Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Eldoret North MP William Ruto (right)
By Standard Team
Kibaki’s removal of pro-ICC Mutula from Justice ministry,
Recall of Mutula, Wetangula from Cabinet Sub-Committee on ICC,
Kibaki dispatch of Kalonzo to Bashir with ‘Special message’,
Mutula replacement with Eugene, key member of G7 Alliance,
AG appointment of eminent lawyers to advise State on ICC,
Release of fake UK dossier claiming Kibaki too may be indicted,
Uhuru reawakening Gema and push for two million signatures,
ICC claims about suspicious hacking of witness e-mail accounts,
The long series of appeals Kenya filed against ICC trails,
Kibaki switch from December election date to March 2013,
State’s sudden plan to reopen 5000 post election case files.
Will President Kibaki co-operate with International Criminal Court in the next phase of trials if post-election suspects lose the last appeal standing between them and full trial at The Hague?
This is the big question lurking in the shadows of a series of events and even his own actions, which seem to point at the fact that something could be in the offing, or in the least, that someone may be softening the ground for non-co-operation with ICC.
The speculation something could be afoot rose on Tuesday, not just because of the reshuffle that settled scores over The Hague row in Cabinet.
This was also the same day Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, who with the blessing of the President, led the shuttle diplomacy across the globe to lobby for deferral or return of Kenya’s case at The Hague to the local courts, was in Sudan with a "special message’ for President Omar Al Bashir.
Now, Bashir is the besieged President indicted by ICC and whose movement is limited because an arrest warrant is out for him. However, it came out he enjoys a cozy relationship with Kibaki’s administration when in 2010 he came to Kenya without fear of arrest and handover to the ICC.
The VP’s office, however, insists the visit had nothing to do with ICC, though it is unlikely a meeting between President Kibaki’s messenger and an ICC VIP suspect would end without discussions on The Hague given the profile of Kenyans fighting off full trial.
"The Vice-President went to deliver a message on behalf of President Kibaki to President Bashir on the South-North (Sudan) conflict," said Kaplich Barsito, the VP’s spokesman.
As Kalonzo met Bashir Kibaki reshuffled his side of the Grand Coalition Cabinet, transferring outspoken Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo from Justice Ministry, and Moses Wetangula from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The changes saw the two replaced at the Cabinet sub-Committee on ICC by their successors in their previous offices – Eugene Wamalwa and Sam Ongeri.
The two newcomers to the sub-committee are perceived to be closer not only to the President, but even more sympathetic to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret William Ruto, who are the key pillars of the G7 Alliance.
In the ICC trials, particularly for logistical, consultative and co-operation reasons, Justice and Foreign Affairs ministries play a significant role, and wield influence on the committee that is more like a clearing house for Government-ICC talks.
"The State is slowly gravitating towards an anti-ICC establishment and it is being pushed by anti-reform forces among us," claimed Land minister James Orengo, who is a member of the sub-committee. He complained Mutula’s removal was bound to affect progress made on co-operation with ICC.
"I am seeing an attempt to prepare the stage for non-co-operation with ICC if you examine the recent happenings, but it will boomerang," Orengo warned.
He added: "Yes, you can fail to co-operate with ICC but remain a fugitive who is a villager...you cannot travel abroad."
Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara said he was perturbed the Government had not been categorical on co-operation with ICC. "Going by what has happened one would arrive at the irresistible conclusion that the Government is preparing ground for non-co-operation," he added.
Also ahead of the eagerly awaited ruling on last appeal expected in May, two significant developments took place. In what could be argued to be a precursor to the Cabinet changes, last Friday, Gema (which brings together the Gikuyu, Embu and Meru communities) feted Uhuru in Limuru as central Kenya’s leader. They announced plan to collect two million signatures to petition ICC to postpone the Kenya case until after the General Election.
"The Government has not dissociated itself from the tribal meeting in Limuru yet the President’s name also featured at the meeting," complained Imanyara.
Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ said if at any stage the court senses non-co-operation it would demand the Head of State personally co-operates by handing over the accused persons.
"If he doesn’t do so then a warrant of arrest would be issued against him personally and that is the nature of the International law as currently crafted," he added.
Earlier, Attorney General Githu Muigai appointed an eminent team of lawyers to advise the State on the ICC trials. It may be significant that the reshuffle and Kalonzo’s trip to Sudan came after these experts told the Government that the government would have no choice but to handover the suspects if their petition flops and ICC issues warrants of arrests.
Further signs that could trigger the question whether there might be a conspiracy building up against The Hague came up when ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo protested the e-mails accounts of some of its witnesses and their associates were being hacked.
Towards this end, police arrested a local journalist and dispatched two senior officers to The Hague to follow up the matter. The claim, if true, has serious implications for the lives of the witnesses, and could even undermine the case at The Hague if they then decide to step down from the dock for fear of their lives.
