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Monday, January 31, 2011

Kenya finally takes its place among Africa's Axis of Impunity

People are always told that they are judged by the company they keep.

Kenyans have been debating the health of the State since the first Failed State Index report was published. The Index uses 12 ranking criteria and, if you dispute any of them, then judge using the company we keep.

No thanks to our incessant divisive coalition government politics, now complete with a high priest, Kenya’s BFFs are now without a doubt Ethiopia, Africa’s poster child for human rights repression; Zimbabwe, a self-made pariah state; Sudan, a country with serious internal conflict, a whole chunk of whose population just chose secession; and Libya, so long an international outcast and still struggling to be rehabilitated into the world community yet its leader is busy stirring partisan sentiment in every corner of Africa.

So far, these are the countries documented to have sided with the warped shuttle diplomacy of our Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, the President’s apparent Special Envoy of Bad Ideas. The bad idea here being lobbying other African governments to join us in fighting international law. Any other explanation is playing politics.

This is not even diplomacy. This is suicide by government. From an almost dovish State, we are now beyond being hawkish. We have joined Africa’s Axis of Impunity. The Vice-President’s attempt to explain away his anti-Kenyans mission does not wash. It is one thing for our politicians to disregard the law, but to bring in other states to assist them in doing so is unheard of.

We can only imagine what political untruths were told on our behalf in Ethiopia, Sudan, Libya and Zimbabwe. Truth is, there have been no steps taken by the government to set up a tribunal – real or kangaroo – to investigate the post-election violence. The matter of the International Criminal Court is not one to play partisan politics with. How will Kenyans say this for our politicians to understand us? As Christian Wenaweser, the president of the State Parties to the ICC, advised the government, go straight to the ICC and sort out your issues. Trying to turn the continent against the court is futile.

Meanwhile, as the Vice-President flew across Africa, nothing back home has been put in place to get justice for PEV victims. We should never tire of reminding our politicians and government that all Kenyans are seeking is justice, as much as the politicians hate the word and what it stands for.

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