Uhuru Kenyatta : Liberty Goes On Trial – Sola Ademiluyi

Jomo Kenyatta came back from Britain in 1946 after a long sojourn there in his unflinching quest for the proverbial Golden Fleece to bring the message of freedom to beleaguered Kenyans who were groaning under the yoke of colonialism. His nationalistic activities saw to the formation of the Mau Mau movement and led to his seven yearsincarceration. In a combination of the role of the Biblical Moses and Joshua, he led the Harambee Nation into independence in 1963.

Uhuru Kenyatta was born shortly before independence and the fact that it was approaching must have informed the decision by Jomo to name him Liberty – the English translation of the Kikuyu name.

He grew up to be outspoken and demanded that the youths be given more political opportunities as the space seemed choked up by the men of old. The then President Daniel Arap Moi decided to take him under his wing by first appointing him into the national parliament after his first electoral loss and later ensuring he became the presidential candidate of the Kenyan African National Union (KANU). Moi’s action was seen as a sort of payback since he diligently served his father as the country’s first vice president and the young man would not likely give him troubles as his regime was far from stellar.

There was opprobrium within the ruling party leading to Oginga Odinga, a key figure in the party whose father was a prominent nationalistic figure pitching his tent with Mwai Kibaki to stop Moi’s plan of crowning Kenyatta as his successor.

In 2007, Kenyatta backed Kibaki who was then angling for a second term in adherence to the axiom that in politics there are no permanent friends or foes but interests. William Ruto, the current vice president threw his weight behind Oginga Odinga. Kibaki won eventually but his victory could be rightly described as pyrrhic.

Violence erupted all through the country which cost the deaths of about 1200 people with about 500,000 rendered homeless.

When Kenyatta was campaigning for the highest office in the land, the International Crimes Commission (ICC) alleged that he was a co-perpetrator in the 2007 crisis pursuant to article 25(3)(a) of the Roman statute for crimes against humanity of murder, deportation/forcible transfer, rape, persecution. The foxy politician turned these allegations into political capital by opining that the international community was attempting to interfere in the internal affairs of the country which was tantamount to a threat to her sovereignty and urged his supporters and Kenyans to vehemently resist this. This worked like magic and he won without having to go on a run off.

His trial date has been fixed for November while Ruto’s is in September. Public opinion shapers;are still playing the Sovereignty threat card and are whipping up nationalistic sentiments.

There is nothing with the two helmsmen of the tourist country going on trial for alleged crimes bordering on the violations of two basic fundamental human rights – right to life and shelter. Kenya is not a country in isolation and moreover it is part and parcel of the United Nations. This will set a precedent for politicians in the continent not to get involved in post election violence which is fast becoming the norm. Their bestiality which seems condoned even by their fellow countrymen will now be openly condemned and greatly sanctioned. The world has fast evolved into a global village fuelled on interdependency. The rights of those killed are now the concern of the ICC as it cannot be seen as a mere Kenyan affair as some of our retrogressive African decision makers view it. There is no way the inalienable sovereignty of Kenya is been placed under threat.

Crimes against humanity transcend national borders and it is a well known fact that the judiciary in most African States have been grossly compromised. Most appointments into the judiciary are made by political office holders and most times due process is subverted. Funding is also the responsibility of the executive in most of these countries. You do not need to let a seer tell you that justice in these places is akin to chasing a pie in the sky. Has any group – human rights or not,sued any politician for the 2007 violence in Kenya? Doesn’t the world deserve to ask questions about the brazen denial of the rights of the deceased people?

It is high time we jettisoned the ‘big man’ syndrome which degrades the noble concept of accountability and constantly let our leaders know that they are mere stewards who hold these offices in trust.

We should be objective as Africans to know that true power resides in the people who have the right to pelt their leaders with eggs.

Let Uhuru go to trial!

Sola insists that Uhuru Kenyatta should face trial for committing crime against humanity