Please allow me to comment on Felly Kimenyi’s article, “Why can’t EACJ adjudicate criminal cases?”, published in the edition of The New Times of October 17.
I wish the adherence or withdrawal from the Rome Treaty were discussed without reference being made to the cases in Kenya. It draws attention away from the main issue – building strong and independent national judicial systems capable of ending impunity.
The existence of the ICC undermines this process as justice is outsourced thereby stunting the growth of judicial systems in the affected countries. I believe the cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are constitutional as Kenya ratified the Rome Treaty and referred their cases to the court.
Their election to President and Vice-President has no bearing on their guilt or innocence and therefore their status should not be used as a rallying cry for withdrawal from the ICC.
As for the proposal to give universal jurisdiction to the EACJ, I think that it’s an idea with merit but as the EAC cannot agree on simpler issues, I’m not optimistic about the chances of this happening.