International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has released a report over the collapse of the Kenya case.
Bensouda cited interference, lack of sufficient cooperation from the Kenyan government and witness tampering was the main reasons the case which could have seen a successful prosecution against Ruto collapsed.
The report, however, shows that it was highly unlikely the case against Uhuru and others would have stood.
Four years after the ICC initiated cases against six Kenyan suspects for crimes against humanity, the cases have since collapsed wiping off all hopes of justice for the 2007 post-election violence victims.
The latest report from Bensouda, released on Tuesday, November 26, 2019, points an accusing finger at the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP).
The report clearly suggests that Government of Kenya was uncooperative with the Office of the Prosecutor, Instead, it either allowed interference with witnesses inside and outside of Kenya and with OTP activities in Kenya, including surveillance of OTP investigators.
“ It refused Requests for Assistance thereby hampering the Prosecutor’s ability to access potential evidence, or imposed such conditions or access as to, in reality, make that access so cumbersome as to be unworkable,” read the report.
The report further notes credibility issues with witnesses, noting that their evidence may have been tainted because they were insiders and were kept in the same location.
The report also cites witness interference “Witnesses or those suspected of being witnesses residing inside or outside of Kenya were directly contacted and intimidated, bribed, perhaps even physically harmed or killed,” it notes.
The report criticises ICC Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo who it says made decisions based on “non-prosecutorial considerations, such as bringing peace to the region” rather than on law/fact/evidence. In 2010, Ocampo had been adamant that alleged perpetrators and financiers of the 2007/8 post election violence would face the law, to serve as a lesson to other would-be warlords.
Out of the six suspects who were charged at ICC; two suspects were discharged at the conclusion of the confirmation of charges hearing, one case was withdrawn without prejudice during the pre-trial stage and the charges against the last accused in that case were withdrawn without prejudice on the eve of trial. The trial of the two remaining accused in the other case went ahead, but their charges were vacated by the Trial Chamber, at the close of the Prosecution case, on a no-case-to-answer motion, but without prejudice to the Prosecution
A Prime Minister’s slot, a mixed cabinet, and allocation of more resources to county governments are among key recommendations contained in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force report that was handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The report recommends a President, with executive authority who will be directly elected by the people, with the loser in the State House contest directly nominated to Parliament and takes over as leader of the official opposition.
On the structure of government, the BBI team recommends what it termed “a homegrown and inclusive” system, that comprises an executive headed by a popularly and directly elected President, and a robust, structured opposition that holds the government to account.
The Executive, according to BBI, should include the President, a Deputy President, a Prime Minister, and Cabinet Ministers. The president shall have garnered at least 50% plus one vote in the State House race, and at least 25% of total votes cast in at least 24 counties.
The President, according to the report, shall remain Head of State and Government, and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces.
The Deputy President, according to BBI report, remains the President’s principal assistant, and running mate at the ballot.
The report has neither recommended an expanded Executive nor a Parliamentary model of government. The proposed Prime Minister in the BBI report shall be an elected member of the National Assembly. The President shall nominate a Prime Minister, whose appointment must be approved by the National Assembly.
The Prime Minister, according to the BBI report, shall control and supervise the execution of day-to-day functions and affairs of the government. The Prime Minister shall also, be the leader of government business in Parliament and chair of Cabinet Sub-committees.
The BBI report recommends Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister’s office, to chair the technical implementation committee that shall comprise all principal secretaries.
The report also proposes the return of Prime Minister’s time, where MPs can pose questions directly to the premier and cabinet ministers.
And in response to the ‘winner takes it all’ mantra that was cited as one of the key causes on bitterly contested elections, BBI has recommended that the loser (1st runners-up) in a presidential election be nominated to the National Assembly and takes over as leader of the official opposition.
The leader will name a shadow cabinet, and craft a strong opposition that will act as the government in waiting and putting the government of the day to account.
Another radical shift recommended by BBI is a mixed cabinet, that shall be appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister. That cabinet shall draw its membership from Parliament and technocrats.
The report also recommends a change of name from Cabinet Secretaries to Cabinet Ministers, and elimination of the Chief Administrative Secretary slots.
On Devolution, the BBI report recommends retention of the 47 counties and increased allocation to County Governments from at least 15% of last audited accounts to between 35% and 50%, with resources matching the devolved functions.
The report recommends that Members of County Assembly (MCAs) take charge of bursaries and play a more prominent oversight role to ensure prudent management of devolved resources.
The report also recommends the establishment of a Health Services Commission, to take charge of all personnel issues in the health sector.
The BBI report recommends that all 290 constituencies remain, as well as affirmative action seats such as Woman Representatives and nomination slots for youth, marginalised and people with disabilities.
On graft war, the report recommends the repeal of the 1972-Ndegwa report and bar public servants from doing business with the government.
