NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 3 – Newly appointed Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa now says that his ministry is not charged with handling matters relating to the International Criminal Court (ICC).,
Wamalwa said on Tuesday that ICC matters are officially handled by the Ministry of Internal Security and the office of the Attorney General.
The minister who is a close ally of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto – who are facing charges at the ICC – said the law must be allowed to take its course.
“There has been a misapprehension about my appointment and there are those who think that my ministry is in charge of the ICC; that is a misconception, these matters should be handled by the Internal Security and that’s why (Minister George) Saitoti chairs the Cabinet sub-committee on the ICC,” stated the minister.
The Saboti MP said that the International Crimes Act had clearly provided for authorised channels in dealing with requests by the global crimes court.
Section 2 of the International Crimes Act defines minister as: “The Minister for the time being responsible for matters relating to national security.”
Section 21 of the Act provides that: “A request for assistance shall be made through an authorised channel and… be transmitted to the minister; or in any other case, be transmitted to the Attorney- General or a person authorised by the Attorney-General to receive requests.”
He insisted that his predecessor Mutula Kilonzo who was vocal on the ICC issue went unnecessarily out of his way. Wamalwa assured that that he will channel more of his energies on national cohesion ahead of the general election.
“He put a hand in a pie that was not his and was very pronounced on the matter. The ministry is also in charge of national cohesion and this is where I am turning my focus. This country has not healed, we are close to the election and we have done very little,” he emphasised.
The ICC confirmed cases of crimes against humanity and is set to try Kenyatta, Ruto, former Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang.
Last week Kilonzo left the Justice Ministry for the education docket saying he expected Wamalwa “to have an easy ride in the otherwise tough ministry since he’s a member of the G7 Alliance.”
Kenyatta and Ruto have declared interest in the presidency and maintain that the cases against them are part of a scheme by their competitors to lock them out of the presidential race.
During his reign, Kilonzo was vocal on the ICC matter maintaining that the country got itself into the situation of having its nationals tried by the international court.
Before he left, he had fired up debate on the issue insisting that Kenyatta and Ruto cannot be entrusted in leading the same humanity they are accused of committing crimes against.