This week the ICC held a status conference in regard to the cases involving four Kenyans indicted for crimes against humanity. While former head of public service ambassador Francis Muthaura and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang decided to travel to the Hague for the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former Eldoret North MP William Ruto opted for a video conference, probably owing to their busy campaign schedule.
The Kenyan cases at the ICC have touched off a heated debate as the March 4 polls draw near. There have been concerns that, in the event of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto winning the presidency and deputy presidency respectively, they may use the powers at their disposal to defy the ICC. These fears still linger on despite the pair's insistence that whether they win or lose, they will still co-operate with the ICC.
Western nations have warned that even though the choice of who should lead Kenya rests with Kenyans, their countries have a policy of limiting themselves to "only the most essential" contact with ICC indictees. Bearing this in mind, one can understand why the probable election of Uhuru and Ruto has elicited much concern.
The prospect of influential countries slapping economic sanctions on Kenya in the event of Uhuru and Ruto winning and consequently defying the ICC is reason enough to cause apprehension. The repercussions of such eventuality are dire and would take Kenya backwards on virtually all fronts.
Kenyans can only hope that as Uhuru and Ruto have voluntarily submitted themselves to the status conference, they will also cooperate with the ICC even if they win the March 4 general election. The international law under which the ICC operates is part of our law and we have no option but to cooperate with the court.
The good news is that the ICC is an inherently impartial court and anyone who is innocent and is taken before the court has nothing to fear. But most importantly, cooperating with the court will certainly spare Kenyans the agony of being excluded by the international community.
Quote of the day: "Education has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading." G. M. Trevelyan, an English historian was born on February 16, 1876.