Ringera: Too much noise over small issues

The furore over Justice Aaron Ringer’a reappointment to the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission is an unfortunate piece of drama that has induced a frenzy of euphoria among legislators and the general public.

Justice Aaron Ringera

Justice Aaron Ringera

When the euphoria wears off, most will realize that nothing really changed despite what is billed as an iconic step by Kenya’s Parliament to reject the re appointment done by President Mwai Kibaki.

If anything, the ongoing cheap drama is working out perfectly as a tactic by Kenya’s ruling classes to engage in political bargaining, or horse trading, while hoodwinking the people that democratic space is growing.

Now, legislators are on a blood frenzy as they vow to re-examine previous executive appointments and subject them to a similar fate. If Members of Parliament go through with their threat, there will be total chaos in State Corporations and government departments as it will be difficult to tell who is in charge.

Despite all the hullaballoo about the legality or otherwise of the reappointment, the core of the saga was that the ODM wing of government was not consulted over the appointment. Prime Minister Raila Odinga tried to play down the issue so as not to appear as opposing the President but his allies, James Orengo and Prof Anyang Nyongo, could not have opposed Ringera’s reappointment without Raila’s tacit approval and encouragement.

The Ringera saga is reminiscent of previous tussles over the powers of the two main principles in the Giant Coalition Government, namely President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The Prime Minister has numerously said that he is an equal to the President and therefore should be consulted in every government decision. The result of the impasse over powers has resulted in a divided government.

Confusion in government was evident in parliament during the week as Cabinet Ministers harshly attacked their own government. When challenged to resign for disagreeing with their boss – the President – the ministers argued that they were debating as ordinary legislators and not as Cabinet Ministers.

The principle of an independent prosecution agency to tackle grand corruption was proposed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) back in 1997. It was then known as the Kenya Anti Corruption Authority (KACA) and was meant to be an independent body that could prosecute top government officials. However, the very concept of a parallel prosecution body was not acceptable to Kenyan authorities and efforts were made to ensure its downfall.

On December 22, 2000, the High Court in the case of Gachiengo Versus Republic (2000) ruled that the existence of KACA undermined the powers conferred on both the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police by the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya. In addition, the High Court further held that the statutory provisions establishing KACA were in conflict with the Constitution. That spelt the death of KACA.

The present KACC was established in 2003 by enactment of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act. Justice Aaron Ringera as Director and three Assistant Directors formally took office on 10th September, 2004.

KACC has been accused of not prosecuting top personalities who have been implicated in corruption and instead going after “small fish.” In its defence, KACC says that it lacks powers to prosecute and it can only investigate and forward the files to the Attorney General. This situation is likely to persist as there are many in government who are uncomfortable with the idea of multiple prosecuting agencies in the country.

Ali: a very effective police boss

Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali is, without doubt, the most effective police chief Kenya has seen in a long time.

When he got the job back in 2003, the Kenya Police had practically ceased funtioning as an institution. While there is currently lots of talk about police reforms, the situation back then was extremely bad.

Police patrols had stopped. There were no vehicles as most lay grounded in government yards across the country. The few police stations with vehicles did not have money for fuel. Police housing was in a deplorable state. The police command was not working thanks to corruption, under-funding, political interference and plain incompetence.

Crime was at an all time high, as Kenyans got used to car-jackings, robberies, burglaries, cattle rustling and political violence. There seemed little that anybody could do about it, as the Police Commissioner’s office became a revolving door of top cops leaving in frustration.

Critics of Ali would argue that nothing much has changed. For sure, Kenya still experiences a relatively higher crime level compared to similar countries in the region. Robberies, burglaries, cattle rustling and political violence plague the nation. Memories of the 2007 – 2008 political and ethnic clashes are fresh in the minds of many, and have provided ample ammunition for Ali’s critics who describe him as a failure because of the bloodshed.

Police housing has only witnessed a marginal improvement despite billions invested in new units. It seems there was such a huge backlog of housing that it will be a long time before police officers can live in comfort.

However, the problems of crime, cattle rustling, political violence and ethnic militias are a result of structural problems in Kenyan society and should not be blamed on one man. Indeed, some of Ali’s critics have been implicated in the violence that left over 1,500 people dead after the 2007 elections.

