News / Africa

Election of ICC Suspects Could Harm Kenya Financially, Politically

The National Alliance Party presidential candidate Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta right, and his running mate William Ruto, talk during a rally at Uhuru Park, in Nairobi, January 12, 2013.
The National Alliance Party presidential candidate Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta right, and his running mate William Ruto, talk during a rally at Uhuru Park, in Nairobi, January 12, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Gabe Joselow
— The potential election of two candidates charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court could have far-reaching political and financial consequences for Kenya.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate, parliament member William Ruto, are both charged with crimes committed during inter-tribal fighting which erupted following the last disputed election in 2007.

They face charges of crimes against humanity, as indirect perpetrators of murder, rape and other acts of violence.

Controversial campaign

The two candidates enjoy popular support in their base in central Kenya, but the charges have raised important questions about whether international partners will be comfortable dealing with a president and vice president facing serious accusations.

Earlier this week, Kenyatta, who is the son of Kenya's first president, said unless he is convicted by the ICC, there is nothing to stop him from campaigning.

“What we must all accept, is that you are innocent until you are proven guilty," Kenyatta said. "And that being the case, the outcome for the court proceedings itself is what one can then use to say whether one is guilty or not, and whether a nation can deal with you or not. But right now, even with that hanging over you, you are innocent.”

International response

Kenya's allies have warned of the implications of Kenyatta and Ruto's possible election.

In a phone briefing with reporters this week, the top U.S. diplomat for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, reiterated Washington's position on the possible election of the ICC suspects, saying “choices have consequences.”

Carson, a former ambassador to Kenya, said the U.S. will not endorse any candidate in the race, and declined to comment on exactly what course of action might be taken.

“I'm not going to speculate on what our actions will be, but we are not signatories to the ICC convention, but I underscore that we recognize and respect what the ICC is trying to do,” Carson said.

The European Union also has a policy of banning all but essential contact with ICC indictees. The candidates have said they have not heard formal positions from any government saying they will be banned if elected.

Financial impact

Macharia Kihuro, a risk management practitioner based in Nairobi, says there could be economic implications to electing the two candidates.

“Actually, they are innocent until they are proven guilty. But there is something that we call perception," Kihuro says. "And perception is the stock in trade in the international market. Can we trust the people who are in leadership? And this applies across the board. If you are going to lend money to an institution, you look at the corporate governance structures. This is a fact.”

Kihuro says Kenya's economy is very reliant on foreign exchange. A withdrawal of investment, or even the possibility of sanctions, could dry up reserves of U.S. dollars, which would slow growth and drive up inflation.

Constitutional questions

The ramifications of electing the two suspects are not limited to Kenya's relationship with the international community.

It could also pose a direct challenge to the country's new constitution, according to  Edward Kisiang'ani, a professor of politics and history at Kenyatta University in Nairobi.

“Article 73, which is the beginning of chapter 6 on leadership and integrity, also says that people should hold office in a manner that brings honor and dignity to the people and to that office," Kisiang'ani says. "If you have been accused of having committed crimes against humanity, that cannot bring dignity and honor to that office.”

Kenya's high court is currently considering a case which challenges Kenyatta and Ruto's eligibility to run for office based on the integrity clause. A decision is expected next week.

The ICC case against the two suspects is scheduled to resume at The Hague in April. That would coincide with the schedule for a possible run-off vote, if no one wins in the first round in March.

The ICC is considering whether to move the trial to a court in Arusha, Tanzania.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kimwana from: Nairobi
March 07, 2013 8:20 PM
It is amazing that some clowns would stand and defend suspects accused of rape, murder and arson. According to law, these suspects should never have made the ballot. We are a country of laws and not a banana republic, or are we? Does anyone remember the horrendous images on our TV screens of people dying, women burning in a church and then pretending these things never happened? May the guilty party rot in jail


by: james from: nairobi
February 12, 2013 12:52 AM
it is now evident that the forces of influence are changing dramatically from the time when Europe and the U.S were the supreme beings. its unfortunate that Britain has not accepted to deal with the history of torture and human rights abuse during the colonisation of Kenya.
this makes the case put by Britain weaker in the fact that they needed to accept and aplogise. For the U.S its also coming in as favouring a side that seems not so inclined to the support of the Asian Economies whose population is half of the world and an increasing economic base giving a ready market for the emerging econmies.

All is not lost on the fact that the ICC did not fully include the cause of the post election crisis but rather only dealing with the consequences. If the cause is not tackled, it means the problem still persists whether kenya faces sactions or repercusions from electing the ICC indictees


by: mukenya from: naironi
February 11, 2013 5:05 PM
This icc case is a scheme by the west and Us to have a hard on who becomes president in kenya using Kenya Human Rights Commission. It is public knowledge that the Waki commission relied on evidence by this commission under the then chair Hassan Omar. This guy fabricated the evidence. He is now a key Man in Cord coalition. Foreign nations should leave kenyans to make their decisions without interfering. Watch this space as the two 'suspects' are taking over the government. The more icc is used to dissuade kenyans the more they become popular.


by: Grace from: Pietermaritzburg
February 11, 2013 1:40 AM
“I'm not going to speculate on what our actions will be, but we are not signatories to the ICC convention, ........,” .....Then Mr. Carson, for heavens sake please stay calm and let Kenyans decide. Leave this space for those who are signatories to ICC convention and the AU to deal with any eventuality. Isn't this equal to arm twisting and aren't we a sovereign state? We are in the 21st Century.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid