Kenya has suffered serious erosion of sovereignty

The decision by America and Britain to disclose their intention to torpedo Kenya’s request for deferral of the ICC cases at the Security Council has put these two powers in an uncomfortable position.

They must be solely blaming the Kenyan Government that it has come to this.

They are right in taking a very dim view of Kenya’s misguided effort to chart the independent course it has taken without first clearing with them.

As a client state, America and Britain must be of the view that such a momentous decision to defer the ICC case ought to be authorised by them.

By publicly slapping Kenya in the face, America and Britain are restoring order in their relationship with Kenya.

The Kenya Government must be reminded of the dynamics in the power play between itself and the two countries.

It must be told to play by the rules as established between the three countries.

Kenya must apologise to America and Britain on the unilateralist and unauthorised decision it so recklessly took in seeking a deferral of the case without their blessing.

I understand and sympathise with the anger shown by these two countries.

They must be asking themselves how Kenya, which used to gleefully answer to every outrageous demand they made, can decide to go it alone in the Security Council.

Kenya, under President Mwai Kibaki, has witnessed one of the greatest erosions of sovereignty in Africa as against Western powers.

As clearly revealed by the leaked cables, Washington in the past decade has literally been making major decisions for the Kenya Government, especially in security matters.

It is a matter of public knowledge that certain security organs in Kenya, insofar as certain issues are concerned, are directly answerable to the American FBI and CIA.

Whether it is the sacking of a government employee, whether it is the arrest or rendition of a Kenyan, America has been Kenya’s master.

The Office of the President has been complying with or facilitating the decisions that were principally made in Washington. It gave a blanket cheque to American security agents to do as they want in the country.

It knows, for instance, that the youth programme financed by America is a covert operation. It is now a case of the chicken having come home to roost.

Lord the Protector

Lowly colourless officials like Johnie Carson, who was famously mum during his tenure as Washington’s ambassador in Nairobi, has been making numerous trips making demands that certain officials be sacked.

America has conducted its relations with Kenya as if it was Lord the Protector. It even complains that our borders are porous. The decision by Washington and London to veto the deferral request is a wake-up call to Kenya.

The subservient position we have assumed in relation to these countries is principally due to the weaknesses of the Office of the President and the Foreign Affairs ministry.

This humiliation should herald the beginning of a rethink in our foreign policy and a shift from the shadow of these countries. This, amongst other things, must entail a curtailment of the security cooperation with these countries.

The one sided master-servant relationship has shown to be unviable. America and Britain have taken the decision to veto any deferral request by Kenya pursuant to strategic decisions they made about this country.

Isn’t it the height of Western hypocrisy that America, which is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, and which has a hostile policy towards the ICC, is at the forefront of the Kenyan case?

In fact, the case is being solely pursued as a result of America’s vested interest in Kenya.

The polemic that the case will yield justice to the victims of post-election violence or that it will end impunity is embarrassingly hollow.

These countries, like all powers, don’t have the interest of Kenya at heart.

The writer is the publisher of Nairobi Law Monthly [email protected]

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