Crime is caused by a growing youthful population that cannot find enough jobs, and therefore joins criminal gangs to gain psychological and financial security. This is why groups like Mungiki and others exist. Extreme income inequalities between Kenya’s elite and the majority poor have worsened the bitterness felt by disenfranchised youth.

Cattle rustling is a result of competition for pasture and water mostly in the arid and semi arid areas of Kenya. Since communities see little chance of growing their herds in the face of climate change, the obvious solution is to raid their neighbours for more livestock. Politicians have worsened cattle rustling by either inciting their constituents or defending them from arrest.

Political violence is another structural failure in Kenya that Maj Gen Ali could not solve. Politicians and their parties are quick to play the ethnic card whenever they are arrested for criminal activity. They make it seem as though their tribe is under attack.

Without comprehensive reforms in Kenya’s political, economic and social dimensions, no police commissioner can salvage the situation.

Nevertheless, Maj Gen Ali did his best. Under his six year tenure, Ali re-introduced police patrols across the country. He re-equipped the police force with new patrol vehicles and trucks. He helped supply officers with modern policing equipment. He increased the recruitment of police officers as part of a long-term revitalization strategy. He improved the flow of information between the police and the public, with the best highlight being a video on the Mount Elgon operations against the Sabaot Land Defence Force.

Maj Gen Ali was a no-nonsense police chief who believed in using all available means to get the job done. For this reason, he got in trouble with the international community for ordering the abduction and execution of thousands of people in 2006 as part of the “War against Mungiki.” This will remain a blot on Ali’s career. (Search the Nairobi Chronicle for articles on extra judicial killings)

It is unfortunate that Ali’s tenure at the helm of the police force has become victim to the Kibaki – Raila and Grand Coalition Government political intrigues. Kenyans are wondering how far politicians will go to destroy the country’s vital institutions for purely selfish reasons.

For sure, the new police chief has a tough job living up to the standards of his predecessor. Mathew Iteere has an even tougher job living up to the expectations of politicians and their demagoguery.

Kenya Police chief moved

President Mwai Kibaki yesterday removed Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali from the top command of the Kenya Police. In his place, Kibaki appointed Mathew Iteere in a move likely to be seen as favouring the Mt Kenya bloc.

The move has evoked mixed feelings in Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ODM party. On one hand, Raila and ODM are happy with Ali’s exit. They believe that Ali’s defence of Kibaki’s controversial election victory back in 2007 helped Kibaki retain the presidency when international mediation resulted in the current coalition government. For this reason, Raila has continually been insisting that Ali be fired as part of “police reforms.”

On the other hand, Ali’s replacement is from the Meru tribe – an ethnic group that has traditionally voted with President Kibaki’s Kikuyu ethnic group. Many in ODM see the President’s move as a consolidation of  Mt Kenya’s dominance of powerful state positions.

Maj Gen Ali is now the new Postmaster General. More reactions are likely to follow in coming days. You can read more here:

Change of guard in Kenya’s police force (Daily Nation)

How Ali’s fate was sealed (The Standard)

Raila intellectuals angry with NGOs, diplomats and media

Pro-Raila Odinga intellectuals are accusing Western powers of funding the civil society movement and Kenya’s media in a plot to cut short the ODM leader’s political career.

“It seems these foreign interests don’t mind an openly concerted effort to mobilize a youth-initiated, well-funded, grassroots-based, gender-inclusive movement to stir rebellion against the Grand Coalition Government led by Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga,” explains Dr. Job Obonyo.

Ongoing civic education in Shinyalu Constituency, where a by election will be held on August 27. Picture from the Jukwaa forum.

Ongoing civic education in Shinyalu Constituency, where a by election will be held on August 27. Picture from the Jukwaa forum.

Think tanks working for Prime Minister Raila Odinga are blaming the civil society, diplomats and the media for their candidate’s dwindling popularity. Convinced that their man is infallible, these intellectuals believe that outside forces are working to ensure that Raila never captures Kenya’s highest position. They specifically blame US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger and the Mars Group which is spearheading a campaign titled, “OTNOP”.

The think tanks are furious with civil society for preaching against the “three-piece” voting pattern or “party waves.” The three-piece pattern means that voters elect a councillor, Member of Parliament and a Presidential candidate from a single party regardless of the personal characteristics of the candidate. Civil society wants Kenyans to choose leaders based on a candidate’s viability rather than political party affiliation. Raila academicians see the tactic as a threat to ODM, which took advantage of the “three-piece” system in the 2007 General Elections.

