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Advocacy Brief on Kenya: 15th Session of the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 16-24 November, 2016 (21.11.2016)

kptj

Background

At the height of the violence that gripped Kenya after the disputed 2007 elections, the Party of the National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement, who were parties to the conflict, wrote to the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking its intervention to stop what they called genocide. A local investigatory commission with international participation found that some actions during the post-election violence likely met the threshold of crimes against humanity and recommended the establishment of a Special Tribunal for Kenya, or in the alternative, the handover of the sealed evidence to the Prosecutor at the ICC.

Efforts to establish the Tribunal were defeated by political forces aligned to suspected perpetrators, hence triggering the handover of evidence to the ICC and the subsequent investigation. Six Kenyans were named in connection with seven crimes against humanity charges; the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II confirmed charges against four suspects. Two suspects – Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were subsequently elected President and Deputy President, respectively, before their trials could begin at the ICC. Thereafter, the Prosecutor withdrew charges against two suspects – Francis Muthaura and Kenyatta – citing witness bribery and intimidation, as well as failure by the Kenya government to cooperate with the court. The remaining case against Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang was terminated citing “intolerable levels of witness interference and political meddling”.

Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ) has followed closely the developments around accountability for the crimes committed during the 2007 post-election violence. Since the opening of the investigations in March 2010, we have observed certain shortcomings and challenges on the part of the Government of Kenya, the ICC, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) and the African Union (AU). This brief seeks to focus on key issues emerging from the situation that the ICC and international justice finds itself in today, while drawing linkages from how the Kenya cases and other ICC cases were managed. KPTJ also makes recommendations on actions that require to be undertaken by the ASP, the ICC and African governments in order to address the emergent challenges.

  1. Engage and Withdraw Simultaneously?

A Contradiction in the Mandate of the AU Open Ended Committee

  1. The 27th ordinary session of the African Union’s assembly in July 2016 issued a decision on the ICC[1] pursuant to a similar one from the previous session[2]. Besides praising the court’s termination of the case against Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto, the AU outlined a five-point agenda for the Open-Ended Committee of Foreign Ministers on the ICC, which included the following:
  • Engaging with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) before the January 2017 AU Summit and before the 15th Assembly of State Parties in November 2016.
  • Maintaining the earlier decision from January 2016, to develop a comprehensive strategy to inform the actions of AU member states that are party to the Rome Statute; a strategy that includes collective withdrawal from the ICC.
  • Concluding a review of the ICC’s interpretation of Article 93 of the Rome Statute regarding the compulsion of unwilling witnesses to testify, with a view to inform debate at the 15th
  • Conveying the message that AU member states object to the inclusion of language requiring the UNSC to mandate UN peace-keeping missions to enforce arrest warrants in Africa.
  • Utilising the AU Mission in Brussels, Belgium, as the secretariat to the Open-ended Ministerial Committee and provision of institutional support to the African Group in The Hague, Netherlands, to ensure effective coordination of its activities.
  1. The AU has since held a meeting with the UNSC in September 2016 to present pre-formulated terms developed by the Open-ended Ministerial Committee as conditions to keep African States as parties to the Rome Statute. These conditions were as follows[3]:
  • Immunity under the ICC’s Rome Statute for sitting heads of state and government as well as senior officials;
  • Intervention of the ICC in cases involving African states only after those cases have been submitted to the AU or AU judicial institutions; and
  • Reduction in the powers of the ICC Prosecutor.
  1. Recent developments have seen South Africa, Burundi and The Gambia commence processes to withdraw from the ICC; seemingly as part of actualising the intention cited in the agenda of the Open-ended Ministerial Committee. These actions expose the agenda by the AU to be disingenuous and presupposes that the deliberations within the ASP would be futile.. The wave of withdrawals occurs against a counter-wave of support for the Court by countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana[4]; an indication that the strategy for mass withdrawal does not enjoy the consensus suggested by the AU decision of July 2016. These countries have suggested that concerns expressed by African states are not insurmountable and can be addressed within the framework of the ASP. Their support for the ICC underscores the fact that the obligations under the Rome Statute are State obligations and not AU obligations; as such, decisions on withdrawal will be based on national interest that cannot be assumed by the AU.
  1. Furthermore, the strategy for AU member states to withdraw undermines the other outlined agenda items of engagement with the ASP, such as the review of the interpretation of Article 93 of the Rome Statute and the enforcement of arrest warrants. Such contradictory actions raise the question of whether the AU is negotiating ICC reforms in good faith.
  1. In light of the foregoing, KPTJ recommends that:
  • African States abandon and disregard calls for mass withdrawal from the Court and instead consolidate the member bloc to advance their concerns within the bounds of the ASP in deliberations based on good faith.
  • African states should continue to publicly reaffirm their support for engaging with the ICC through the ASP and prevail on the AU to adjust its engagement strategy accordingly. We applaud the statements made by Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana.
  • An ICC Liaison Office should be established at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa to facilitate more productive and sustained communication between African States and the ICC as part of restoring a relationship that has become plagued by mistrust and misunderstandings.
  1. Absence of Accountability?

