Kenya should not pull out of ICC for the sake of peace, says Kabogo

Governor William Kabogo. [Photo Kamau Maichuhie/Standard]

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo says leaving the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a bad idea for Kenya.

"Plans to withdraw from the ICC are uncalled for and inappropriate because the court plays a crucial role in ensuring peace in the world by putting dictators in check," said Kabogo. 

He, however, said there is need to restructure The Hague-based court to ensure it does not only target African leaders.

"It is my opinion, even though I may be wrong, that Kenya should not withdraw from ICC. Were it not for the court, maybe we would not have had peace in the 2013 elections in Kenya. The court has ensured peace in Africa and the world," said Mr Kabogo.

The governor spoke in Limuru Sunday during the launch of an initiative to enhance peace ahead of the August elections.

The initiative dubbed Daima Mkenya and spearheaded by Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) seeks to have leaders and all Kenyans commit to peace before and after elections.

"I am committed to peace ahead of party primaries and the General Election. I shall maintain peace here in Kiambu and everywhere else I go. We want an election that is free from violence.

"I am appealing to our competitors at the national and county level to commit to this peace initiative as well. Everyone should know that Kenya is bigger than all of us," Kabogo said.

There have been calls, especially from Jubilee supporters, to have Kenya withdraw from the ICC. Those against the court claim it has only been targeting African leaders.

This followed cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and four other Kenyans over the 2007 post-election violence where over 1,000 people were slaughtered and 650,000 uprooted from their homes.

This was after then President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner, victory his main rival Raila Odinga of ODM disputed.

Supporters of President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto have questioned the relevance of the court. However, this was before the criminal charges against the two were dropped with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda accusing the Kenyan government of failing to cooperate with it in providing crucial documents that would have helped strengthen her evidence.

In October last year, the Government said the country is yet to decide whether to pull out of ICC or not.

In a statement, State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said a decision on the matter was still 'pending' and that the issue was yet to be deliberated upon by Cabinet.

And Sunday, Kepsa vice-chairman Polycarp Igathe urged politicians and Kenyans at large to ensure peace.

The official said peace is key to doing business.

"If there is no peace, many people will be rendered jobless. It is therefore important to ensure there is peace during this electioneering period," Igathe said.