The report also recommends that wealth declaration forms be publicly available, with the ethics function taken away from the anti-corruption commission to enable it to concentrate on economic crimes.
Allowing the media to expose corruption cartels in public service without fear of libel and defamation, strengthening the Controller of Budget’s office and rewarding whistleblowers with 5% of the recovered proceeds are among key recommendations to beef up the graft war.
The BBI report also recommends a total overhaul of the current electoral commission — IEBC—, with a new team appointed to take charge of the 2022 General Election.
Political party leaders will according to the report’s proposals, nominate non-partisan individuals, with unquestionable integrity and impartiality for appointment as IEBC commissioners.
The IEBC chair, according to the BBI report, will wield Executive authority, to avoid past confrontation between the commission Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer.
The report also recommends vetting of all IEBC senior managers, with commission staff members serving three-year contracts that are renewable only once.
Returning officers in constituencies and counties will serve on part-time basis and preside one election only, if the BBI recommendations are implemented.
After exactly 20 months of speculation and hearsay, the BBI could actually add wind to DP Ruto’s sails in his race to the House on the Hill come 2022.
Reports credible sources have indicated the task force has proposed a powerful President elected by popular vote and with powers to nominate a Prime Minister to assist him with the execution of Government duties.
Should DP Ruto ascend to Presidency, his would-be to lie back and only intervene on matters of national importance as well as be the face of the country.
After being President Kenyatta’s chief assistant, this would be his chance to rest easy and get all the donkey work done for him by his Deputy and the Prime Minister who will chair cabinet sub-committees.
One thing, however, that is new is perhaps that the second-placed candidate in the General Election would be directly nominated to Parliament.
In Parliament, s/he would form a robust opposition and a shadow cabinet which shall serve as the Government in waiting.
BBI proposed unrestricted Opposition that would be tasked with holding the ruling Government to account.
The President shall nominate cabinet secretaries from within Parliament or without it but in consultation with the Prime Minister.
The other biggest winners in the BBI report are Members of County Assembly (MCAs) who are set to control bursaries.
However, the report deals a major blow to corruption with its recommendations of barring public officials from doing business with the Government.
The media also stands to gain from the report after the taskforce recommended protection from libel or defamation when exposing corrupt leaders.
A tense moment ensued at a church service, where Deputy President William Ruto was in attendance, on Sunday, after two women broke protocol and approached him, in a bid to seek financial aid.
The two separate incidents happened as Ruto was delivering a speech at PCEA Makongeni Parish, Thika, and Kiambu County.
In the first instance, a woman walked up to the front of the church and fell on her knees before the DP, pleading with him to assist her child.
DP Ruto arriving at Priesthood Fellowship Church, received by Bishop JJ Gitahi and his wife Photo/Courtesy
As the puzzled Deputy President directed the woman to get up on her feet, she broke into uncontrollable tears, adding to the awkwardness of the situation.
Church leaders and plainclothes policemen had to intervene to walk the daring mother away from the dais, with Ruto promising to have a chat with her later.
“Keti pale nitakuona baadaye (Have a seat over there, we will talk later),” Ruto told the wailing woman.
In an interesting display of humility, Ruto stopped the PCEA church leaders and security officers from dragging the woman to the back of the church, instead, offering her a seat at the front.
A light moment ensued immediately after the situation had settled down after yet another woman followed in her colleague’s footsteps in reaching the Jubilee leader for help.
Ignoring bursts of laughter from the congregation, the woman, donned in a Sauti ya Wajane (voice of the widows) t-shirt, adamantly handed Ruto a piece of paper with her requests, before she was promptly led away from the podium in fake tears.
However details from our credible sources have indicated that the whole show was staged. The two women are from Murang’a coached and imported by Hon Ndindi Nyoro with the aim of making DP Ruto appeal to the Mt Kenya electorate through acts of mercy and compassion.
From Thika he proceeded to Bishop JJ Gitahi’s church in Kahawa West where he was ushered in as the pastor of the day. Bishop JJ Gitahi who is a radio presenter at a Kikuyu FM station where he commands a big following from Mt Kenya region, all the sermons in his church are conducted in Kikuyu. Most of congregation members come from Githurai, Kahawa, Kasarani, Roysambu, and Ruiru and from as far as Thika.
Such claims of “astroturfing,” the practice of using money and outside support to create the illusion of grassroots enthusiasm, is a technique that DP Ruto has adopted as it was seen recently during the Kibra by election campaigns. Senator Omanga, Hon Korir and Dagoretti MP John Kiarie were accused of ferrying people from other constituencies to fill McDonald Mariga’s rallies.
