Posted by My Story on October 18, 2009
BY NDUNG’U WAINAINA
The International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo is set to come to Kenya in early November 2009 with purpose of engaging the Two Principals, the Parliamentarians, Victims and civil society on the best criminal accountability measures to take to prosecute those bearing the responsibility for the post-election violence. He has talked of three prong strategy vide International Criminal Court (ICC), Special tribunal for Kenya and the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission.
Last Friday October 16, 2009 marked exactly one year since the Independent Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence (CIPEV) – Waki Commission- gave its groundbreaking recommendations. Today also marks exactly one year since the report were released to the public. The report recorded that 1033 people died (though many more might have died or continue to die due to injuries or other side effects of the violence) and about 650,000 people were forcibly displaced. It was clear that without international community intervention the political crisis and violence would have explode in full scale civil war. The state institutions were compromised and were as problematic as the youth from the both sides of the political divide that were engaging in a war of attrition laced with ethnic expression.
The African Union Panel of Eminent Persons led by former United Secretary H.E. Kofi Annan brokered a peace deal on February 28, 2008 that offered a concrete roadmap to achieving durable peace, security and justice for Kenyans. Central to this roadmap is addressing impunity. The CIPEV report creatively gave a watertight recommendation: formation of Special Tribunal for Kenya failure to which the International Criminal Court would intervene. This particular recommendation caught all politicians flatfooted for it tied their hands tightly unlike previous occasions. The recommendation was a clear recognition of the reality that Kenyan criminal justice was broken, inept and corrupt to the extent that it cannot successfully prosecute impunity. True to this fact, three of the four criminal prosecutions related to post-election violence have been dismissed by the local courts due to incredible shoddy investigations.
The Special Tribunal for Kenya will provide a contemporaneous touchstone, authoritative and impartial record to which future generations may turn for truth and future politicians for warning. The purpose of the tribunal trials is to render justice and nothing else. Even the noblest of ulterior purposes can only distract from the law’s main business: to weigh the charges brought against the accused, to render judgment and to mete out punishment. The Tribunal is concerned specifically with individual criminal responsibility. It has nothing to do with community. And no politician(s) or any other person(s) should be allowed to drag or hide behind a community in pretext that his or her community is being targeted.