Peace, Security and Stability

  1. The characterisation of the ICC as undermining the peace and security of states or threatening their stability has become a recurring theme by those advocating disengagement or withdrawal from the ICC. In its notice of withdrawal, South Africa claims that its aspirations for the peaceful resolution of conflicts were being hindered by its obligations under the Rome Statute[5] to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir when he attended the June 2015 AU Summit in Johannesburg. Kenyan government officials have also previously described the cases against Kenyatta and Ruto as an existential threat to peace and stability.
  2. A closer scrutiny of this assertion in the face of ongoing conflict situations suggests the contrary. The absence of accountability processes does not necessarily facilitate peaceful resolution of conflicts; the South Sudan and Burundi conflicts instead point to protagonists willing to escalate violence, even in the context of peace negotiations. Burundi and The Gambia have commenced processes to withdraw from the ICC at a time when their respective governments stand accused of acts of repression and mass human rights violations. Rather than advance the cause for peace, the clamour for withdrawal from the ICC is playing into the hands of those wary of the prospects of accountability in the aftermath of conflict. Even more concerning is an apparent trend of rising post-election violence, such as that witnessed in Kenya previously and in Gabon currently, or violence stemming from efforts to instal third-term incumbencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. Such trends are bound to persist in the absence of mechanisms for accountability, of which the ICC is a critical component.
  3. The assertion that the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (African Court) and its proposed expanded criminal jurisdiction through the Malabo Protocol would fill in any void created by a mass withdrawal from the ICC is erroneous. The African Court is a distant prospect for addressing the impunity gap: it is far from being operational. Since 2013, only five states namely Benin, Kenya, Congo, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania have signed but not ratified the Malabo Protocol, which requires the ratification of 15 states to begin operations. Kenya is the only state thus far that has made a financial pledge of USD 1 million to operationalise the court — a far cry from the resources required for a court of broad jurisdiction consisting of a mandate on human rights as well as international law and interstate disputes. It has previously been estimated that a singular international criminal trial costs USD 20 million to undertake. In addition, the protocol contains contentious provisions that undermine its viability as an alternative platform for international crimes, the most notable being the clause of immunity for sitting heads of state and senior government officials. As a testament to the inability of the African Court to be an immediate replacement of the ICC as desired by some, even South Africa through its Justice Minister has indicated that it will ask for a review of the Malabo Protocol to address contentious issues. Furthermore, limited progress has been made towards establishing national mechanisms that can sufficiently undertake the obligation of accountability for international crimes.
  4. KPTJ recognises the pursuit of justice in conflict and post-conflict settings as an essential pillar of rebuilding democracies and restoring rule of law. These are the pathways to lasting peace, security and stability. Rather than push to void international justice mechanisms after the conflict to facilitate mediation, we recommend that:
  • African states fully implement and consistently apply already established norms on democracy, peace and security as a preventative measure to conflict including: the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and; the African Governance Architecture.
  • African states must critically reflect on and address the issues of the African Court’s capacity, accessibility, legal standards outlined for crimes under international law and expunge provisions conferring immunity on sitting Heads of State and senior government officials. This process must not be rushed or predicated on a manufactured crisis precipitated by a strategy of mass withdrawal from the ICC.
  • African states should establish robust and credible national mechanisms to address the accountability question at first instance and in complementarity with regional and international mechanisms. They must also broaden their policy considerations to include comprehensive reparation programmes for victims of international crimes.
  • Disparity between State Obligations and Reality?

