Please dont come to Kenya

icc_luis_moreno_ocampoInternational Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo wanted to come to meet the President and Prime Minister this week, but they asked him to hold on for three weeks.

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo, who personally delivered Mr Moreno-Ocampos written request for an appointment with Kibaki and Raila told The Standard though the Chief Prosecutor will have to wait a little longer, his letter had a sense of urgency.

“It is true that the letter suggests an element of urgency and that the victims must be prosecuted and punished if the crimes meet the threshold of international crimes, he revealed.

Mutula said he had communicated with Moreno-Ocampo about the new November 3 date set by the two leaders and was awaiting his response. “I already communicated with Ocampo last evening (Monday) on phone, and this morning I sent him a faxed statement. We are waiting for his response,” he added.

Independent sources told The Standard that during the three-hour meeting between Mutula and the principals on Monday, some of the Presidents henchmen advised the Head of State to bar Ocampo from coming.

“But the President seemed not bothered with these games and directed Mutula to respond to Ocampo and give him the November 3 date, after he spoke to Raila,” our source revealed.

Kibaki and Raila explained his visit to inquire on the prosecution of those suspected to hold higher responsibility for post-election violence was not possible because the PM first has to travel to China. It is only after he returns that they would meet Ocampo, who was set to come this week hot on the heels of Chief Mediator Kofi Annan who last week warned Kenya was suffering from a crisis of confidence on its leadership.

With the stroke of the pen the Big Two appeared to momentarily find a safety valve for the sustained pressure from the international community, including US European Unions 27-member State and Canadas threats of travel bans.

Also in the series of actions seemingly choreographed to force Kenya to hasten the pace of reforms before 2012 elections, was Annans fact-finding and consultative visit, as well as Ocampos ground-breaking visit on post-election violence, which took Kenya to the precipice.

Waki Commission

The deferment of a date with Ocampo gives Kibaki and Raila three weeks to prepare for encounter with the man itching to prosecute 10 prominent personalities, including at least six ministers, believed to be in the sealed indictment letter given to Annan by the Waki Commission for onward transmission to Ocampo.

Ocampos diary in Kenya would include explaining to the principals Kenyas obligations to ICC, and the need to adhere to Annans demand that the lesser perpetrators are dealt with by a yet-to-be created special local tribunal, which meets international standards.

The wave of violence, which broke out immediately Kibaki was declared winner of 2007 presidential election claimed about 1,300 lives, led to massive destruction of property, and 300,000 were uprooted from their homes.

Ocampo, who has declared every chip was falling in place and he was raring to make Kenya an example to the world on the cost of impunity, wrote to Kibaki and Raila on Friday.

“The PM will be in China for about two weeks and therefore a consensus was reached with Kibaki that Ocampo be given a new date November 3,” added Mutula.

Mutula said the new date was appropriate for him as the link person to give him time to prepare the agenda since the visit would be historic.

And following Ocampos insistence to move with speed there has been jitters around President Kibakis allies keen to have him keep away Ocampo.

Planned to steal elections

But even as Ocampo mulled over the deferment of his visit, two Rift Valley MPs demanded a, “fresh, objective and independent” investigation of post- election violence to uncover the root causes of the killings that followed after Kibaki was controversially declared winner of the 2007 presidential elections. They also want the probe to include “those who planned to steal the elections”.

Eldama Ravine MP Moses Lessonet and Benjamin Langat (Ainamoi) declared that only a parliamentary system of government would reduce political tension and competition for president and ensure fair distribution of power and resources.

The MPs, who come from Railas party, claimed Kibaki and the PM have failed to steer the reform agenda, address poverty, unemployment, and inequitable distribution of resources. This failure, they argued, had opened the window for Annan to act as Kenyas Third principal, pushing the two.

At a separate press conference, backbenchers and civil society expressed fear the Coalition Government may delay ICC action.

Although they welcomed Ocampos visit, they doubted the two principals willingness to work with him. The MPs who spoke were Gitobu Imanyara (Imenti Central), Boni Khalwale (IKolomani), Danson Mungatana (Garsen), Eseli Simiyu (Kimilili) and David Ngugi (Kinangop).

The civil society executive directors who took this stand were Njeri Kabeberi (Centre for Multiparty Democracy), Ndungu Wainana (International Centre for Policy and Conflict) and Patricia Nyaudi (Fida). They said the Government lacked the will to fight impunity and may just pay lip service on ICCs demands.

“We have observed the Government is unlikely to refer the Kenya situation to ICC, as well as frustrate or block Ocampo should he wish to act on his, said Mr Imanyara.

The Standard

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