Raila’s political history is characterized by three-piece party waves. First, it was FORD Kenya in 1992, then the National Development Party (NDP) in 1997 followed by the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) in 2002.

Raila’s think tanks are dominated by Marxists who were sympathetic to his father, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. As Vice President after Kenya’s independence from Britain, Jaramogi fell out with founding President Jomo Kenyatta due to his communist beliefs and ties to the Soviet Union. Kenyatta was more Westward looking and reconciliatory towards the departing British. There was a brief ideological tussle in the 1960s which culminated with Jaramogi in prison. Since then, Kenya has been openly pro-British and pro-United States, and supports the US-led War on Terror.

Kenya’s Marxists have blamed capitalism for the widening gap between rich and poor. They also criticize the capitalist system for neglecting low-productivity areas such as Northern and North Eastern Kenya. The 2007 election campaigns revived the ideological conflict of the 1960s, with Raila proposing political and economic reforms that were socialist in everything but name. President Mwai Kibaki, on the other hand, is a firm practitioner of the capitalist model of economic development.

On many occasions, Raila has talked of land redistribution and thereby earned the wrath of the propertied classes. Raila wants the government to control house rents and the prices of consumer goods. Indeed, Raila’s Lang’ata constituency has previously been the scene of rent riots after he called on landlords to cut rents by half. At the Kenyan Coast, Raila wants to take land from Arab owners for redistribution to Africans. More recently, Raila championed a government plan to provide subsidized maize to the poor but the plan did not succeed because the government lacks a retail distribution chain.

During the 2007 elections, Raila was criticized for planning to impoverish the rich instead of empowering the poor to generate wealth. This, say critics, is not the solution to inequality.

Raila’s intellectual wing has named the US Ambassador as the West’s pointman in its strategy for Kenya. “For the past year and a half, US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, has several times urged the Kenyan youth to mobilize ‘themselves’ and force the grand coalition government to bring reforms,” writes Dr Obonyo in the Jukwaa internet forum.

The pro Raila intelligentsia are convinced that Ranneberger wants a Colour Revolution similar to what happened in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. The colour revolutions are notable for the important role of NGOs and particularly student activists in organising creative nonviolent resistance. So far these movements have been successful in Serbia (the Bulldozer Revolution of 2000), in Georgia’s Rose Revolution (2003), in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (2004), and Kyrgyzstan’s Tulip Revolution (2005).

In Kenya, Raila’s backers are accusing the Mars Group of undermining the Prime Minister. The Mars Group is running a Partnership for Change and has been distributing T-shirts labelled “OTNOP” (phonetically pronounced “OTPOR”). OTNOP means ‘Non Violent Resistance’ in Serbian – engaging grassroots folks on civic duty. OTNOP is currently teaching Kenyans to avoid the three-piece voting system, reject violence and refuse cash handouts. For this reason, OTNOP is seen in some quarters as a threat.

The Mars Group is associated with anti-corruption activist Mwalimu Mati. Last December, Mati was briefly detained for leading disruptions during Jamhuri Day celebrations and which greatly embarrassed President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Security services are convinced that Mati is inciting disaffection amongst members of the public and questioned him during his three day detention. It is interesting that Raila think tanks have swallowed what the security services have told them.

It is also interesting that both Raila and Kibaki are attacking the civil society and diplomats using language similar to former President Daniel arap Moi’s speeches in the 1990s. Back then, when Kibaki and Raila were in the opposition, Moi warned against Western powers funding civil society and opposition parties for seditious purposes. Kibaki and Raila rejected Moi’s arguments and fiercely championed independence of thought and association. Now, the tables have turned.

The Raila intelligentsia are still convinced that their man is popular. “Polls also show that Raila Odinga is overwhelmingly favoured to lead the country while the same NGOs keep blurting the trumpet sounds that Kibaki-and-Raila need to step down and allow change to happen,” writes Obonyo.

To prove their distaste for the activities of Ranneberger and the Mars Group, Raila academics have dismissed the Colour Revolutions as “fake.”

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Click here to see Job Obonyo’s discussion on the Jukwaa website.

