BY PSCU DIRECTORS
The ICC establishment have all but lost faith in the prospects of accomplishing anything resembling even a decent retreat in the Kenyan cases. So they have been looking to make history by summoning a sitting president to its chambers to be processed as an accused person. Their only business was to give the impression that whether or not justice is done, “Every Knee Shall Bow” before its judges. The Jubilee Alliance is devoutly committed to our independence and the sovereigny of Kenya. It is the movement of arch-patriots and true believers.
Jubilee’s detractors wailed that the Presidency of Kenya was being captured as a shield against the continuation of proceedings at the ICC. According to them, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were after nothing other than the immunities and privileges constitutionally invested in the Presidency. We always refuted this libel, and we always thought that this charge spoke more to its propagators’ notions of the Presidency’s worth. That it is all about the trappings of power, not serving the people. On our part, serving Kenyans, transforming our country and protecting our sovereignty were the chief aims of seeking Government.
When we said that the President of Kenya would not be humiliated by being subjected to legal process on spurious charges of crimes against humanity, everyone else lost their head. They decided that the president had given notice of non-attendance. All the wise commentators immediately seized upon and held to an ugly confrontation between the president and the ICC, with every attendant fallout very much on the cards. Warrants of arrest. International isolation. Fugitive president, and so forth.
So now, Uhuru Kenyatta will be in the Chamber after all. Just not as President of Kenya. His official roles can be delegated, meaning that he can walk the streets as a private individual without abdicating his office. And he has shown uncommon grace in entrusting his able and trusted deputy with his office, so that the symbol of our sovereignty and unity is not polluted by tawdry spectacles in foreign climes.
President Kenyatta has been true to his word. The ICC remains a personal challenge that he will confidently and ably confront. In his personal capacity. He has never contemplated hiding behind the Presidency to avoid the nuisances and encumberances of the ICC case. He has remained committed to his commitment to cooperate with the court and vindicate his name. He solemnly pledged to protect the constitution and the sovereignty of the people of Kenya, who overlooked fallacious blandishments and elected him anyway. He deeply honours the people of Kenya. What he did on Monday was surprising and unprecedented. But it reminds us of the abundance of governance magic that lie unexplored in our constitution. It is perfectly constitutional. It dramatically profiles our commitment to the rule of law and our sovereignty, and completely rubbishes the retarded proposition that Jubilee’s presidential quest was all about the ICC. It also highlights how minimally the ICC cases have impacted on the smooth running of government. Because of this commitment and patriotism, Jubilee is forging powerfully ahead, driving an epochal transformative agenda. We are being vindicated at every turn. Every day, Kenyans realise that they made a brave and wise choice in electing the Dynamic Duo.
As ever with such moments, there are winners and losers. We cannot think of a bigger winner that Uhuru Kenyatta himself. He has shown that he is bigger than politics, bigger than titles and offices and certainly bigger than any airs and graces his detractors at home and abroad might assume. His commitment to Kenya, something we have known as long as we have worked with him, is complete, unwavering and deeply touching. Obviously, this is also a big win for the entire Jubilee family. They made the right choices. They happily stand behind a duo that makes them prouder every day. Acting President William Ruto is also a winner. His fairytale streak from a juvenile hawker in little Sambut village to the official presidential understudy is nothing short of Kenyan political folklore.
But it really is about Kenya, first and foremost, now and always. Kenyans can go about their lives confidently, knowing that nothing their leaders do will bring them to shame. As the owners of our sovereign power, it is always important that this assurance is unambiguous in word and deed. Kenya is our commitment. Kenyans are sovereign. They deserve respect from everybody in every part of the world.
The speedy termination of the ICC cases is eseentially a function of the prudence of the legal and political minds driving it. All the juice has been sucked out of it and its flimsy husk is quite unsightly. But that is their prerogative. For us, our belief in the President’s innocence will do just fine until the day the case duly collapses. The main thing is that the transformation of Kenya is firmly underway.
By Munyori Buku, Eric Ng’eno, Emmanuel Talam, James Kinyua and Dennis Itumbi.
(The authors are senior directorsof the PSCU at State House)