ICC ruling calls for unity among Kenyans to forge ahead
Written by David Indeje
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Reading Aesop's fables remind us of “The four oxen and the Lion” A Lion used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four.
Beneath the fable, Today marks a great milestone to us Kenyans. A day our country, us the people are at a (cross road), a day that calls for unity a day that many see the process of dispensing justice in regard to the post election violence has continued to engage the minds of Kenyans comes to an end five years down the line.
This is a day that reminds us a plea made by president Mwai kibaki during the 47th Jamuhuri Day, a call for peace: “Therefore, as the ICC process gets underway, I urge Kenyans to demonstrate patience and political maturity. As a nation, we must also fully embrace the process of national healing and reconciliation. We are one indivisible nation. God meant us to live together harmoniously. Let us all embrace peace and the spirit of forgiveness to enable our nation move ahead. Let us not engage in utterances that compromise our national unity.”
2008, by the time the dust settled, more than 1,500 people had been killed and over 400,000 displaced, following an election that observers dismissed as rigged after the 2007 general elections.
Ironically, this year or perhaps next year based on what the two coalition partners will decide, we shall be having another general elections, one that is termed as the biggest ever in the country’s history after the promulgation of the new constitution.
As Kenyans, we are all called to unite just like the oxen as the political leaders grapple with the challenge of how to to succeed and prevent further violence, Kenya must tackle the roots of its election chaos. These include poverty, tribalism, and the failure of the country to live up to its independence vision.
Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to rule whether six Kenyans should stand trial over violence after the 2007 election.
All six say they are innocent. All are reported to have said:
"I am deeply shocked the prosecutor has made an application to summon me to the International Criminal Court. I state that I had nothing to do with the 2008 post-election violence and I’m innocent of the allegations made," Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey.
“I am a small fish and I ask the government to protect me against any attempt by anybody to harm me, the rest of the so-called suspects are senior people in the society and therefore enjoy good security,” said Joshua arap Sang, who is also the head of (KASS FM) radio station that broadcasts in Kalenjin.
“To issue summons for a person to appear, the pre-trial Chamber of the ICC needs to be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person for whom the summons is requested committed the crime alleged. No such judicial determination has been made. None,” Mr Muthaura interjected.
"I now find myself to be a suspect; I am ready to respond to any allegations made against me. The issues I have raised have now come to pass. It did not come as a surprise to me. All along I knew that there was a deliberate scheme, hatched and executed by people who were not interested in justice,” said the Eldoret North legislator William Ruto.
"We follow the evidence where it takes us. We are not taking into account political responsibilities ... there are political debates, but it is not my responsibility," Moreno-Ocampo said.
“I am ready, willing and available to face the prosecutor with his witnesses in court as and when I am required to do so. My conscience is clear; I neither participated, organised nor had anything to do with the violence.
"It is just a question of time and the truth will come out and shame the devil,” he said while declining to answer any questions from reporters," Said William Ruto.
"My record is clear and it remains very clear that I have never committed any crime," Mr. Kenyatta told reporters at a press conference.
However, according to Ocampo, Kenya’s situation was supposed to act as a case study of the fight against impunity. Thus, he promised to “prosecute those who bear the greatest responsibility for the most serious crimes, those who organized, planned and supported the attacks,” in which many lost lives, were displaced and property destroyed.
The post-election events will no doubt be etched in our hearts and engraved in our history as an encounter with our real self. It was a tip of what happened in Burundi, DR Congo, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda.
Regardless of the outcome, we still need to think and find solutions to create new jobs and share resources and opportunities more equitably. Inequity begets inequity and help build a just and stable society.
We as a people must usher the dawn of a new nation, just in dealing with its citizens, confident in its diversity and at peace with itself. We should always live to be united lest we are attacked by the lion of tribalism, corruption, selfishness within our hearts.