Thursday, 13 October 2011

Did The ICC Expose Kenya's Flimsy Foreign Policy?

What was the question again ? It came to the very end that our local and most of the international columnist have made publications dabbed the “Ocampo six”. Making prejudicial utterance in regards to the just concluded confirmation hearing at the Hague-Netherlands. Some even have gone as far as making theoretical justification as to why the charges may or will be confirmed with cogent arguments. Me think that  I will neither call for  hoi polloi or assert it was a Hollywood movie nor agree-use the so called Prof Peter Kagwanjas’ dossier. All in all however, the proceedings have much been analysed to the extent that other articles have even study the body language of both the witness and the defense cum prosecution counsel during the confirmation hearing. Notwithstanding my  observation will only be bounded to the only and only intention that may have been a hitherto to the foreign policy of this “sovereign” country.

Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Wetangula &
PS Foreign Affairs- Thuita Mwangi
Of course, none of us now knows exactly how this ICC business is going to pan out. One suspects that even the defence and prosecution lawyers who were sitting in that courtroom also do not know what the final outcome will be. But there are two things we can now say for certain about these ICC proceedings that may have reflected the flimsy side of our foreign policy.
The first, I was not perplexed when retired major General Ali brought in his immediate assistant as his witness neither will I question Uhuru Kenyatta’s witness.I had a hiccough when I noticed the Permanent Secretary of Foreign affairs Thuita Mwangi came in to the witness stand in defence of the head of public service and secretary to the cabinet Hon Francis Muthaura. Loaded with National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) minutes and other documentation on reach from his foreign ministry to the extent that the bench judges raised an eyebrow on how he managed to get such “national secret files”.
Why I am I saying so ?My attention was not focused on what he says rather his presence rely downgraded our “effective” foreign policy. My assertion is that the presence of PS Thuita Mwangi at the witness bench send signals that our foreign policy formulations and implementation still or somewhat personalised within the presidency. By this I mean some click of individuals still are the key determinants of Kenya’s foreign policy. Wait a minute am sure you will talk of sovereign ? Lest we forget the then gone days of president Moi “democratic regime” we still had the same cohorts in control of the state machinery, the so called “gorokos” or rather the sharpshooters other termed as the anti-stork theft unit, but still this argument is baseless from my side. Such idiosyncratic variable that have passed from the first two regimes, can we conclude that the same replica exists within our foreign policy tables as much as we have become so “democratic” ? I think that when the history of this country is definitively written, it will say that the ICC proceedings of 2011 marked another turning point in the foreign policy of this country.
Second, In the face of violation of our territorial borders by militants from South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia and Uganda army, it is time we candidly re-assess the role of our ministry of foreign affairs. All the attention was focused to the ICC  when the Toposa, Merille, Karamojong and Al Shabaab enter our country with impunity, and Ugandan Police raise their flag in Migingo, then we have become a failed state no matter any claim to the contrary. A failed state doesn’t need to be in chaos like Somalia only a weak Foreign policy that cannot fore show other stated within the abuts. Calls for military intervention and disbandment of the Kenyan military is all over our faces to the extent of even other assert that we enter into "defence umbrella treaties" with the UK, US and Israel in order to guide our territory. My question is, Do we not have an effective foreign policy that can be used as an instrument to guide our territorial integrity instead of calling for “war” within our borders ? My apologies we have a minister of foreign affairs and his PS who has just been “cleared” from the multimillion Japan land scandal and being re-instated to the “political patronage” that they “deserve”. Statement from the witness counsel during the confirmation hearings at the ICC.
In the life of every nation, there comes a time to make monumental changes in its national character.  Kenya’s foreign policy is a product of the co-ordination works of many actors which include heads of state, parliament, foreign affairs ministry, judiciary and other government port-folio which directly or indirectly affects  our foreign policy. The ICC confirmation hearing has already send signals that that our foreign policy is still personalised within the presidency, but time will tell when other scholars dispute the said justification. Still remain to be falsified.