Paying tribute to ex-president Nelson Mandela first anniversary

Friday, December 5, marked the first anniversary of the passing on of the much-admired president Nelson Mandela of South Africa whose legacy continues to loom large. He will always inspire and give hope to the youth of Africa whose hopes have been dashed by the corrupt, greedy, selfish and violent dictators of Africa.

For the detractors and enemies of Africa who believe nothing good, useful and positive can come out of Africa, Mandela will remain a constant reminder that Africa is capable of producing world-class leaders and will do so again in future.

May the Lord rest Madiba’s soul in eternal peace!
As if to detract attention from events to mark that solemn day through prayers and meditation, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ms Fatou Bensouda, chose to announce on the very day a decision to withdraw charges of crimes against humanity hanging over Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta like a guillotine since December 2010.

As expected, there was both jubilation and disgust in equal measure in Nairobi and elsewhere in Kenya. Much has already been said and written about this scandalous case since the so-called “dynamic duo” was indicted by the ICC four years ago. Let me attempt to explain why despite available evidence at her disposal the prosecutor chose to withdraw the charges.

According to a statement issued by the prosecutor, she withdrew the charges because the government of Kenya failed and refused to cooperate with her investigation in breach of its treaty obligations under the Rome Statute which Kenya signed and ratified. The Kenyan government refused, for obvious reasons, to provide crucial and incriminating documentary evidence which the prosecutor said she persistently sought to prosecute the case.

She lamented before ICC judges that “Mungiki members said to have interacted with Mr Kenyatta in person during the post-election violence were killed or forcibly disappeared in an apparent clean-up operation after the violence.

The pre-trial period was marked by attempts to bribe and intimidate key witnesses.” It became increasingly clear that as long as the accused were in power, the relevant Kenyan authorities would never cooperate with the ICC hence the prosecutor’s decision to terminate the proceedings, for the time being.
The ICC prosecutor’s decision was a pyrrhic victory for Mr Kenyatta, Africa’s Big Men, the AU as well as victory for impunity. It was a sad day for the cause of justice and especially for the thousands of victims of the 20072008 post-election violence in Kenya about 1,300 Kenyans perished in that tragedy and 600,000 Kenyans were internally displaced while 4,000 sought refuge in Uganda.

I suspect the ICC decided to let Mr Kenyatta off the hook to appease the AU and African leaders who unfairly and unjustly accused the court of practising racism against Africans, much as the prosecutor is a distinguished African lawyer from the Gambia.

It is tempting to accuse the ICC of applying double standards in this matter one standard for the civilised world which values the rule of law and a much lower standard for African leaders who do not understand and appreciate the rule of law, but prefer the rule of the jungle where might is right and survival of the fittest is the order of the day.

On the quest for ethics and integrity
From the look of things one gets the impression that the NRM regime could not have got a better candidate for minister of Ethics and Integrity than the highly- trained Catholic priest from Karamoja, Father Simon Lokodo, but his tenure at that inappropriately named directorate leaves a lot to be desired.

Father Lokodo’s recent pronouncements on the sleazy Ms Desire Luzinda affair and previous positions on the anti-pornography law left many women activists and liberals disenchanted and up-in-arms.

When the salacious photos and videos of Luzinda went viral on social media, Father Lokodo’s initial reaction was to demand the immediate arrest of the poor lady who was caught in the act, to borrow language from the Holy Scriptures.

My unsolicited aice to Father Lokodo is that he should not take his work too seriously for two reasons.

First, most unethical and corrupt Ugandans with no integrity at all are big men in the NRM regime and in his over-zealous pursuit of his mandate, Father Lokodo will sooner or later and perhaps inaertently step on the toes of some of these men he will regret the consequences of stepping on their big toes, as a former prime minister has learnt without bitterness.

Second, the directorate he heads, like the office of the IGG, was not established to seriously fight corruption, but to deceive and hoodwink the donor community that the corrupt and decadent NRM regime has legal mechanisms to implement the so-called zero-tolerance policy towards corruption in the public sector. He should tread carefully and stealthily like a cat searching for a rat.

In the final analysis, everywoman and everyman has a right to make a fool or an ass of herself or himself so long as it does not offend or infringe on other people’s rights and sense of decency. Leave the likes of Desire Luzinda to make an ass of themselves in the privacy of their bedrooms and the bedrooms of their many boyfriends.

With regard to Luzinda’s Nigerian ex-boyfriend, I wonder which Ugandan laws he has violated and under which laws one can arrest and prosecute him. The minister is aised to let sleeping dogs lie and leave Luzinda to solve her personal mess with her estranged lover. Don’t waste public resources and your precious time on this tasteless saga you could perhaps pray for the two former love birds to forgive each other’s trespasses as our Lord Jesus Christ taught.

Mr Acemah is a political scientist, consultant and a retired career diplomat.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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