This week, Kenya’s Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka revealed in Nairobi that about eight countries have so far agreed to support the country in its ill-conceived move to pull out of the Rome agreement under which the International Criminal Court (ICC) was formed.
According to Kenya’s Vice President, Tanzania was among the eight nations which had so far agreed to back Nairobi’s ill-timed bid to pull out of ICC. Since the ICC’s Prosecutor General, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, named six prominent Kenyans as the masterminds of the 2007 post-election violence, Kenya has launched a bid to have its two cases at the International Criminal Court deferred.
Kenya is believed to have secured the support of Djibouti, Uganda, South Africa, Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Tanzania before the VP left for Libya, Liberia and Nigeria this week, to drum up more support for the ‘pull-out-of-ICC mission’. We as Tanzanians, are appalled by the news that Tanzania, a country well known inside and outside Africa for fighting for justice, peace and reconciliation in the region, is behind the ill-timed move by Kenya. We are aware that what Kenya is doing is not for the best interests of the majority of its 30 million plus population, but just a move to save some prominent individuals, who are members of the tribal alliance Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Kamba (KKK) from the ICC’s hook.
Just a few years ago when Kenya was on the brink of collapse, President Jakaya Kikwete and former President Benjamin Mkapa, helped the country to secure a peace accord that enabled two warring factions to share power through a coalition government. During the historical peace accord witnessed by both President Kikwete and former President Mkapa, it was agreed that those who masterminded the brutal post-election violence should be investigated and prosecuted at the ICC, in order to end impunity in Kenya.
It is utterly ridiculous that four years later, at the culmination of full and thorough investigations and the suspects named, our neighbours have launched a bid to pull out of ICC, claiming that the UN’s court wasn’t fair and fit to prosecute its prominent politicians. The questions everybody should be asking, including Tanzania, are: Why now? Why does Kenya suddenly want to pull out of ICC? Why should we support them in this move?
By supporting that ill-timed bid, Tanzania will not be acting in the best interests of millions of Kenyans, but just to shield some few masterminds of the post-election violence of 2007.
While we highly encourage fair and practical cooperation between the East African countries, what we can’t support is any attempt to ‘rape’ justice as Kenya seeks to do.
Tanzania shouldn’t be part of this move because it’s against the foundations on which this country was established. While we are viewed as very poor, incompetent and cowards by some of our neighbours, the truth is that we are highly respected in Africa because of our contribution to the liberation struggle as well as peace and reconciliation in post -colonial Africa.
Tanzania shares the unflinching commitment to combating immunity and promoting democracy, the rule of law, and good governance on the continent as enunciated in the Constitutive Act of the African Union and therefore shouldn’t be part of the current move by Kenya.
Let Kenya, which has purposely and blindly decided to defy the wishes of millions of Kenyans, bear its burden. We know that millions of Kenyans, our brothers and sisters, are in favour of the ICC’s move, and let us stand with them by rejecting ill-timed agenda like the one being currently marketed by Kalonzo Musyoka.
SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY