Thursday, June 18, 2009



By Jerry Okungu
Nairobi, Kenya
June 17, 2009

The tipping point will be the fate of the envelop that will either erode Annan’ credibility with ordinary Kenyans or send Kenya’s warlords packing to The Hague. As things stand now, instigators and planners of the 2007 post election aftermath are hoping against hope that Annan will dilly dally with the envelop Justice Waki handed over to him until Kenyans lose interest in it.

The behavior of Kofi Annan is typical of international diplomats. They are normally slow to decide on issues. They are known for weighing issues over and over with accompanied loss of sleep worrying over the consequences of their actions. Yes, diplomats listen too much and practice too much restraint as Jacob Zuma would be inclined to say.

The last time Annan was in Kenya officially to broker peace was way back in February 2008. It was at that time that the roadmap for the implementation of the accord agenda was drawn. That roadmap was supposed to ensure Kenya implemented fundamental reforms to safeguard it against future political unrests such as the one it witnessed after last general elections.

As Annan departed for his official residence in Geneva, he made it abundantly clear that the onus of implementing the accord agreements rested with the two principals that put their signatures to the document.

Among the sections to be implemented were agenda one, two three and four. So far, the Kriegler and Waki Commissions that investigated election fraud and violence have completed their work and handed over their findings to the two principals.

Fortunately, the Kriegler report has almost been completed with the rogue ECK Commissioners and their staff disbanded and a new care taker commission constituted by Parliament. However, the new commission is yet to register voters afresh and complete a new voter register in readiness for next year’s referendum- assuming that the new constitution will be ready.

Also on track are the several bodies recommended by both commissions such as the committee of experts to conclude the constitution review, the boundary reviews commission and the truth and reconciliation commission.

However, the snag lies in the implementation of the Waki report to the letter.The report Justice Waki handed over to the two principals dealt at length with how to deal with political violence in our society. He recommended that all known and unknown perpetrators of political violence be tried in a specially constituted Tribunal that would draw its powers and legitimacy from the Rome Statues operating at The Hague’s International Criminal Court.

That tribunal would be independent of Kenya’s judicial system, draw its prosecutors and investigators from the international community and try suspects in the country.
According to the timetable, the Tribunal was supposed to have been set up by March 31, 2009 failing which The Hague Criminal Court would take over and prosecute suspects- possibly in The Netherlands where such criminals are normally tried on behalf of countries with failed judicial systems.

The reason Justice Waki handed over the report to the coalition principals was because those were part of his terms of reference. However, after compiling the list of suspects for possible further investigation and subsequent prosecution; as a cautionary measure, he instead handed over the envelop containing the list to Kofi Annan to forward to The Hague just in case the Kenya government chose to procrastinate over the matter. And as sure as the sun rises and sets in this part of the world, the Kenya government has procrastinated.

Now what worries Kenyans is this: How can a man of stature like Kofi Annan fail to keep to his word and promise? Why has he dithered with the envelop since March without taking it to The Hague as he promised considering that the Kenya government has missed two deadlines? Now we hear he has given the coalition another deadline of August 31, 2009. What guarantee is there that he will honor his own deadlines despite his awareness that the Kenya Parliament may reject the motion again as they did early in the year?

Kofi Annan may be one of the greatest diplomats Africa may have offered to mankind, however, if he dillydallies with the Kenyan situation for too long, two things will happen to his credibility world wide. First , Kenyan criminals will know that he is a mere toothless bulldog that is afraid to bite, and the more they begin to think this way, the more they will vilify him in public funerals until Kenyans who admired him will actually hate him. The victims of post election violence will probably even curse him for having given them false hopes that they would receive justice.

Does Kofi Annan want to leave this kind of legacy to the people of Kenya, the rest of Africa and the world?