Business, Finance & Economics

Kenya News: Deputy Prime Minister and other officials do not face dismissal


Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (2ndL), and Cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura (2ndR) attend a hearing, at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, on April 8, 2011.


Bas Czerwinski

BOSTON – Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s finance minister and deputy prime minister, will not resign nor will he be fired although he must stand trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, BBC News Africa reported.

Githu Muigai, Kenya’s attorney general, stated Tuesday that the government plans to postpone any action toward Kenyatta or the state’s top civil service official, Francis Muthara, until the international court has ruled on Kenyatta’s appeal. 

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Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta, and Muthara are accused of gross human rights violations, including directing a militia to murder and rape ethnic Kalenjins and members of then presidential candidate Raila Odinga's Luo tribe in retaliation to accusations of electoral corruption, according to Reuters Africa.

Former Education Minister William Ruto, who plans to run for president in 2013, and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang are currently facing similar charges in a different case.

The violence, which originally was only between supporters of current President Mwai Kibaki and Odinga, spiraled into a dire situation marked by personal vendettas and bloody ethnic violence. The ICC said that the attacks, “were directed against particular groups, namely the Kikuyu, Kamba, and Kisii ethnic groups, because of their perceived political affiliation to Kibaki's Party of National Unity.”

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The Kenyan Red Cross reported that the violence led to over 1,000 deaths and displaced more than 350,000 people. All four deny the allegations asserted by the ICC.

Both Kenyatta, who reportedly has presidential ambitions of his own, and Muthara have a powerful ally in President Kibaki, who has publicly supported both officials and resisted calls for their resignation.

Kenyatta has not been averse to working with the tribunal. Today, the ICC commended the four individuals standing trial for cooperating, stating that Kenya, “is showing a 21st-century model to manage conflict,” the Associated Press reported

The ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo stated that it could take 18 months or longer to actually bring all of those allegedly responsible to trial, creating a real possibility that a candidate elected president in Kenya’s 2013 elections would have to stand trial for crimes against humanity.

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