Click to read about the Partnership for Change on the Mars Group website.
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Raila, Ruto clash not surprising at all

Deep ideological differences between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Agriculture Minister William Ruto are responsible for the split in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

raila_rutoIn their eagerness, or perhaps desperation, to win power in the 2007 General Elections, Raila and Ruto disguised their personal differences to unite under the ODM party. Both men knew that they could not get into government by themselves. This was more the case when Kalonzo Musyoka left ODM in mid 2007.

Immediately after Kalonzo’s exit, Raila and Ruto got into a very strong alliance that helped bring the Luo and Kalenjin votes directly to Raila’s presidential candidacy. Come the elections, the Luo and Kalenjin voted for Raila en-masse. When President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner, the Luo and Kalenjin were at the forefront in protesting the election results. The Prime Minister himself has acknowledged the role of Kalenjin warriors in forcing Kibaki to the negotiating table.

Today, that alliance lies in tatters. Raila and Ruto have inevitably parted ways and are both seeking alternative allies in readiness for the 2012 elections. While Raila is an obvious candidate, Ruto sees himself as presidential material for Kenya’s future. He will either run for the office or support somebody else in exchange for the Vice Presidency or the Premiership. Those mentioned as Ruto’s possible allies in 2012 are current Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta. Meanwhile, Raila is talking to politicians from Central Kenya in a bid to woo Kikuyu, Embu and Meru votes.

Raila and Ruto come from opposing schools of political thought. Raila is a socialist who learnt politics from his father, former Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Due to Communist leanings, Jaramogi fell out with President Jomo Kenyatta in 1966 and became a perpetual opposition to the Kenyatta and Moi administrations until his death in 1994. Jaramogi inculcated socialism in Raila by sending him to study Engineering in the former East Germany which was a Communist state. In the 1980s, Raila was tortured for involvement in the 1982 coup attempt. It was almost as though President Daniel arap Moi was deliberately targeting Raila in order to cause psychological anguish to Jaramogi.

Ruto, on the other hand, was an ardent student of the Moi brand of politics. Picked from obscurity before the 1992 General Elections, Ruto was appointed second in command of a new organization called “Youth for KANU 1992” or YK92 in short. YK92 had only one goal: to use any means necessary to ensure the victory of Moi and the KANU party. YK92 received an unlimited amount of funds to buy support for KANU. The source of the cash was a mystery but it is believed that the government engaged in massive printing of money. The Goldenberg scandal could have provided more slush funds.

Moi and KANU managed to win the 1992 elections but, needless to say, the operations of YK92 had flooded the economy with paper money. The years 1993 – 1994 witnessed the highest inflation in Kenya’s history as prices of basic commodities doubled and trebled. This was when the Shs500 currency note was introduced.

Come the 1997 elections, Moi supported William Ruto’s candidacy in Eldoret North constituency against the late Reuben Chesire. The interesting angle is that Reuben Chesire was related to Moi. However, friendship counts for little in politics and Moi is the master of use-and-dump strategies. With Moi’s backing, Ruto won the elections and was appointed to the cabinet. By 2002, Ruto was a powerful Minister for Internal Security and an ardent defender of Moi.

In a sense, Ruto symbolized the arrogance and corruption of Moi’s last years of office. He displayed a great deal of single-mindedness when defending Moi’s choice of Uhuru Kenyatta as successor in the 2002 elections. Ruto virulently opposed the constitutional review process led by Professor Yash Pal Ghai and which culminated in the Bomas conference. Often, Ruto appeared on national television frothing at the mouth as he dismissed constitutional reforms as an attack on the Moi presidency. To Ruto’s credit, Kibaki ally John Michuki confirmed in 2003 that constitutional reforms were meant to remove Moi and KANU from power.

Ruto has never subscribed to Raila’s populist approach to politics. Ruto is a hardcore conservative more comfortable with Mwai Kibaki than with Raila Odinga. It was naked opportunism that brought Raila and Ruto together. Raila needed the Kalenjin vote and Ruto wanted to get back into government after KANU’s loss in 2002.

Ruto is among politicians who believe that Raila is a reckless activist who cannot be trusted with leading Kenya. Ruto is certainly not a socialist. He is an extremely wealth man who made lots of money through his connections to Moi. Apart from unlimited access to YK92 funds, Ruto was allocated government land which he afterwards sold to state-owned corporations at a huge profit. For instance, Ruto made hundreds of millions of shillings selling land to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). Ruto’s companies won tenders to supply government departments and state corporations.

