Alleged victims of protests want opposition chiefs prosecuted by ICC

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 28 Jul, 2023 19:22 | 2 mins read
Raila and Uhuru
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga at a past function. PHOTO/PSCU.

A group of alleged victims of the recent demonstrations in the country have written to the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan asking for investigations against opposition leader Raila Odinga and retired President Uhuru Kenyatta for their alleged role in the protest.

Under the umbrella of Victims of Maandamano Insurgents (VMI), the group claims that the opposition chiefs are behind the "violent" demonstrations that led to the loss of life and alleged attempts to overthrow President William Ruto's government.

The group alleges that the leaders have committed crimes against humanity through the anti-government protests.

According to them, the alleged crimes fall within the armpit of Articles 7 and 8 of the Rome statute and are triable by ICC.

The developments come three months after the Azimio coalition also wrote a letter to the Office of the ICC Prosecutor asking for investigations into the alleged “killing and maiming” of its supporters by police.

In the letter, Raila, through lawyer Paul Mwangi, wants ICC Prosecutor Khan to investigate Inspector-General of Police Japhet Koome for violating the Constitution by declaring the opposition protests illegal.

The coalition has listed an alleged special squad of police created by Koome to unleash terror on its supporters.

In the recent letter by Victims of Maandamo to the ICC prosecutor through Adrian Kamotho and Company Advocates the group also wants the Hague-based court to investigate and prosecute all persons implicated in the recent past demonstration in the country.

"We are instructed to respectfully draw your attention to grave humanitarian atrocities and war crimes perpetuated against our client, that fall at the heart of your mandate as delineated by the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court, which inter alia confers upon the ICC, unfettered jurisdiction in relation to crimes of international concern, in complementary to national criminal jurisdictions, " the law firm says in the letter.

"Our clients are compellingly persuaded that a time has come for the office of the prosecutor to take decisive steps in consonance with Article 15 of the Rome statute, to redress acute humanitarian transgressions and war crimes, being perpetuated with impunity by Hon. Raila Odinga, a former prime Minister, and Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, a former president of the Republic of Kenya, who our client notes, has defied the retirement law, and opted to engage in an extremist political drive," the letter reads in part.

According to the group, claims that after the August 2022 general elections Raila and Uhuru, being the leaders of the Azimio la Umoja coalition, commenced a scathing campaign of hate, disinformation, propaganda, incitement and violence against President William Ruto's government.

"Astounding to our client, is a callous manner in which Raila and Uhuru continued to sponsor a wave of terror and deadly violence codenamed "Maandamano" against innocent citizens and law enforcement agencies. The foregoing viciousness and gross acts of inhumanity are calculated to trigger panic, anguish and bloodshed among peaceful citizens of the Republic of Kenya and expectant, exploit horrendous outcomes for power negotiations," the group states.

The Advocate says that his clients' fears have been aggravated by the use of militia and threat to invade national security installations including Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters in Nairobi.

He also alleges that young and underage persons are being enlisted by opposition leaders into the "Maandamano Insurgency".

The group calls on the ICC prosecutor to meticulously monitor the situation in Kenya as well as feasible early interventions.

The victims have informed the prosecutor that they are willing to avail all evidence on the alleged anarchy perpetuated by the opposition chiefs.