The State’s plan to reopen the 5,000 old post-election files also triggered debate on whether it was not either a silent threat to or vengeance scheme against some politicians who escaped ICC radar, or even an attempt to persuade The Hague Kenya has come of age and can no be trusted to try all post-election violence cases.
Side by side with this was the other curious action of recording statements from some of the ICC suspects by Criminal Investigations Department. This was seen as an attempt to persuade ICC that the Government can indeed be ‘trusted’ to handle the cases involving the big fish too.
But again this was done just as the Government hired British legal experts to fight off its case at The Hague through a series of appeals and jurisdictional arguments.
Alongside the claims of hacking of e-mail accounts came the so-called ‘UK Dossier’, dismissed as fake by Britain. The dossier purported to show that Kibaki, too, may be indicted on retirement, and that Prime Minister Raila Odinga could have played a role in The Hague cases, and is also the preferred candidate for the West.
Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo who tabled the dossier in Parliament declined to discuss the matter, saying: "I am prohibited to discuss such a matter when it is under investigation so let us wait and see what the committee would come up with." Change of mind
Wajir West MP Adan Keynan, who is leading parliamentary probe into the dossier, refused to comment on it until the inquiry is over.
The last significant action on this front was President Kibaki’s certain change of mind on support for a December 2012 elections date to March 2013, which gives him the possibility of being in power until around May in case there will be an election run-off.
Kajwang’ argued Kenya tied its hands the moment it ratified the Rome Statue. "If there was any attempt to do any of these then the Government would be committing a serious international crime," he said.
That right there is what makes the 'mzungu' have a hand in your affairs...whether you like it or not.
Those people are not just there to train KDF but in actual essence to protect the investments of the
Brits and the West in Kenya. The 'whiteman' doesn't do anything for free and I know you know that.
So it is hypocritical for Kenyans to say they dont want the West determining their affairs yet the same
West have colossus amounts of investment in the Jamhuri....which props up the Kenyan economy in
one way or another.
Thus you can't have your cake and it eat it too...so goes the saying.
Now we are just heading to an endless debate. My conclusion is politically, the people from western governments must not bypass the rule of law to impose their political agendas or favoured candidates. There are also foreigner investments in all countries in Rwanda uganda tanzania and burundi though a cross-section of guys may deny.
What Kibaki’s snub means for old Europe By MICHAEL HOLMAN
There is bad news for those aggrieved European diplomats whose complaints about being denied access to President Kibaki made headlines last weekend.
Goaded by the diplomats’ grumbles, angered by the arrogance that lay just below the surface, and astonished by the apparent ignorance of the shift in international relations with Africa, State House let rip:
“The world has changed, and so have our priorities”, the diplomats were in effect told. “The countries you represent are rapidly declining in importance. So stop trying to jump the queue. The President’s diary is full. Period.”
It was a two-fingered diplomatic snub that doubtless sent the ambassadors into a flurry of activity, composing dispatches trying to play down such a frank dismissal. Yet the message at the heart of the State House response could not be ignored. The Kenyan worm has turned — at last.
For years the Kenya Government did the bidding of the bwanas in Britain and bosses in Washington.
Whether boycotting the 1980 Moscow Olympics or being soft on apartheid, whether making deals that turned Mombasa into a US navy facility, or allowing north-east Kenya to become a vast training ground for British troops, State House could be counted on to meekly roll over and comply with West desires.
Those days have gone. And in making it clear that Europe no longer counts in the way it once did, I suspect that State House is reflecting a widely held view.
Ever since Kenya became independent, a steady stream of emissaries from Europe has beaten a path to the State House door, confident that it will open in automatic welcome.
Isay “emissaries”, but only for lack of a collective noun to describe this gaggle of political has-beens and want-to-bes, junior ministers and smooth opportunists, and assorted influence-peddlers and sales people, all still shaped by the colonial past, all with one assumption in common: that a meeting with the native in charge was no more than their rightful due.
That access has ended and they are the casualties of a new dispensation. Whatever the failures and shortcomings of President Kibaki, he has identified the international political reality that followed in the wake of the economic changes taking place throughout the continent.
From Johannesburg to Juba, from Lagos to Lusaka, something dramatic is afoot. Fuelled by new oil finds, funded by cheap loans from China, and by returning capital from the diaspora, Africa’s landscape is being transformed.
But it is more than new shopping malls and office blocks, paved roads and new ports, skyscrapers and airport terminals.
Governance is improving
Governance is improving. The military stay in the barracks — or are shunned when they venture out — and human rights are higher on the agenda.
@AB-Titchaz hapo kwenye maroon ndio naweza kuitaja kama maendeleo ya kweli. African governments to have teeth to bite and not be swayed left right and center
Kikuyus ought to be vigilant on events that will change Kenya socia-politico structure forever. Kikuyu and affiliates have enjoyed fruits of sovereign Kenya since independence day in early 1960s. The three Os (Oginga-Obama-Ocampo) connection has determined to put to end the Kikuku dynasty. It is now time for Jaluos
why should we base our arguments based on tribalism...