In 2007, Moi decided to support President Mwai Kibaki’s candidacy and told Ruto to follow suit. Ruto was convinced that Raila had the best chance of winning and refused to heed Moi’s calling. Now, it looks like Ruto is going back home to Moi and Uhuru Kenyatta as Raila’s political fortunes dwindle by the day.

One final point to consider: Did Ruto really fall out with Moi in 2007 or was it part of Moi’s political strategy of ensuring he had a stake in government regardless of who won the election? The hard fact is that if Raila had won the presidency, Ruto would have taken care of Moi’s interests.

Today, with Moi firmly on Kibaki’s side, Ruto doesn’t seem to be doing badly either. Early this year, Ruto survived a no-confidence motion in Parliament thanks to support from pro-Kibaki legislators.

Hillary’s real agenda in Kenya trip

by Scott A Morgan and our Staff Reporter

The US Secretary of State is making her first official visit to Africa and initial observations are that Mrs. Hillary Clinton is doing remarkably well in this capacity.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga with Hillary Clinton in Nairobi.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga with Hillary Clinton in Nairobi.

Her first stop was in Kenya and this was where two major concerns of the Obama Administration were being addressed. We all remember back in January 2008 when the country convulsed in an orgy of violence after a controversial presidential election. The country has a coalition government but has yet to bring those responsible for the killings to justice.

The other point of interest is Somalia. The US has had an interesting history in Somalia since the Cold War. First, the US and Somalia were allies after the Ogaden War of the late 1970s. US troops were in Somalia during the early 1990s which led to 18 elite US soldiers killed in a firefight. Now, piracy and Islamic extremism are the highlights of US concern over Somalia.

Kenya is at a critical point in its short post-independence history. The US government has intelligence reports indicating that Kenya’s future stability is in danger. Corruption, incompetent leadership and ethnic politics are to blame. This has resulted in shortages of food, water and electricity, which undermine the economy resulting in massive unemployment and discontent among millions of people.

Secretary Clinton had tough messages for President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga:

1). The US leadership supports radical reforms in Kenya’s institutions to end corruption and impunity.

2). US President Barack Obama’s administration wants a Special Tribunal to prosecute the masterminds of post election violence.

3). Action must be taken against individuals accused of extra judicial killings. The United Nations has linked Police Commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali to the abduction and disappearances of thousands of people in the “War against Mungiki.”

4). If Kibaki and Raila fail to act, the US will impose travel bans against those implicated in post election violence. This means that certain cabinet ministers and high ranking government officials will be unable to travel to the US and its allies.

The US does not want Kenya to collapse, as this could complicate American geo-political strategies in the region. Currently, Kenya has a crucial role to play in the Horn of Africa. The port of Mombasa is the location where Somali pirates are brought after they are captured on the high seas. Kenya’s proximity to Somalia makes it a key point of interest to counter terrorism specialists in the US. There are some people who believe that Somalia could become to Kenya what Afghanistan is to Pakistan.

The US Secretary of State made two crucial statements regarding US interests in Somalia. First of all is the fact that the US will again be providing an arms shipment to Mogadishu. Earlier this year, the Obama Administration provided 40 tons of ammunition to the Transitional National Government as it attempts to keep the Al-Shabaab Islamist militia from gaining power.

And once again, the US had strong criticism for Eritrea and its reported involvement in Somalia. For several years the US, has accused Eritrea of supporting Islamist insurgents in Somalia. The situation in Somalia is not the only reason why relations between Asmara and Washington have become sour. Tensions between Eritrea and both Djibouti and Ethiopia are still simmering at this time. However the US has threatened to retaliate against Eritrea for its policies in Somalia.

Before some people get giddy over the idea of air strikes, there has to be time for economic sanctions to work. There are ample areas of concern regarding human rights in Eritrea as well, so there could be some action taken in the near future in the Horn of Africa. But some people may not think the action taken is tough enough.

Interestingly, Kenya expelled two Eritrean diplomats soon after Secretary Clinton’s visit but the Eritrean Ambassador to Nairobi has denied the claims.

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Scott Morgan publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet and comments on US policy in Africa. Confused Eagle can be found at morganrights.tripod.com

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Kenyans reject Truth Commission, local trials

The Grand Coalition has come under scathing attack from angry Kenyans, who have been dismayed by the decision to have a Truth Commission instead of criminal prosecution for the perpetrators of political and ethnic clashes.

