Friday, September 06, 2013

Who will save us from ourselves?

Well, we done gone and lost our damn minds! The motion by Parliament that Kenya must withdraw from the Rome Statute is a case of the lunatics running the asylum. In a fit of spectacular irrationality, Jubilee acolytes has gotten it into their heads that they must prove their unswerving and ardent fealty to the President and Deputy President in acts that not only endanger their benefactors' liberty, but paint Kenya as a jurisdiction in which common sense is neither common nor sense.

Even the lawyers among the members of the Eleventh Parliament admit that the withdrawal from the Rome Statute will not be effective until twelve months after proceedings are initiated, and that withdrawal will not reverse the process underway regarding the trials of the President and Deputy President. Five years after the violence of 2007 and 2008, the scars are yet to heal; many victims have yet to be restored to their properties, the murders of their loved ones are yet to taste the justice they so richly deserve. What the print media referred to as the Post-Election Violence remains unresolved, regardless of what the results of the 2013 general elections indicate.

It is the lack of resolution that raises questions about the wisdom of the Jubilee coalition's moves over the ICC and the trials of their standard-bearers. In the three years since the Office of the Prosecutor opened investigations over the violence, the cases against the President and Deputy President have only weakened. At each stage of the confirmation process, even as the case has advanced, procedural and substantive irregularities have been highlighted. Witness have been recanting their testimonies since the President and Deputy President were sworn in. Indeed, the dismissal of charges against some of the original six co-indictees of the President and deputy President would suggest that the OTP has a much weaker hand than is acknowledged. And given the win/loss record of the former Chief Prosecutor, the two should be sitting pretty instead of, allegedly, marionetting their parliamentary troops into acts of great folly.

This blogger sees no beneficial outcome, wither for the three accused or the nation, from Parliament's desires over the ICC; there is only potential difficulty. It is one thing to pretend that the trial of our top leadership is no big deal, especially when they publicly declare their support for the process. It is something else to attempt to claim co-operation when Parliament has declared war on the ICC. And even in their aggression against the court, Jubilee seems to be listening to the advise of a misguided senator. Kithure Kindiki was part of the original team of defence lawyers that fucked things up for the Deputy President; now he seems to be the intellectual leader of the Jubilee coalition's designs on the ICC. He misapprehended the law then; he is doing so now. (He should look at the Treaty Making and Ratification Act, 2012, if he thinks we are being unfair to him.)

Parliament has complicated the diplomatic field for Kenya by this move. We may be developing a close and intimate relationship with the Russian Bear and the China Dragon, and deepening bonds with pariahs such as Syria and Iran, but when it comes to global finance and investment, the United States, Great Britain, and the European Union remain our true loves. While markets in the BRICS are opening up, there isn't an economist alive who thinks that the United States and European Union will ever diminish in important as target markets for our products, raw or value-added. The Third Sector in Kenya is dominated by international public benefits organisations from the West; show me one with Chinese, Russian or Iranian antecedents. It is the Third Sector that picks up the rather pricey slack when Kenya's public sector cannot in the fields of education, basic healthcare and grassroots development. What are the alternatives when these Western organisations are finally compelled to pack up and depart?

This blogger has a dim view of the Eleventh Parliament. he considers its members capricious, selfish, avaricious, cruel, indolent, mendacious and in serious need of a swift kick up their collective rear. The events of the past six months have only reinforced this dim view. But this blogger is aware of that adage, Those whom the gods wish to punish, they answer their prayers. Our prayers were well and truly answered.

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