In Will Kenyans Be Governed From The Hague? published in the Star, I analyze the meaning of the ICC cases in the Kenyan political context and note how unprecedented and impractical it would be to have a president and even a president and his deputy spending months at the Hague defending themselves–an outcome that should never be if we are to move our country forward.
I in the meantime also conclude the only solution that can bring a close to this dark saga in our country is to bring the cases home and set up a mechanism for the suspects to be tried in a civil proceeding and if found liable, to pay a civil penalty for the benefit of the victims.
I come to this conclusion because it’s my view none of these suspects will ever be convicted, let alone see the inside of jail for the serious crimes they stand charged.
In any mature democracy, such charges, especially when the indictment is handed down by a global court would not be compatible with holding high office. It is taken for granted, that you can either be president, or you can face charges at the ICC – but not both.
The reality of it is, and the sooner everyone comes to grips with this the better, it’s unlikely anyone will ever be found guilty, let alone be hanged or sent to prison for a long time. Indeed, of the remaining four suspects, only Uhuru and Muthaura stand a remote chance of being convicted but even they, will likely walk free just as Ruto and Sang will.
Given this fact, it would be more meaningful and a sense of justice and closure for the PEV victims if the aforementioned three conditions for bringing the cases back home are met, we have the cases tried at home and, in the event the suspects are not found guilty of the criminal charges they are charged with, they can still be subjected to trial for civil liability where punishment shall be monetary compensation of the victims, not going to jail—punishment any of them would be happy to pay in lieu of going to jail.
Granted, special laws have to be passed to make this happen but that’s a far much better proposition than what they face now where they all could walk and the victims are left with nothing.
More importantly, imposition of a civil penalty in lieu of criminal sanction will be the best way to end this national nightmare everything considered and right now we need closure more than anything else as we head into electioneering period.