if that court landed on one of their own. Pretence has eventually brought pain and huge waste of time for the country. Impunity is ruthlessly fighting back hard!!!!

        • Naturalsceptic

          “The British foreign secretary Robin Cook said at the time, that the International Criminal Court was not set up to bring to book Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom or Presidents of the United States. Had someone other than a Western leader said those fateful words, the word ‘impunity’ would have been thrown at them with an emphatic alacrity.”

          • Kwessi Pratt

            Am not sure whether late Robin Cook said those words. What I might believe is that he said Suprior judicial systems are not subject to ICC. ICC is correctly for states very close to failure, or completely failed states. Its also for ruthless blood thirsty dictators most of whom dot the African continent. If thats race hunt so be it! Impunity runs awash where courts are toothless as it has been our case. Had our courts shown their teeth, we wont be talking about ICC having invaded our sovereinty. However, am at loss what you are trying to mean. Nevertheless, I do know impunity doesnt run riot in US, UK and quite a number of other western countries. Thats why you CANT get a suspected criminal running for office in those countries, let alone being crowned emperor suspect!!!!

          • Naturalsceptic

            Here I was thinking Bush was elected twice. As for Robin Cooke, you have internet access and, I hope, a library card. It is not my job to convince you – always verify.

          • Kwessi Pratt

            Hidding behind “always verify” or something? I guess, you are coming out fighting for yourself not facts!

      • MuthiigiWaithekanyi9

        I agree we joined of our own volition. The concept behind the Statute is noble, indeed necessary. However, when abuse of any sort enters the equation, it is the responsibility of those affected to make determinations as to whether to continue with or exit the relationship. The Statute itself anticipates this possibility which is why Article 127 is titled “Withdrawal”.

    • Kwessi Pratt

      United States has the best judicial system on earth. Thats why they refused to be party to ICC. However, they fully remained behind the court. They infact arrested fugutives from former Yogoslavia on behalf of ICC. On the other hand, our judiciary bents under the weight of impunity forces. Thats why Uhuru and Ruto were not stopped from vying for offices. That escapist attitude from the truth is what the country is now paying for. Presidency has remained the most crippling organ since this country became a Republic in 1964. It NEVER respects the law or anything else for that matter! If late President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki strictly followed the law, the country wont be so underdeveloped and fighting unyielding impunity 50 years on. Needless to say, these three guys were essentially ruthless tribal leaders.

      • kate

        In his book -How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,Walter Rodney wrote ………….The presence of a group of African sell-outs
        is part of the definition of underdevelopment. Any diagnosis of
        underdevelopment in Africa will reveal not just low per capita income and
        protein deficiencies, but also the gentlemen who dance in Abidjan, Accra and Kinshasa when music is played in Paris, London and New York.

        • MrJagwen

          Kate, Please engage your on mind into thinking, not copy pasting what you cant comprehend into every comment

        • Kwessi Pratt

          And you entirely believed that deliberate insult to all Africans? Whats illogical and cheap?

      • Natty Dread

        “United States has the best judicial system on earth.”

        And jails full of African Americans, and the State of Texas where they’re hanged as frequently as they are beheaded in Saudi Arabia after Friday afternoon prayers.

        • Kwessi Pratt

          It has for sure! But some isolated incidents here and there are everywhere. Actually what I meant was that judiciary in US can interrogate any situation without politicians giving orders as is the case in many African countries. And good lot of African Americans in Taxes have been reduced to juviniles by poverty. Thats why their crime rate is rather high.

          • Natty Dread

            No further comment.

    • Carey

      The US choose NOT to join the ICC,our wise future looking leaders choose ICC;So whom do you blame?

      • MuthiigiWaithekanyi9

        When 2 people marry, it is with the intention to remain together “till death do us part”. However, the woman soon discovers that the man is physically abusive or the man discovers that the woman is unfaithful. When either of them decides to file for divorce, friends who did not marry for their own reasons tell them that they made a choice so they should live with the consequences. They also promise to severe the relationship should they go ahead with the divorce. First of all, are these real friends? Second, what right do these friends have in forcing the couple to stay together and live with the abuse or the unfaithfulness? Should’nt the friends be happy for the couple that they now know what the friends knew all along about marriage?

  • MuthiigiWaithekanyi9

    “the International Criminal Court was not set up to bring to book Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom or Presidents of the United States.”
    Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary, United Kingdom

  • MuthiigiWaithekanyi9

    “Our concern is that this is a court that is irreparably flawed, that is created with an independent prosecutor, with no checks and balances on his power, answerable to no state institution, and that this court is going to be used for politicized prosecutions.”

