Kenyans are expressing outrage after
the coalition cabinet postponed a decision on dealing with alleged perpetrators
Cabinet ministers are sharply split between using a
local tribunal or the International Criminal Court (ICC) which led to the
postponement of a decision until next week.
President Mwai Kibaki
and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are reportedly in favor of using a local
tribunal to put those accused of masterminding the post-election violence on
But a recent Steadman poll shows more than 68 percent of Kenyans favor
sending the perpetrators to the ICC.
Political analyst Michael Tiampati told VOA that a local tribunal could be manipulated by
general reaction of Kenyans at the countryside is that of disbelief and
frustration. Because Kenya is confronted by a multiplicity of issues, and the
image of the country is at stake. And what is appearing is that there is
despondency at the cabinet level, which should not be the case," Tiampati said.
He said Kenyans are
questioning their leaders judgment on how to deal with those behind the
"In terms of leadership,
Kenya is currently suffering a leadership crisis… and Kenyans have said that
with the coming together of the two sides and said it will get working, but
that is not the case anymore," he said.
Tiampati said divisions
within the government contributed to its indecisiveness.
"The government has not been
one, has been pulling in two different directions. And this is playing out now
because when the envelope was handed to the prosecutor (Luis Moreno) Ocampo,
then a section of the government started saying that people actually fought
because of President Kibaki and the Prime Minister Raila Odinga," Tiampati
He said some Kenyans favor
both the president and prime minister facing prosecution over the post-election
"What they are saying is
that if there have to be people to be prosecuted, the two principals should be
in the mix because people fought because of them," he said.
Tiampati said there is
growing fear that sending the perpetrators to the ICC could undermine the
"There is that fear that by
taking the culprits to The Hague, then that would plunge the country into
chaos. My take is that that is what the president and the prime minister are
trying to forestall," Tiampati said.
He said Kenyans want the
accused to be internationally prosecuted.
"The people are unanimous
that the perpetrators should face justice at The Hague because the Kenyan
judiciary has lost credibility. There is a feeling that a local tribunal would
be prone to manipulation by the political elite…a cabinet minister said in
broad daylight that he wanted a tribunal that they could control," he said.
Earlier this month, the
former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan handed over an envelope containing the
names of 10 suspects to the ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. The move
is believed to put more pressure on the Kenya coalition government either to
establish a local court quickly or face international justice.
Meanwhile, it has come to
light that the names of some cabinet ministers are listed among the accused
masterminds of Kenya's 2008 post-election violence. The violence left scores
dead and hundreds displaced from their homes.