A look at State Cooperation

  1. The Kenya and Sudan cases have exposed the frailties within the Rome Statute framework in as far as state cooperation is concerned. These cases have laid waste to the presumption that States will willingly engage with the court in the face of cases seeking to prosecute sitting heads of state, their deputies or powerful elites in close proximity to power. State cooperation has only demonstrably worked in instances where the target for prosecution is a vanquished foe of conflict as seen in the cases of Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire, that are fast advancing a notion of “victor’s justice”. This challenge is further compounded by the fact that the final recourse for addressing the lack of state cooperation rests with the ASP. The ASP being a political organ of the Rome Statute is influenced by political rather than purely legal considerations in making its decisions, which makes the issue of resolving the non-cooperation of states problematic. A final challenge to state cooperation is the failure of the United States, China and Russia to ratify the Rome Statute while also being members of the UNSC with the power of referral of matters to the court. This has created the notion of double standards within the international justice system and emboldened other states to disregard cooperation with the court.
  2. KPTJ calls on the members of the UNSC who have not ratified the Rome Statute to display leadership on State cooperation with the court by first ratifying the Statute and utilising its discretion on referral and deferral in a manner that adheres to the objectives of the Statute. We further wish to reiterate that state cooperation must denote effective cooperation that facilitates the mandates of the respective organs of the court and not feigned cooperation which creates the perception of facilitating the court but in fact consists of using procedural and technical obstacles to undermine the court. We call on the ASP to adopt a consistent and objective legal standard in the assessment of state cooperation.
  3. Are there lessons to be learned?

Taking stock of the experience in the Kenya cases

  1. The Kenya cases and the manner of their termination carry critical lessons for consideration to inform future actions by the court and the content of reforms within the strategic plans of its respective organs. The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) as well as the bench on various occasions decried the instances of witness tampering and intimidation as well as non-cooperation by the state in responding to the OTP requests for information and a failure to execute ICC warrants of arrest with respect to three Kenyans suspected of witness tampering. This in fact has led to a finding of non-compliance against Kenya and led to its referral to the ASP under article 87(7) of the Rome Statute. In the midst of all this, was an unprecedented and disruptive diplomatic effort that deliberately exerted political pressure on the court with a view to influencing the outcome of the Kenya cases. It is arguable that these diplomacy efforts yielded the concession of excusing President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto from continuous presence at their trial and that the current wave of withdrawals from the ICC on the basis of an apparent bias by the court against Africans are a fallout from these diplomatic efforts. The capitulations of the cases have also pointed to significant flaws in the investigative and prosecutorial approaches that informed the development of the cases and must lead to some introspection from the relevant mechanisms. The fact that the Trust Fund for Victims is yet to commence operations in Kenya cannot go without mention.
  2. KPTJ urges all the organs of the court to reflect on these experiences and take due cognisance of the following lessons and recommendations:
  • The ICC, particularly the ASP, should do more to ensure that it does not allow political statements to interfere with the judicial independence of the Court.
  • The ICC should ensure that it takes steps to respond to messages of a political nature and correct inaccurate statements in a timely manner. In addition, it should ensure that such key messages reach the right audiences, including victims and affected communities.
  • The Court should continue to build its relationship with African States that openly support the mandate of the ICC; in addition, the ICC should do more to improve its relationship with, and image at, the AU.
  • The Trust Fund for Victims should commence operations in Kenya, as victims have received little to no assistance from the Kenyan government.
  • The Prosecutor should carefully consider when to request ‘summons to appear’ as opposed to ‘warrants of arrest’ and take into account the individual circumstances of each accused person in doing so, particularly their potential to intimidate witnesses and interfere with evidence.
  • Swift action should be taken by the Prosecutor and the Court in instances of non-cooperation by States Parties. Any instances of non-cooperation should be resolved as speedily as possible, in such a manner that the outcome of proceedings on non-cooperation can be applied to strengthen an ongoing case and not be delayed to the point that the outcome is only of academic significance.
  • The Prosecutor should continue to carry out a review of its investigative strategies and methods in order to improve its chances of success at trial.
  • The Prosecution should ensure that its staff are able to spend as much time as possible on better understanding the context and nuances of a given situation country.
  1. Pursuit of reform without prejudice?

