Let's face it. Contrary to Uhuru's and Ruto's efforts to make the crimes against humanity they face look as though they are no big deal, they, in fact, are more than a big deal.
The truth is in Uhuru's case. His political career is over notwithstanding the ICC outcome simply because of the seriousness of the charges.
This is not just making a statement for the sake of it. It is an informed statement based on what happens to individuals who get charged with serious crimes like the ones Uhuru faces.
To be sure, there are not many individuals who face crimes against humanity but, the many examples we know--even of a lesser gravity in seriousness, tell us Uhuru is done. Take the example of OJ Simpson.
OJ or the "Juice," as he was popularly known at his peak, was a star US professional football player like none seen before his time. He was the first professional football player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season, a mark he set in 1973, which was quite a feat considering no other player had ever racked up such yards in a 14-game season.
He also holds the record for single season yards-per-game average, all of which earned him selection to the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
Following his retirement from professional football, OJ went on to become a sportscaster and actor and the sky appeared to be the only limit until the murder of his girlfriend in 1995 and one other person for which OJ was arrested and charged.
Although he was acquitted of the murders after a lengthy trial that attracted a global following, in 1997, a civil court awarded a judgment against Simpson for their wrongful deaths.
The arrest and being charged with the murders marked the end of OJ Simpson's glory days and in all other respects. To seal it all, OJ was again arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada, and charged with numerous felonies, including armed robbery and kidnapping for which he was found guilty and sentenced to 33 years in prison, which he is still serving.
Why did OJ become a non-entity after being arrested and charged with the murders even though he was not found guilty? Because that's the nature of the charges he faced, namely, the cold-blooded murder of two people. People believed he committed the murders despite being acquitted.
This is exactly the same situation Uhuru finds himself in because most people will still believe he committed the crimes he is charged with even if he is acquitted. In essence, Uhuru being president with ICC over his head even as an acquitted indictee is a form of impunity; in fact impunity of the worst kind.
This is one of the many reasons Uhuru cannot be our president given the circumstances he finds himself in. First, as practical matter, were the duo to be elected, both will be absentee president and vice-president as they will be spending all their time at the Hague defending their cases.
Ruto has said they can use technology to run the country from the Hague but this is a joke and the fact that they even raise this as a possibility is the more reason why they should not be elected.
There is no going around the fact that it's impractical to govern a country when one is defending himself in The Hague, which requires their physical presence during trial now estimated to run for two to three years.
Second, given this fact, one must assume that the two intend to abscond and not attend their trial, or if convicted, not to show up for punishment, which is no less criminal. In fact, absconding ICC trial is criminal under the Rome Statute and consequences for doing so are not only specific to the absconding suspects, they are even more importantly national in scope.
For example, were Uhuru and Ruto to abscond once elected, Kenya will be made a pariah state like Sudan. This means we can forget any gains we hope to get from full implementation of our constitution, which may not happen, anyway, with the two in power.
One consequence of being labeled a pariah state is that Kenya will be subjected to economic sanctions and none of its officials will be given visas to travel to other countries, especially those that matter to our welfare.
If Kenya is cut from the world economic chain, that will be the end of our country. You have no idea what the consequences of such economic sanctions can be.
Just the other day, Sweden banned the importation of miraa to that country, a decision which miraa exporter Dan Aritho says is certain to adversely impact the economy of Meru county.
One need not be an exporter like Aritho to understand the devastating impact of shutting the country from the world market. It goes without saying we shouldn't even entertain the thought of being slapped with sanctions of this nature.
Third, besides economic sanctions, the election of Uhuru and Ruto will most likely see the United States, European Union states, and others that support the ICC process shun us diplomatically.
Uhuru was quoted as saying recently Kenya does not need the West. This is simply another reason he should not be elected as president because he fails to understand the importance of maintaining our relations with the West.
That being the case, the only thing this writer and many others see as Uhuru's only option were he to salvage his political career, is to first step-aside from vying for the presidency and chart a path of redemption. That starts with forging a good working relationship with Raila.
Working with Raila makes sense because he's likely to be our next president and even if Uhuru were to give him a run for his money, he'll ultimately fall short as he sees his friend being sworn in as president.
Indeed, the best thing Uhuru could do is simply step-aside and endorse Raila. There is nothing wrong in doing so other than entrenched old notions of political beliefs we must shake off from our body politic.
Stepping aside and endorsing Raila will bring with it immediate and long term benefits for Uhuru that won't exist were Uhuru to defy common sense and continue in his ill-advised quest for the presidency.
One such immediate benefit is that Uhuru would have elevated himself to a statesman by putting the interests of the country first--something very few politicians ever do in life.
By elevating himself as such, he can then find ample time to defend his case at the Hague and notwithstanding the outcome, he will have a far larger constituency sympathetic to his situation, especially if he's convicted than he otherwise would.
The latter, coupled with a president in office willing to utilise state resources to bring these cases to an end consistent with national security interest--a case Uhuru cannot make as president for the reason that most people oppose his candidacy because they believe and rightly so that Uhuru wants to use the presidency to defy the ICC process.
The irony of it is, this would be no different were Uhuru to endorse someone other than Raila as that will clearly be seen as a project designed to do just that, namely, thwarting or altogether defying the ICC process.
However, endorsing Raila will be different because it will first be one significant unifying event of the country that can only be furthered by Raila acting in the best interests of the country in seeking an end to the ICC process consistent with the rule of law and justice for the victims.