    MARC THIESSEN, SPOKESMAN, U.S. SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS CMTE.:
    Aired on CNN
    December 2, 2000 – 8:30 a.m. ET

  • Tower

    Unless you know what we don’t know – just cooperate – its not a big deal.

  • Gordon Teti

    FROM threat of withdrawal to a kick of a dying horse called ultimatum

    Did we not say that the threat of withdrawal from ICC was a mere grandstanding and useless intimidation to ICC by frogs and lame donkeys who are known as butchers and murderers of their own citizens for political power. The African dictators led by Kaguta Museveni of Uganda and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe met on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and instead of withdrawing en-mass as they had threatened before the meeting, the cowards backed-off abandoning and throwing Uhuru Kenyatta under the bus like they did before to the late Muamar Gadhafi of Libya. After cheating and beating the drums of war to Uhuru Kenyatta that he should defy the ICC, the dictators have now abandoned Uhuru at the last minute by asking him to carry his own cross. Uhuru was asked to write a letter to the UN Security Council seeking deferral as provided for in Article 15 of the Rome Statute. Sources inside the closed-door deliberations of the Council of Ministers disclosed that Kenya had placed two requests for consideration – that the ICC cases be deferred and that the ICC be substantially reformed. Members agreed on the first request but were apprehensive on the latter noting that ICC was an independent institution and besides Africa lacked the necessary numbers to push for such changes. It was resolved, among other agreements, that a five-member committee of the executive council, including one Kenyan, be formed to deliver the AU resolution and ultimatum to the UN next month. And to ensure this, the AU has given the United Nations Security Council an ultimatum of up to November 12 – the same day Uhuru trial is scheduled to begin – to defer the Kenyatta case. If by November 30 the African leaders would not have received any communication from the UN, the AU will reconvene yet again to deliberate on the way forward. It is presumed that the plan of action may involve mass withdrawal by African nations from the Rome Statute.The decision, arrived at by the African Heads of State during a special session in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, is also meant to benefit Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir who is an earlier ICC indictee. And as if to make sure other similar Kenyatta and Al-Bashir cases do not come up, it was also resolved that any African country wishing to refer any cases to ICC must first refer to the AU for guidance and possible approval. While to those with heads in the sand who think that Uhuru secured a breather, the fate of his William Ruto was swept under the carpet, as AU’s proposed privileges are did not cover deputy or vice presidents. Once again, the african dictators pledged to embark on their own mechanism of trying their own cases of crimes against humanity, mass murder and rape by strengthen the African Court of Justice and Human Rights as the first step.

    • Kwessi Pratt

      African dictators are children of the west that they purport to “hate.” A good lot of them received calls from western capitals urging them “NOT TO TRY ISOLATING THEIR COUNTRIES FROM INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY – read pulling out of ICC! Others like the children that they are, were caution against emerging “spoling model democracy” in their respective countries. French speaking countries, who have never delinked themselves from France, were the first to be hit hard. The pretenders of democracy were quickly made to sit well after receiving calls from Washington DC and London. After those calls, they all looked like bruished men! Their bravado had suddenly evaporated. When a child is left in a basin full of water, it can only start crying atfer tiring of playing with water. Otherwise, its totally helpless to a point of drowning. Thats the situation African dictators find themselves in, despites pretences to the contrary. On the other end, international community knows that leading a country cant be back-dated. So, propaganda aside, these cries of dictators recently assembled in Addis Ababa are likely to be ignored.

  • Jongere

    If Uhuru wants his case to be deferred by the UN security council then this speech will never help him at all. He is increasingly shows that he fears the ICC case and he has a case to answer. The election to presidency is being used to shield him from facing the victims. The victims are also human beings.
    Only diplomacy shall help not defiance or rebuke. Ruto has shown the way to d´Hague. Follow the suit.

    • kush

      The president is proceeding diligently in this case.Since it’s a fabricated one,he has to be careful not to fall into the trap of the schemers and at the same time vindicate himself.

      • peace be

        Diligently indeed. He’s got the best lawyers money can buy; and best intelligence the Kibaki administration had; the innocence of Gandhi; the bitterness of some of the victims of Kiambaa church; and knowledge of the fact that he cannot intimidate ICC. So, what options does he have?

    • Naturalsceptic

      And yet the prosecutor’s office wanted Ruto replaced by an interim deputy president.

    • Natty Dread

      On the contrary, Uhuru’s speech may just as well signal the end of African docility, where countries bend in whichever direction they are told. The conduct of Ruto’s trial totally justifies defiance!

  • kinyan80

    Those trying to gain leadership in this country through the back door should know we are watching.

    • MrJagwen

      Those killing Kenyans and plundering the country to gain leadership should also know that we are watching.