UN Reform vs ICC Reform

  1. The unique role played by UNSC in referral and deferral of cases before the ICC means that the debates on reforming the court and reforming the UN and in particular the UNSC have inevitably intersected. We have witnessed both undertones and overt accusations of imperialism and undue influence directed at the court on account of cases on Africa referred to it by the UNSC (Libya and Sudan). Arguments made to amend the Rome Statute to confer immunity for sitting heads of state and senior government officials are laced with grievance against the UNSC permanent five members possessing a de facto immunity from prosecution under the ICC on account of their veto power. The end result is a misdirected effort to amend the Rome Statute or in the extreme withdraw from the ICC on the basis of perceived excesses that are better addressed by engaging the broader debate of UN reforms.
  1. While KPTJ acknowledges the slanted relationship of the UNSC with the court and supports a robust conversation on its reforms, we call on states not to misdirect the agenda of reforming the UNSC into discussions on improving the functions of the court and occasion amendments to the Rome statute that sacrifice the future of the court as part of a bargaining process on UNSC reforms. We call on African states in particular, to distinguish the broader question of UN reforms as enshrined in the “Ezulwini Consensus” from the question of reforming the Rome Statute and reflecting on the performance of the court. We call upon African member states to the Rome Statute not to sacrifice the promise of justice for victims of atrocity crimes at the altar of grievance against the unequal power relations represented by the UN Security Council.

end/kptj/16.06.2016

——–

About KPTJ:

This brief was prepared by Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ), a coalition of Kenyan citizens and over 30 organisations working in the human rights, governance and legal fields that came together during the crisis over the disputed results of the 2007 presidential election to seek truth and accountability for the elections and the widespread violence that followed; and who continue to work closely with the victims of that period. It is a brief update on the situation in Kenya as pertains to pursuing accountability for the crimes against humanity committed during the 2007-2008 Post-Election Violence as well as its adherence to its obligations under the Rome Statute.

[1] Assembly/AU/Dec.616 (XXVII)

[2] Assembly/AU/Dec.590(XXVI)

[3] Press Release: “UN/African Union: Reject ICC withdrawal”. Available here: http://www.khrc.or.ke/2015-03-04-10-37-01/press-releases/552-un-african-union-reject-icc-withdrawal.html

[4] Article: “Which African states slammed Burundi, South Africa and Gambia’s withdrawal from ICC?” Available here: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/which-african-states-slammed-burundi-south-africa-gambias-withdrawal-icc-1589711

[5] https://www.justsecurity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/South-Africa-Instrument-of-Withdrawal-International-Criminal-Court.jpg

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Kenya: “Of 10 witnesses compelled by court to testify only 5 showed up” Tom Maliti of ICC (Youtube-Clip)

“Judges at the International Criminal Court declared a mistrial in the case of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, throwing out the charges he faced over post-election violence because political interference had made a fair trial impossible” (France24, 2016)

Supreme Court dismissial of the Election Petition No. 1. of Amama Mbabazi; As expected they would validate the votes for Mzee

Dolphines

Chief Justice (CJ) Bart Katureebe: “1st respondent (Museveni) was validly elected. This petition is dismissed. We make no orders for costs”.