We can and only should be an optimistic nation. Initiative after initiative has been undertaken to improve the people’s well being as a nation. Independence was meant to free us from the chains of colonialism. Multipartism was meant to make Kenya a land of democracy and create more freedom that also entailed press freedom. The Bomas draft took the country towards a new dimension landing on the promulgation of the new constitution in August 2010. All these efforts have been in the quest of making Kenya prosperous, stable and peaceful nation. A nation that embraces the cultural diversity of its people. A nation of promise with visionary leaders who should be focused on guiding the country towards a middle-income nation.
Kenya is a great nation and a great nation must be sustained by political stability that will spearhead the country towards prosperity. However, over the past we must acknowledge that as a country we have suffered major atrocities that have majorly been caused by leadership wrangles founded on deep seated issues of tribalism, fight for land ownership, power struggles and social injustices that have occurred over the years. We face challenges as a country to date and these challenges are what we must rectify. The President has even acknowledged that the country is facing challenges when he said ‘Only a fool will say there are no issues in this country that require addressing’.
The 2007 Post Election Violence was one of the worst atrocities that has ever occurred in this country. Kenyans suffered in unimaginable lengths and depths. Lives were lost, property was burnt. Women, men and children; all suffered the rage and rant of the violence that no one had envisioned to occur as we went about predisposed to our political rhetoric. We went about spewing rage and hatred towards each other chanting and singing war songs against our friends, neighbours, workmates and anyone we considered to be of a different view. We were not relentless on showing our tribal inclinations and castigating communities that were not part of our political party or were not those of our leader. Our leaders had successfully fed each Kenyan the poison of tribalism and we had allowed it to dictate our lines of operation as a nation.
And what was the resultant effect? A highly polarized nation that began fighting from within. Vengeance, hatred, deceit, death, destruction was the devil that was burgeoning us. Fire and gunfire, spears and arrows cut through the wind racing down to our brothers and sisters; knives, pangas and machetes were drawn out and used as the weapon of choice; stones were our new rain and safety was dismal and only found within our tribal cocoons. What had become of us? What had become of Kenya our motherland? Utter darkness and doom.
This is not Kenya, this is not the Kenya we want and not the Kenya that should be. A bad memory the country would wish to forget; but it happened and we are still living through the effects. Fortunately, we have a new dawn, we have a new chance to ensure we are never divided as a country through our leadership or tribal inclinations. The opportunity to sort out our wrongs are here and the journey already started through the promulgation of the new constitution. However, we have a long road ahead as we need to deal with the shortfalls of the constitution, sort out our leadership structure and ensure that every electioneering period is a period of selecting sound leadership, a period that we look forward to, without causing any form of political instability. Let us look through and look into the lenses of successful nation building and use what is in our hands to correct what is ailing us as a country.
Embattled Nairobi Governor Miko Sonko has called upon President Uhuru Kenyatta to step in and help him fight forces trying to bring about his downfall.
According to Sonko, all investigative bodies have failed to get to the root of the woes facing Nairobi County, with the blame being heaped entirely, and unfairly, on him.
Speaking on Radio Maisha Monday, Sonko decried the fact that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had lagged on their mandate to unearth cartels within the city, which he says, are responsible for the poor state of the city.
Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko Photo/Courtesy
The governor noted that the situation has escalated so much, that only Uhuru has the power to successfully intervene.
He was addressing a recent exposé by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC), claiming that he has run down Nairobi, by orchestrating schemes to siphon funds from the devolved unit, and into his personal bank accounts.
According to the EACC, Sonko is at the centre of a Ksh39 billion scandal at City Hall, with evidence suggesting that the governor engaged companies offering a variety of goods and services to the County in kickbacks demands.
However, Sonko rubbished these claims on the Bunge la Maisha radio segment, saying that Ksh39 billion is an amount too small for a man of his stature.
Further, Sonko lamented that even Members of the same Parliament he served in years ago, had left him at the hands of an incompetent EACC, alleging that some lawmakers had been issued Ksh200,000 bribes, to push the onslaught against him forward.
An old photo of Mike Sonko Photo/Courtesy
The county head revealed that the reason why Nairobi is not meeting its revenue targets is because of gaps in revenue collection at the grassroots level, and not because he has stolen money from taxpayers.
He went ahead to express his delight in the ousting of Matopeni MCA Abdi Guyo as Nairobi County Assembly’s leader of majority, terming him as a “cockroach” who was out for his downfall.
But when President Uhuru flagged off Kenya’s first crude oil shipment at the port of Mombasa earlier in the year, Kenyatta said it is no longer business as usual as far as graft purge is concerned.
President Kenyatta said no one will save corrupt officials from arrest adding that agencies mandated to fight corruption are on high alert.
He added: “Right now, there is no making calls saying you are in trouble and pleading for help, carry own cross.” “The culture of calling for help is no more, it will be upon you to defend yourself. Ni noma, hizo simu zilizimwa (Things are thick. Those phones were switched off.)”