    • peace be

      Kenya is democratic society. No one can gain leadership thru the back door. It is not Egypt of Mali, so dont deceive yourself.

  • Kwessi Pratt

    Kenya is a country awash with impunity and somehow, wants to infect other African nations with that vile bug. But the idea failed to fly in Addis Ababa. We walked with suspects straight to arms of ICC and declared the court our savior. But as is always with impunity, we never meant it. We imagined trial of suspects would never happen in our life time. However, when it became clear things were moving too fast, we had to seek alternative ways of holding the court at bay.

    First, schemes were run through courts to clear suspects to run for highest ofiices in the land. Needless to say, that was in total breach of country’s constitution! The aim here was to make sure suspects were shielded using those very offices. Indeed, these screams to effect that ICC should not try sitting presidents, including those who gained the presidencies while facing serious charges, stem from that. Impunity is NOT a respector of laws indeed! Thus, giving run arounds for selfish purposes is no big deal.

    Secondly, Kenya’s judicial reforms were made to abort by these same same merchants of impunity. As rulings in election petitions are demonstrating, the opposition has to be reduced to nothing. Thats clearly to advance claims of vacuumness whenever the top two leaders are not in the country. Need I add that our constitution has strucured chain of command that doesnt leave any shred of vacuum even in extreme eventualities! These are new irrelevant catch phrases purely for running away from justice, if not to subvert it.

    That only opposition is losing in these so many petitions speaks volumes. Declaration of results in March 4 presidential election took this same same questionable direction. Infact, Supreme Court CAN NOT be said to have interrogated the petition filed by supposed losing candidate. But rather went quickly and shamelessly to endorse the “win” of the anointed candidate. Their reasons for that remained sketchy up to this very day! Did Supreme Court endorse monumental fraud? Our judicial system is pretty weak when weighed against lords of impunity.

    Kenya needs to be free from impunity merchants by following the constitution. Had we done that in run up to last elections, the country wont be spending all her time fighting for individuals. In proper legal situation, suspects are supposed to leave their offices for the country to move forward. Amazingly, they are now using same same arguments used against their candidacies! However, those who engineered their success, wanted us to remain hostages of a situation that hardly concerns us. The country is spending her tlittle energy to hold the sky from dropping on us! May be civil society groups should now take the cue?

  • Carey

    50 Years on we are still mourning having been exploited,US,Japan,Korea,Singapore some of these were colonies too……50 years of incompetent leadership

    • Kwessi Pratt

      50 years of unproductive tribal leadership is just too long. Cant we do something about it? How about rotational leadership?

  • Carey

    Uhuru: ICC is a toy of declining imperial powers….who bought the toy?

    • Naturalsceptic

      “… The USA and other nations abstained out of fear. Our misgivings are born of bitter experience.”

  • peace be

    Perhaps that is why the Western Imperial Powers inscribed in the Kenyan National Anthem: “Justice be our shield and defender”. Our = 1,300 murdered, countless number of women raped, men circumcised, displaced, property destroyed. Teeheee President Uhuru can just join the camp of dictators and be like Bashir of Sudan. Too bad he cannot be Prez for life like Mugabe, Museveni, or Bashir; and he won’t be hiding in the statehouse after 5 or 10 years. When Kenya was burning, who knew that one day Mwai and Lucy wouldn’t be snoozing at Statehouse?

    • Natty Dread

      Wacha melodrama.

  • xxxx xxxx

    “..Shambolic domestic dysfunction” – Uhuru Kenyatta inadvertently perfectly describes the Kenyan government in reference to the U.S.

  • Sajith Panduka

    It’s very well prepared and timely speech. One should not under estimate the African Leaders and Nations capabilities. I think Mr. Kenyata must implement some 7 subtle measures”deceptively innocuous” as he said to make these Red Necks understand basic theories of Humanity.
    It is a known fact these atrocities took place in 2007 but an organization such as ICC cannot bring only African Leaders to books that is what matters here. Africans must unite.

    1. Visa regime for all travelers. (No more visa upon arrival for USA,GB,EU).
    2. Award major contracts to Asia,China,Russia and South America.
    3. Stringent controls to their export such as quality controls,Document Legalization via respective Kenyan Embassies,Import duties and rigid implementation of Laws.
    4. Educating Kenyans not to feel inferior in front of Red Necks.
    5. Give opportunities to all Kenyans to achieve in life.
    6. Ban tribalism in public life.
    7. Distribution of wealth equally and fairly.

    I wish him all the best.

  • Jeff Nganga

    Article well done. Uhuru and the African Union has at last labelled the ICC what it is. A “KANGAROO COURT”

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