Even as Kenya attempts to pull out of international criminal justice systems, ostensibly to save President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto from possible convictions at the ICC in the Hague, the country’s jails are filled with foreign nationals who, like the duo, are charged with crimes that go beyond borders.
To be fair; not the whole country wants Uhuru, Ruto and Sang to go scot free. However, their ardent supporters, mostly of the Kikuyu and Kalenjin ancestries, and who were the major perpetrators of the 2007-08 violence,Â claim, using the victory in the last elections, that the country is in a reconciliation mood and that the ICC cases will open old wounds – tell this to the birds!
Now in Kenya’s jails, there are foreigners with a different story. The foreign nationals are serving long and excruciating prison terms, far away from their homes, where talk of national sovereignty is a no go zone!
In an interview that one of the country’s mainstream newsrooms covered, but which got edited out of the national radar, and which, fortunately, we came across vide a source who requested anonymity, several foreign nationals in Kamiti, the country’s most secured dungeon for hardcore and dangerous criminals, are now reminding the accused president to be a ‘complimentary’ leader.
“I was convicted for planning terrorism here, not even one person had died, they found explosives and took me in and am not getting out, over 50 years i’ll be here and die here,” says the terror criminal, who adds, ‘if he (Uhuru) was investigated and charged like me, he should face the law anywhere in the world’.
It is such assertions from foreign nationals serving in Kenyan prisons that the country, in its vain attempt to pull out of the world court of justice, must confront; else the expatriate criminals charged in Kenyan courts and serving in Kenyan prisons also promise to use the same arguments to appeal their cases and get shipped to their countries.
At the height of the Westgate attack, the Al shabaab jihadists who claimed responsibility also claimed Uhuru should be the last person to indict them, saying the president too is accused of killing thousands during the 2007-08 General elections.
Proponents of the ICC appear to read from the same script, saying that justice is universal, regardless of where it is meted out. Initially, a futile push to relocate the Hague based court hearing the Kenyan cases was denied by the judges. Recently, Ruto pulled a first by convincing the court to halt his hearings to come and attend to Westgate terror, though it remains to be seen what impact his return created.
This revelation, coming at a time when a shocking report suggests that probably as many as a one-third of Kenyans in the US are rotting in prisons, and other Kenyans also serving jail terms in countries in the Asia Pacific for drug trafficking and other related offences, puts the Kenya’s legislators on the spot. There seems to be a preferences when it comes to the application of the rule of law, which, if true, makes Kenya a very dangerous country to be born in when you are a poor man’s toddler.