WHY IS IT THAT THE SUSPECTED MASTERMINDS WHO FEELS THAT THEIR NAMES ARE IN THE SECRET ENVELOPE ARE THE ONES WHO ARE APPLAUNDING MR. ANNAN’S MOVE ROUNDLY? By Mungai.

Call it a strategy to lay everything bare on the table, which caught everybody off guard even the government, which raised and splited the hairs. Dr. Koffi Annan, who mediated in Kenya during the post election violence’s, caught the government on wrong footing and dropped a bombshell which has surprised different protagonists and caused them to pause for a second.

Whether his action will pre-empt the shenanigan talks or bury a local tribunal or it was a strategy meant to awaken the coalition government, only time and the government’s actions will tell. But, the fact of the matter is that, it seems like Mr. Annan ran out of patience and he wanted to offload this load off his shoulders. And, thus the decision to hand over the famous Waki secret envelope which contains the names of the main perpetrators of post election violence’s to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal courts, Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, at the Hague.

Mr. Annan has made it his duty to keep on reminding the coalition Government that time wasn’t on their side on the establishment of a local tribunal to try the suspects, but the government kept on dilly dallying it’s feet.

After the signing of the National Accord, then the formation of the Waki Commission which was mandated to unravel the mysterious surroundings under which the heinous violence’s engulfed us. In one of their recommendations they suggested that the main perpetrators be tried locally with the formation of a local tribunal, and if that fails they be tried at the I.C.C in Hague, to end impunity. A time frame was set to enable the coalition government constitute the tribunal with specific guidelines as it’s outlined in the Rome Statute Accord of which Kenya is a signatory.

But, the slippery political grounds has hindered the formation of a local tribunal and every time the government tries to establish one, it finds itself in an unfamiliar territory, different protagonists have differed on the way to go, with their baseless arguments which doesn’t hold any water.

This jostling of opinions has opened a can of disagreements and a place to settle political scares within the parties, thus creating divisions and suspicion.

An earlier attempt by the government to establish a Local tribunal was shot down by Parliament, despite a spirited persuasion by the two principals. Most parliamentarians argued that a local tribunal would be a subject to manipulation by the political elites. And, we can’t forget the fact that the culprits prefer the Hague option as it might take a couple of years to commence.

And, this time round the members of Parliament have vowed they will be at it again to shoot down the bills as per the arguments the Hague is the better option.

Kenyan’s may not know the identities of the suspects in the Waki envelope until the I.C.C classifies the Post Election case as a full investigation. Under the I.C.C procedures, the Kenyan case is classified as a “Situation” because it is still in the preliminary stages.

It is up to Mr. Ocampo to determine whether “there is reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation”. But, he can start investigation only if the relevant National Judicial Authority is unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute alleged crimes.

The I.C.C is currently conducting preliminary analysis of the situation in a number of countries including Chad, Afghanistan, Georgia, Columbia and Palestine.

Most Kenyans have applauded Mr. Annan’s move and according to them justice must be meted out and the Hague will provide that where as at the same time it will zero rate the idea of manipulation. A local tribunal would not measure up to the billing hence it wouldn’t offer a fair trial.

This famous secret envelope has created an aura of uncertainty, enslaved us and held us at a ransom for quite a long time. It created an environment of suspicion with different speculative flyers flying all over of who is in the envelope. Now Kenyans can breathe a sign of relief because it has landed to where it was intended to land, at Ocampo’s office.

……..But, why is it that the suspected masterminds who feels that their names are in the envelope are the ones who are applauding the move loudly? Do they know anything that we don’t………?

Following this unprecedented move by Mr. Annan to hand over the envelope he has offloaded the load off his shoulders, and, it seems like the dice has been cased and considering the tough stand the M.P’s have taken, then we have to proceed. And despite been caught against time to establish a local tribunal with the introduction of two crucial bills by justice minister.

According to Mrs. Betty Mwangi, a lawyer expert on International Tribunals wrote in the Daily Nation, that she favours a two prolonged approach to end decades of impunity in Kenya. Sending key people to the I.C.C and trying others in a local tribunal would dampen the urge to ignite violence’s in future. Kenya have undertaken to refer the case to The Hague should Members of Parliament shoot down efforts to either set up the Local tribunal or a judicial mechanism to try the suspects.

She further wrote that the decision by the government delegation to enter into agreement with I.C.C prosecutor, Mr. Moreno Ocampo, that requires the case to be handed over to the Hague was a step beyond the dictates of the envelope. The government delegation agreed in the minutes of the meeting that if we are unable to initiate proceedings by the end of September, the Government itself will refer the case to the I.C.C.

But will the arraignment of the suspects in the Hague or Local tribunal and the eventuality of either conviction bring the much needed reconciliation among different communities, after a huge wedge was dug during the post election violence’s?


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