A time comes when one is called by destiny to sacrifice for the greater good of the people and country. In the history of Kenya, we know such heroes: Koitalel Arap Samoei, Dedan Kimathi, Jomo Kenyatta, Jaramogi Odinga, Wangari Maathai, Tom Mboya and the unsung peace heroes who helped victims of post election violence - among others. They all found a way to lift Kenya up during difficulty and trying times by putting people and country ahead of their own personal agenda.
As we head to the polling stations to elect yet another president, kenyans are praying and hoping there will be no repeat of the 2007 post election violence (PEV). Indeed, we must remain one united and strong Kenya both during and after elections. A peaceful, united and prosperous Kenya is what we owe to ourselves and posterity.
More than four years later, we still have IDPs who need to be settled and thousands of victims of PEV are yet to find justice and closure. We cannot risk another debacle, another embarrasing and painful moment in our country. Those preparing to run for the presidency must be warned that we will hold them responsible if they end up creating another havoc in the nation.
Some aspiring candidates such as, Messrs Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto would help us greatly by not running for presidency this time around. Either of the two would make a great president but with their ICC baggages, they should sacrifice for the good of the country - wait till next elections rather than drag the whole country into the ICC circus.
Wrestling with any case in a court of law is always a daunting task; leave alone charges of crime against humanity. It takes time and resources. Also requires total commitment and attention. Perhaps, that is why Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta resigned from his ministrial post in order to pay close attention and steer his ICC case.
Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto would like to vie for presidency obviously because they care about kenya, but before they decide to do so, they should be guided by a few questions:
- Would it be fair for the nation to have a seating president who is being dragged to Hague to answer charges on crimes against humanity?
- Wont it be detrimental to Kenya if we have a president with a divided attention- between matters of state and fighting his charges against ICC?
- Does our constitution cater for such an eventuality; where a seating president is hauled into prison by Hague? Although our constitution provides president with legal immunity; clause 143(1) & (2), such immunity is however denied under 143(4) as pertains to treaties; i.e., if Rome Statute ICC is a treaty.
- Is it fair to the victims of PEV to have people indicted by ICC running for presidency whether they are presumed to be innocent or not; while the victims themselves are yet to receive any measure of justice? For them and thier families; justice delayed is justice denied.
According to our Kenya constitution, both Messrs Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are not barred from running for the State House under their present circumstances; (since they are not yet convicted). However, having been adversely mentioned and indicted by ICC, it is prudent for them to put their ambitions on hold for now - not because they are guilty of PEV, but as a sacrifice for the good of wananchi and the country. Let us run a decent campaign and elections without rubbing into the wounds of 2007 Post Election Violence.
Both Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta and Hon. William Ruto can assist us most with their wealth of knowledge and resources during the forth coming elections. They may not rise to be king this time around, but yes, they can become king makers by throwing all their weight behind one candidate that would be the best for Kenya 2012.
Those who were directly or indirectly invoved in 2007 post election violence are tainted and cannot help us move forward. In spite of their best intentions, their continued presence in the national psychi will always create fear, anguish, apprehension and bad memories of yester years. We cannot make every presidential campaign and election a preparation for bloodshed!
We need a leader with a wealth of experience. Someone knowledgeable enough to carry on with President Kibakis policies that have served Kenya well for the last nine years. Someone Kenyans can trust. A president who can spread Kenyanism throughout the nation and pull us all together. Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta and Hon. William Ruto should rally behind such an individual and help us make Kenya strong and proud.
I believe such a person in Kenya today is Hon. Prof. George Saitoti. Nobody is perfect but this mans record of serving Kenya is as long and as impressive as that of President Mwai Kibaki. True, Goldenberg scandal still hangs over his head; but our own High court cleared him of any wrong doing. To me this is the one Kenyan who can push and spread Kenyanism throughout the nation as well as strengthen President Mwai Kibakis policies, make kenya economically powerful and implement our new constitution.
Hons. Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto; its your sacrifice we need. By putting your dreams on hold, you can help us hold Kenya and wananchi high. If you do, wananchi will not forget you come next presidential elections. And yes, if you decide to mess up everything, we will hold you responsible forever.
By Njau Njembura Njoroge - California.