It is not that I wanted to say this, but I had as little faith in the Ugandan Supreme Court as much the two dancing dolphins cares about Shakespeare or as much Donald Trump cares about his own integrity. Not much.

On the 30th March there been rumors and speculated that the Supreme Court Justices happened to visit the Entebbe Statehouse, the day before the Final Grand Judgement of the First Election Petition and the only one on the matter. Seems strange right? The day before in the middle of the process that the Supreme Court Judges ferries to the Executive or the President Museveni’s State House, Who happens to be the respondent or Defendant for the Electoral Process, is shipping the men to his hollow chambers the day before. Surely not for cooling chat with his loyal men, but securing the Power of his ruling power.

The Court case is supposed to be dismissed on the grounds of not valid evidence of bribing, pre-ticketing the ballots, re-writing the Candidates DR Forms from the Polling Stations, the later arrival of Polling Material, Discontinued or even dismissal of large amount of voters in Wakiso or Kampala, none of these evidence are credible or just mere rumors; barely mere speculations that cannot be the narrative of an election said to be credible by the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) who them all said they we’re “free and fair”; and since all of them came to that conclusion it has to be true!

Bart Katureebe

As I have been listening to the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, my thoughts of yesterday were actually true. They have only given in on some demands, but have no plans of annulment of the Presidential Elections, as the affidavits was usually not taken in and the statements of the incumbent was the ones that we’re valid. The blatant lies of the Public Officials not campaigning for the Executive, but on their own capacity seems to be another way of cleaning their hands instead of looking into it. For instance of Frank Tumbewaze was not the campaigning on his own accord, but to be there to spread the news of the NRM.

The whole Supreme Court had not seen evidence or reasons for the annulment of the Presidential Election and therefore handing the announcement of President Museveni his seventh term. I know it is officially his fifth, but that is another lie that the NRM-Regime. The Declaration of the Supreme Court dismissed the case. We can now the Electoral Commission has been validate and the justices have been served for the Executive, but not respecting the people and the actual votes.

I will discuss more when the Supreme Court Documents are actually leaked to the public and discuss the so called missing evidence and the reasons for the validating the elections. Proves that the visit at Entebbe State House have given way for the Court Justices or Judges to oversee the compliance of evidence.

Besigye Amama

Hon. Amama Mbabazi the Presidential Candidate have now gone through the same dismissial in the Supreme Court as Dr. Kizza Besigye twice had gotten dismissed. That the Chief Justice talks about Substantial or sufficient amounts of voters not respected their ballots.

So the NRM have maybe won through total intimidation and thieving the election as the Executive is making himself ready for the sworn-in-ceremony together with the loyal presidents from abroad. While the will only be hired crowds and guns on the street; not a legitimate celebration; as there hasn’t been any good public relation between the opposition and the continuation of the ruling-party.

NBS Presidential Election Petition 2016

“We are satisfied that the results used to declare Museveni winner were valid. The petitioner did not produce any evidence against this. We also found that there was non compliance but we are not satisfied that the non compliance affected the results announced”Chief Justice Bart Katureebe

The Executive proves he does not care about the integrity and honoring of the public will. As the Police have taken the opposition hostage and taken their votes away; now together with the Supreme Court ruling and dismissing of the elections. There been to many Electoral Frauds, the Supreme Court does not see merits, because their payed puppets of the ruling regime, and those who thought they would give a different verdict; have lived in an alternative world where the dancing dolphins rules the world. Something it is not.

