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Kenya is an organisation in need of leadership

09 September 2013, 12:22 Mubweka Orodi

After the post election violence, Kenya being a signatory state to the Rome statute, agreed that the perpetrators of the 2007/08 post election violence indicted by the ICC face the charges pressed against them. This was after the nation failed to establish a local tribunal to try and prosecute the suspects.

All along ever since the cases began, Kenya has displayed utmost cooperation with the court. Provision of evidence and protection of witnesses has been paramount and the court can barely have an accusation against the state for non-cooperation.

However, as we approach the state of the trial proper, the calendar that displays the schedule of the hearings seems not to have been considered carefully. There is a high possibility that both the president and his deputy will have to attend the trials at The Hague at the same time. This will result in a chaotic scenario if it should happen that the two are out of the country for up to three weeks on end.

The prosecution side of the ICC has indicated that they are ready to have the trials continue with periodic breaks but the presidents of the court have shown no mercy with regard to having breaks. With the trials set to start on September 10, there is need for consideration of the trial diary so as to allow the nation to conduct its business in an orderly manner.

Nowhere in the world does a president get leave and this applies to Kenya as well. Only when incapacitated can a president be out of office until he fully recovers.

The ICC should realise that Kenya, being a sovereign state and having elected its leaders democratically, must enjoy good and proper leadership.

It is absurd for the court to impose a situation where there is possibility of vacuum of power. Such a scenario will create a volatile environment and official business that is conducted by the president will not be carried out because even the person who acts in his position will not be available.

Therefore, as the trials begin, our cooperation as a state is unmatched and our dedication to serve justice to the victims is paramount but consideration on the diary of the trials must be substantial. The judges need to re-evaluate the manner in which they carry out the trials against the President and his Deputy so as not to overstep the rights and privileges of Kenyans as citizens of an independent state and not to distort the order of organisation in the country.

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