NCCK supports push for deferral of Kenyan cases

By Ngari Gichuki

Kenya: The National Council of Churches has supported the push for the deferral of the International Criminal Court cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

NCCK Secretary General Reverend Peter Karanja said that in the instance the president is convicted and jailed while the deputy president is acquitted, in which case the Deputy President would automatically assume the position of President, this would bring political instability and violence in the country

He also said that in the instance both the president and deputy president are convicted and sentenced to jail in which case the Speaker of National Assembly becomes acting president, it would increase ethnic tension and also spark off violence in the country.

He was speaking at the NCCK headquarters in Jumuia Conference and County Home, Limuru.

Karanja said the position of the president as the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces would be demeaned when he is placed in the dock and his bodyguards disarmed at the ICC courtroom.

He also said that development would be derailed as national attention would be focused on the court proceedings.

ICC process

Karanja said although the calls for deferral won’t address the fundamental issues nor defuse the tensions that necessitated the ICC process, it would allow the United Nations Security Council to demand for the execution of demonstrable strategic action to complete the reforms in the Judiciary, security agencies and governance.

He also said it would allow the formation of an authentic healing and reconciliation processes based on a robust inter- and intra-ethnic dialogue among Kenyan communities adding that Kenyans should continue having hope that justice can be found.

Karanja, however, strongly opposed the calls by some African leaders that the president and deputy president should decline to attend the trials at the ICC saying that sanctions will be imposed on Kenya making the lives of Kenyans more challenging as its already hard.