President Mwai Kibaki addressing journalists last Thursday when announcing the controversial government decision.

President Mwai Kibaki addressing journalists last Thursday when announcing the controversial decision by the cabinet.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga want to shield their key allies from both the International Criminal Court or a Special Tribunal constituted in Kenya. Individuals implicated in organizing, funding or complicity in violence were seen grinning behind Kibaki as he announced that he was getting them off the hook.

Opinion polls show that a vast majority of Kenyans want the ruling classes to be stripped of their positions and face criminal charges at the International Criminal Court. There is widespread belief that the international justice process will be more credible than justice in Kenyan courts.

The sad reality is that, 18 months after post election violence, nobody has been jailed with most cases ending in acquittals. This has not inspired confidence among the estimated 500,000 survivors of the clashes. Most of them still survive in squalid camps with little government assistance.

Kenyans want a radical change in their governance structure. For many years, attempts at economic, social and political reforms have either been frustrated or hijacked by the ruling elite. Politicians have vast powers to appoint cronies to state positions and to allocate resources as they wish. Economic liberalization has only benefited the well-connected and Kenyan industry is dominated by companies allied to or owned by politicians. Corruption is the order of the day as nothing works without a word from “above.”

Today, recruitment into government jobs is a waste of time as politicians manipulate the process to benefit supporters from their ethnic groups. The recent recruitment of personnel for the August national census has been marred by favoritism and bribery. Rather than benefit the millions of unemployed youth, temporary census jobs have been allocated to teachers and civil servants already on the government payroll. In several districts, youths have vowed to disrupt the census unless the recruitment of enumerators is repeated.

Over the years, little has been done to fight corruption, ethnic violence and other crimes committed by the rich and powerful. This has fostered a culture of impunity because guilty parties do not suffer any consequences. Politicians in Kenya have become demi-gods who can get away with theft, murder, incitement and adultery. Moral rectitude among Kenya’s leaders has plummeted as they engage in torrid love affairs with married women from poor families. Girls seeking assistance for school fees or jobs are forced to perform sex acts, sometimes within parliamentary offices.

The culture of evil among Kenyan leaders has sparked bitterness among ordinary people. For many years, there was little that could be done about it as the masses suffered their indignities in silence. The prospects of sending powerful personalities to the International Criminal Court offers a chance at national renewal. As stated elsewhere in this website, the international justice process offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to purge the Kenyan political system of vermin pretending to be leaders.

Though the cabinet announced that it will support criminal prosecutions through the Judiciary, few expect this to happen. If anything, most of the talk was on “forgiveness and reconciliation.” Cabinet ministers repeated similar themes throughout the weekend at various public rallies as though they had been ordered to sell the idea to Kenyans.

As a measure of how far the government was willing to go in shielding ministers from international prosecution, President Kibaki candidly revealed that they considered withdrawing Kenya from the statutes that created the International Criminal Court.

“One of the options considered was withdrawal from the Rome Statute under Article 127 and repeal of the International Crimes Act, 2008,” said the President.

There has also been speculation that, because Kenya signed the International Crimes Act after the post election violence had subsided, there was a legal argument that the new law can only be applied after its been enacted. According to the Constitution of Kenya, a law cannot be applied on crimes committed prior to its inception.

It is clear that politicians are using every legal loophole to escape justice. Among those mentioned in various human rights reports are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Agriculture Minister William Ruto, Heritage Minister William ole Ntimama and Tourism Minister Najib Balala.

Political activist Mary Wambui, widely believed to be Kibaki’s second wife, has been implicated in organizing and funding ethnic militia.

Other prominent politicians who will face criminal charges in future include: Professor Peter Anyang Nyongo, Dr Sally Kosgey, Henry Kosgey, Elizabeth Ongoro, Franklin Bett, Kabando wa Kabando, Njenga Karume, John Pesa, Jayne Kihara, Ramadhan Kajembe and their respective supporters.

A host of councilors, security officers and political activists have been named by the Waki Commission of Inquiry and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

In the past few months, as pressure mounted on the government to act against the masterminds of political violence, the suspects have vowed to implicate both the President and Prime Minister. The argument has been that Kibaki and Raila benefitted from the violence and, therefore, cannot avoid responsibility. While Raila used mass violence to protest what he sees as electoral fraud that denied him the presidency, Kibaki was silent as violence raged on his behalf.