The International Criminal Court at The Hague will be the much-needed purge of Kenya’s leadership, heralding the rise of new politicians hopefully free from corruption, tribalism and pettiness.
In history and political science, a purge is the removal of people who are considered undesirable from an organization or from society as a whole. Purges can be peaceful or violent; many will end with the imprisonment or exile of those purged, but in some cases they will simply be removed from office.
Should the International Criminal Court (ICC) make good on its threats to prosecute top political leaders for the 2008 post election violence, none will be left to continue the ongoing misruling of the republic. Prominent personalities from the entire political spectrum will be swept away in a tsunami of justice whose effects will likewise transform Kenya’s social, economic and political landscape.
Opinion polls show that the vast majority of Kenyans want the ICC to immediately take over the cases of those behind the post election violence. Admittedly, it will be several years before the ICC actually jails any of the bigshots but a few years of waiting is a worthy price to pay if we want a new order in Kenya.
Shortcuts in justice – such as a local tribunal – will be so heavily manipulated that nothing will change in Kenya. Even the so-called Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission will be a mere slap on the wrist for people implicated in heinous crimes against men, women and children.
ICC Chief Prosecutor, Louis Moreno-Ocampo, may not know this but he could be the messiah that Kenyans have been praying for. For quite some time, Kenya has been at a critical juncture. Conspicuous greed and avarice by the ruling elite has sown the seeds for violent overthrow by the oppressed and impoverished populace. The only reason why there hasn’t been a mass rebellion in Kenya is because nobody has risen up to be the torch-bearer.
By arresting, prosecuting and jailing the persons responsible for Kenya’s woes, the ICC could avert violent revolution in Kenya and therefore save uncountable lives. When Kenyans see the international justice system at work getting rid of their oppressors, there really will be no need to rise up against each other. However, if the ICC dilly-dallies and succumbs to the wishes of Kenya’s cruel and corrupt leaders, then the world should brace itself for continued ethnic strife in the country.
There comes a time in the history of any nation when a purge is necessary. Just like a tree revitalizes itself by shedding old leaves in order to grow new ones, Kenya has no choice but to discard a parasitic ruling class. The ICC is the tool to make this happen.