By Ndung’u Wainaina
Notwithstanding the decision of the Trial Chamber of the ICC to have accused person William Ruto attend all trial proceedings, the Constitution of Kenya 2010 abhor the deviation from the concept of equality before the law.
Under the rule of law, whether you are a pauper, preacher or the president, the law should apply equally. And equal application essentially means equal enforcement of the law on all, regardless of position. A law is only meaningful to the extent that it is enforced.
When law enforcement breaks down, so does law abidance.
The occupier of the Office of the Deputy President is being prosecuted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) because of the massive serious crimes of 2008 post-election violence.
This office is a public office recognized by the Constitution of Kenya. Constitution has set requisitive constitutional thresholds for persons occupying any public and or state office. Invoking win of an election only confirm false veneer of legitimacy.
The standards of integrity and disciplinary procedures as dictated by chapter six of the Constitution, which is supreme to all other laws, as well as Public Officerâ€™s Ethics Act 2003, apply to the office.
The Constitutionâ€™s position is a reinforcement of an agreement signed in 2008 which reiterated the commitment of the government of Kenya to suspend any person holding public office or any public servant charged with a criminal offence related to the post-election violence, until the matter is fully adjudicated upon. This agreement came following the National Reconciliation Accord. William Ruto was a key player in the said negotiations.
Article 4 of the Agreement: Public Officers and Offices
The Parties shall ensure that any person holding public office or any public servant charged with a criminal offence related to 2008 post-election violence shall be suspended from duty until the matter is fully adjudicated upon.
The parties shall ensure that any person convicted of a post-election violence offence is barred from holding any public office or contesting any electoral position.
In this regard, Mr. William Ruto should stand suspended and or vacate his state office until his ICC trial is fully adjudicated by the Court. Failure to vacate state office is inconsistent with the rule of law and the fundamental premises of the constitutional state.
Arguments of â€˜until proven guiltyâ€™ are frankly disingenuous and unconvincing, as is a fundamental element of the process of administration of criminal justice but not integrity and fitness to hold state office. Mr. Ruto continuity holding of state of office falls troublingly below the standard expected in constitutional threshold.
Get more from Mr Ndung’u on his Facebook wall.