There will be more to come… as I myself can read the documents and the affidavits, and the unproved allegations have been dismissed by the court; therefore the Court Ruling have dismissed the people and their will, the case for court as long as the NRM-Regime and their Electoral laws are there, they are mended and tailor-made for the Executive. Peace.   

An affidavit from the former-editor of the Daily Nation Denis Galava who was “sacked” for Political reasons!

daily-nation-east-african-newspapers

This happens in the same time period that Gado the cartoonist at Daily Nation has been under fire for his cartoons of Kenyatta and later was finally sacked for a cartoon mocking President Museveni. So there were already issues between editorial freedom and the government control of media in Kenya under President Kenyatta, as this story will show.

Denis Galava the former editor Daily Nation who got fired for speaking up towards the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta. This here is outtakes from his affidavit and is interesting as he was fired or sacked in the end of January 2016. The gaging of Kenyan Media comes to the surface and makes an impression!

Denis Galava

Problems of November 2015:

“Earlier in November, the Editor-In-Chief called me to his office for what I presumed was a routine discussion on the investigation docket. We had lined up stories on Eurobond, Jubilie’s Mega Scandal, the death of the manufacturing sector and the collapse of the coffee sector. While not disagreeing with the merit of the stories, he said timing was tricky. For that the Aga Khan was scheduled to visit Kenya in December 2015 as a State guest and the presidency accused the Nation of malice for interesting scandals in government” (…)”Mr. Mshindi also asked me to ask popular Saturday Nation columnist David Ndii to stop writing about Eurobond and NYS Scandal because of his provocative analyses had angered the government and cost the company business. I out rejected the proposal, saying the columnist had struck in the letter and spirit contract of his contract and the reputational damage of us gauging him was not worth the risk” (…)”And the Editor-In-Chief, instead of defending our editorial independence, had chosen to gag us” (…)”My experience with the senior editors and we concluded that the Editor-In-Chief had privilege political sensitivities and personal biases over good journalism”.

How it all started:

“Completed the Editorial at 05:30pm and alerted the acting editor of Saturday Nation to revise it. He told me it was hard-hitting, but truthful. Since the paper was in the midst of a staffing crisis, I also took on a few other tasks that evening – editing the special reports section and ‘Page one’. I left shortly thereafter for the night” (…)”Woke up on Saturday morning to a social media fest over the editorial” (…)”Around midday, the Group Managing Editor (GME) Weekend editions called saying the editorial was hard hitting but objective. He received many calls, most compelling the Nation for finally speaking truth of power and a few from State House officials saying that the editorial was a declaration of war against the president”.

This continued with reactions from the State house:

“It also learnt that there had been a call from a senior State House official later that afternoon which was to be the first rumble the thunder in the brewing storm. The official asked why the Nation was ambushing the President in the New Year. He said the President was angered by the Editorial and intended to take it up with the Nation’s founder, the Aga Khan, who had been a state guest at the 12. December 2015, Jamhuri Day celebrations”.

State House Kenya

State House Kenya

Calls on Sunday:

“the calls had become more frantic in tone. I learned from the GME Weekend Eric Obino that the Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi had called him from India saying the government had threatened serious sanctions over the editorial. That NGM board chairman Wilfred Kiboro and called and also written to the CEO Joe Muganda and Mr. Mshindi demanding immediate action to appease the government. Matters were complicated by the fact that for three years, the Nation board and the local Aga Khan network had been trying to reach out to State House in vain”.

