A few years ago Kenya was the place to be or to have been born in. In the warmness and comfort of my bed I witness the swearing in ceremony of the 44th president of the United States of America. The country was speaking the same language and sharing the same story. Everywhere you go the same vibe was the order of the day. People walked with pride and if by mistake you offend an individual you had to call him Obama, so as to massage his ego and heart in order for him to forgive you. Kids, who had names, immediately got their names changed to Obama, while the unborn automatically were named obama. And if by chance a girl was born, her name was Michelle Obama. “Sex activity” or biology as the conservatives may call it went up at a higher percentage because most couples wanted to a have a child. Even animals were encouraged to mate so as not to be left out in the making of history and the end product we had cows, goats, all named Obama.
In schools, the best performing student was awarded with a medal engraved with the name of Obama on it. Parents, whose kids were not performing in school, went as far as punishing their kids by buying them books written by obama to read or DVDs to watch in the perception that they may be motivated and perform well. To make the matter worse, our legislators called for an urgent sitting in parliament so as to shower words of praises to the 44th president while some of our ministers used the tax payers’ money to attend the inaugural ceremony which they were not invited and lastly the country was given a holiday to celebrate. These were “Misplaced Priorities”.
Today Kenya is not the place to be or to have been born in. We have another story, the Omar Al-Bashir story. Every where you go people are talking about it. In the matatu, in schools staff rooms, our watchmen spend the entire night analyzing the story, in offices the ice breaker is the same story and even by chance if you visit a place you are not familiar with, one is required to give his or her verdict on the matter so as to be given direction.
The story is about the judgment given by Justice Nicholas Ombija and as a story teller I have my two schools of thoughts on this issue. As per the judgment given, in simple terms the court declared Bashir persona non granta. The man is not allowed to enter Kenya. This is because the guy has been indicted with ten counts of war crimes on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility under Article 25(3) (a) of the Rome statute as an indirect (co) perpetrator. Legally the verdict was in order!!It was perfect, super and well founded on the basis of our law which has been enshrined in our constitution. (Article 2(5), clearly states that “the general rule of international law shall form part of the laws of Kenya) and to stretch it further Article 2(6) goes on to say,” Any treaty or convention ratified by Kenya shall form part of the law of Kenya….” And for this, the government needs to remember that we are signatories to the Rome statute thus we are bound to respect and adhere to the rule of law. And if Bashir persist with his threat then as a country we should charge him on crime of aggression or if he happens to step in our country and not get arrested then the man in charge of internal security should be promptly arrested and charged with violating the court order.
The second school of thought is on the basis of politics and diplomacy. The court verdict was uncalled for. It was reckless on the part of the judiciary and next time, judges should learn to weigh an issue using the scale of a coin. The legal and diplomatic side should have been assessed. This is because at this particular moment as a country we are at war. We are at war with our economy, the Al-Shabaab, we have diplomatic stale mate with Eritrea, and boundary issue with Uganda, our relationship with the transitional government in Libya is still in limbo. And if we bring the Bashir factor then we are in big problems. Our fight in Somalia may be far from over as some fractions from these states may give some form of assistance to the extremist group. My take on this issue is that it is political and it should be dealt with politically. The government as usual has its priority misplaced. They should stop making Bashir a super hero and they should instead destroy him politically. They should exercise their art of seduction and court other Arab and other horn of Africa countries so as to cut some of Bashir links. Then it should exercise its influence on the East African community and strengthen southern Sudan in all aspect but mostly on trade so as to regain any economic loose we get, call on the African union to support Southern Sudan and lastly let the international world see Kenya as an angel who wants to cut off it’s link from the tyrannical Sudan leader. Sudan is not a super power and mostly Bashir but any wrong move by the government will only jeopardize our ethical values and ruin our pride globally. Come 2012 lets vote for leaders and mostly a government that knows its job and get rid of these clowns in government.