NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – Kenyans have welcomed the sentencing of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and urged the country to learn a lesson that no one is above the law.
Central Imenti MP Gitobu Imanyara said Taylor’s sentencing should be a lesson as Kenya prepares for the next general election to be mindful that people will be held accountable for their actions.
“Let those abusing their offices know that they will not escape accountability. It is a message particularly pertinent for us in Kenya as we enter the final electioneering phase before casting our votes on 3rd March next year. I applaud this decision,” he asserted.
Kenya Human Rights Commission Programme Officer, Legal Affairs Esther Waweru told Capital FM News that it should also send a message to powerful leaders that killing people and destruction of countries has consequences.
She said his sentencing was of great hope especially to victims who have been waiting for justice.
She said it was also an important step towards building the jurisprudence of international criminal law.
“Finally a message is being sent that no one is above the law. The long arm of the law will catch up. In Taylor’s case, there is one conviction that people can actually see and relate to,” she said.
International Center for Policy and Conflict Executive Director Ndung’u Wainaina described the sentencing as a ‘landmark triumph of justice and accountability over impunity’.
Wainaina further said the international community was concerned about the plight of the victims and the sentencing of Taylor demonstrated victims deserve justice.
“It sends a deterrence message to leaders considering committing serious crimes in violation of international law even those at the highest level, that they will be held accountable for their actions. Justice cannot be carried out in isolation of the victims of the crimes,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kenyans penned their reactions on social media as most of them related the Taylor case to the Kenyan cases against Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura, William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang.
Some were of the view that the four will face similar fate while others said it is a good lesson to end impunity in Kenya.