MPs wasting time in bid to ditch ICC

December 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – A motion to seek Kenya’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute which establishes the International Criminal Court (ICC), is a waste of time and resources according to a section of the civil society.

Haki Focus Executive Director Haroun Ndubi said on Thursday that if Parliament came to a consensus to repeal the Rome Statute, it would have to go through a referendum.

He said that article two of the new constitution was secured such that it could not be amended without a referendum and if Parliament wished that the Rome Statute should not be a source of law for Kenya, they would need to amend the article which was only via a referendum.

"They are spending their time in Parliament unwisely. They are wasting our tax payers’ money in engaging in juvenile and unproductive debate. They need to use that time to constructively argue on justice as a system because we have many things they haven’t done," Mr Ndubi stated.

He said that the structures which were required for the Constitution of Kenya 2010 to be effective like the establishment of the Constitution Implementation Commission and the Judicial Service Commission had not yet been established.

Mr Ndubi who is a human rights lawyer accused Parliament of lack of vision, credibility and moral standing.

"It is my appeal to the political parties through their leadership to urgently call for meetings with their Members of Parliament nominated through those political parties to debate this issue so that they can understand that there is need for sobriety and calm," he opined.

"Unfortunately, we only have a House that is in pursuit of personal interests, political machinations and power through any means," he said.

The activist said that the current debate to pull out of the Rome Statute and instead establish a local tribunal was aimed at subverting the course of justice.

At the same time Mr Ndubi termed it unfortunate for the President to reassure the suspects who were in government that they would continue to serve in the regime.

"Maybe the President was only right to the extent that what Ocampo did was just to present an application for confirmation of charges. The moment they are confirmed and summons are issued then the charges will have been preferred against those six and at that time there will be an obligation that they either be suspended or resign," he said.

He said that with the cabinet being the highest decision making organ of the government, it would be necessary for the suspects who are in government to step aside.

"You can’t have a government that has an obligation to cooperate with the ICC making decisions around that cooperation when within it there are suspects of that court," Mr Ndubi said.

"The cabinet decisions will no longer be seen to be impartial, objective and independent."


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