On Monday:

“The Acting Saturday Nation editor Kariuki Waihenya and GME Weekend informants told me they had received emails from the editor in chief asking them to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them over the publication of the editorial”

On Thursday – 5th January

“That morning, the HR director returned from leave for a conference call with the Editor-in-Chief, who was in India, and two Group Managing Editors for Weekend and daily editions (Mr. Obino and Mutuma Mathiu, respectively). After the discussion, the acting editor for Sunday Nation was given a first warning letter over the editorial, while his Sunday counterpart was also cautioned over the cartoon published on the January 3 that infuriated State House

Later on the same day after picking up and taking his niece to school he got a call:

“the GME Weekend editions called asking me to join him at the responding to mounting fury, added to the prevailing bewilderment. According to his statement expressing the official position of the paper, I had not been suspended but rather advised to stay away for a few days”

On Friday – 6th January:

“the BBC interviewed Mr. Muganda over my suspension. Mr. Muganda said I been suspended for not following procedure in writing the editorial and went ahead to compare me to a bank teller who steal cash”.

On Thursday – 14th January:

“the HR Manager in charge of editorial Ms Jane Mkituri(Not sure) called me to invite me for a disciplinary hearing at 2pm on January 18. She also invited me to respond in writing to the issues raised in my suspension letter”.

On 18th January:

“In my response letter dated January 18, I protested that the procedures and guidelines referred to in the suspension letter were communicated to me for the first time in the suspension letter” (…)”While I had in the past either written or authorized editorials based on my judgement, the issue of procedure had never come up”.

Reaction to the letter:

“I was surprised to learn that two hours after submitting my response stating from there were no written procedures for editorial writing, the Editor-in-Chief issued – for the first time – comprehensive guidelines and timelines for writing editorials”.

TV Kenyatta Odinga

On the disciplinary hearing:

“I was surprised that I had to defend myself to the very people who has accused me and suspended me unheard – the Editor-in-Chief, GME Weekend, HR Director and Company Secretary (Mr. Joseph Kinyua). I had expected a different, independent panel compromising at least one peer and individuals unrelated to the suspension the law states” (…)”The hearing turned out to be more of a dialogue of the deaf than even my initial cynicism anticipated” (…)”Every question started and ended with the word procedure, with an occasional dose of “disrespecting the presidency and endangering company business”. In 58 minutes, the duration of the hearing, I repeated 17 times that I not flouted procedure since, in actuality, there was no procedure to flout”.

The answer on the matter at the hearing:

“A panelist offered that he would be more cautious if he were in my shoes. Here I stood, he added, both having upset Kenya’s President and the Aga Khan, and risked the business of the paper, and yet here I also stood seeking justification rather than groveling for mercy”.

Continued part of the hearing:

“I explained that this section spoke of content and not procedure. None of the panelists cared to listen to me” (…)”Pushing the file I had given him aside, the Editor-In-Chief said I had hurt him, the tone of the editorial was disrespectful and it was risked the company business. The Company Secretary weighted in with similar comments, adding that this was the most disrespectful article on the presidency he had ever read and that I should be apologizing instead of defending the indefensible”.

Later on the 20th January:

“About 10am on Wednesday, January 20, the HR Director called and asked me to see him in the office at 4pm. He gave me the termination letter for “willful disobedience of the covenants and laid down process and procedures”. I protested this was unfair because in whole of my career at Nation”.

kenya-press_2721233b

Together with the Gado sacking and this story of how the Editor-In-Chief dedicated the stories and silenced the newspaper and their columnist to fit the State House, is a worrying sign when we think about the up-coming elections in 2017.

That the media have to worry about writing articles to step on their toes and not be able to make stories that they can cover, as the President and his advisor will call the Nations Editor-In-Chief or CEO. As the State House want the investment from the Aga Khan and the State House want to look decent, and not have the story of corruption or scandals out! Peace.

Amama Mbabazi speaks on arrest of petition witness and burglary at lawyers’ offices (Youtube-Clip)

Amama Mbabazi addresses the media and talks about the cases of alleged police raid on his lawyers’ offices in which materials and evidence linked to the election petition were stolen. Mbabazi also briefly addresses reported cases that some of his petition witnesses have been arrested or are being harassed by police” (NTV Uganda, 2016).

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