Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura have resigned from these posts, although Kenyatta remains Deputy prime Minister, following a four-hour meeting with Kenya’s President Kibaki yesterday evening. Their resignations come in the wake of the International Criminal Court’s decision announced on Monday that they are to be charged in connection with the post-election violence that engulfed Kenya in 2007/08 following the disputed last election.
Robinson Githae, MP for Ndia Constituency and Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development is to take over as Finance Minister.
There had been pressure on the two to resign since the ICC ruling three days ago but also confusion as to whether they had to stand down. The Kenya Forum thinks the situation is fairly clear even if it may not seem so to the readers of Kenya’s daily newspapers. Clear but not clear cut as people would like it to be: this is not simply a ‘good guys’, ‘bad guys’ battle.
THE NATIONAL ACCORD
It was four years ago in February 2008 that the then U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, knocked Mwai Kibaki’s and Raila Odinga’s heads together leading to a coalition government in Kenya. Kibaki and Odinga agreed to a draft national Accord and Reconciliation Act. To make it all work it was agreed off the record that although the perpetrators of the post-election violence would have to be charged if possible, Kibaki and Odinga would not have charges laid against them. Within the National Accord it was also agreed that anyone charged with crimes arising from the post-election violence could not remain in office ‘until the matter is fully adjudicated upon’.
So that seems clear to the Forum: Kenyatta and Muthuaura had to resign. Quite how, in this scenario, Uhuru Kenyatta remains as Prime Minister the Forum does not understand.
CAN KENYATTA RUN FOR PRESIDENT?
But does this mean that Uhuru Kenyatta cannot stand for the presidency at the next election? The Kenya Forum believes that he can.
The National Accord bars someone from contesting an electoral position if they have been ‘convicted’ of, not just charged with, an offence relating to post-election violence. Article 6 of the Constitution, the other text to which people keep referring in this context, as far as the Forum can see, does not stop Kenyatta from running for office.
OPERATION LINDA NCHI – KENYA’S “LONG HAUL” IN SOMALIA?
Just in case any of you missed it, yesterday marked the 100th day since Kenya’s armed forces entered Somalia to launch ‘Operation Linda Nchi’. We are still there and according to Colonel Cyrus Oguna, officer in charge of operations, “There no time limit. We are in Somalia for the long haul”.