Why Kibaki suspended Nancy Baraza but left Uhuru Kenyatta,Muthaura
Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki yesterday announced the suspension of Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza after the Judicial Service Commission, JSC, recommended that a tribunal to probe her conduct be formed.
For those who may not be up to speed on the Baraza saga, she allegedly pinched a Village Market guard,Rebecca Kerubo, on the nose and pulled a gun after she refused to be searched,a routine security measure after increase in Al Shabaab bombings in Kenya.
Many saw Baraza vs Kerubo’s case as a David Vs Goliath battle,Kenyans did not expect the case to go far.But it did go far with the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga referring the matter to the JSC who then recommended that Baraza be suspended and a tribunal formed to probe her.
Few expected Kibaki to take any action against Baraza but they were surprised when news broke out Wednesday that she has been suspended. The timing of the release was peculiar at about 8:30pm, a time when most media have gone to bed he minimizing the scope of coverage.
Suspending Baraza is still a good move shows that the new constitution is being followed to the letter but my concern is why Kibaki was fast to suspend her (for only pinching a guard’s nose) and has decided to form a commission to advise him on whether he should sack his two trusted lieutenants Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthaura even after International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed charges against the two as having committed crimes against humanity.
These are no minor charges as Hussein Ali,one of the Ocampo six, said after he was cleared by ICCt: “This is something I will not wish on anybody else.”
Kenyans were expecting that Kibaki,who was voted on the platform of reforms and has been credited with giving Kenya a new constitution,will move fast and suspend if not sack the two. But no the president defended Uhuru and Muthaura and at the same time has suspended Baraza.
But it is easy to guess why Kibaki is not in a hurry to suspend the two. Going by the ICC judges ruling during the confirmation of charges against the Ocampo six,the judges clearely believes that Kibaki hosted mungiki youths at State House in November 2007 a month before the discredited presidential elections.
By sacking the two Kibaki will be in essence admitting to the ICC that Muthaura and Uhuru are guilty of the crimes they are being charged for. By admitting the crimes it shows that the president had a hand in planning the revenge attacks that left hundreds dead especially in Nakuru and Naivasha.
But a crime is a crime the learned friends will tell you and justice is blind. I don’t see why therefore Kibaki will be quick to suspend Nancy Baraza but still allows ICC suspects to hold office.
We know of ministers who have been forced to leave office for far minor offences. The list is endless but recently we had Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula on Japan embassy saga,Henry Kosgey,William Ruto,Wilfred Mcahacge,Harun Mwau,Kiraitu Murungi,Amos Kimunya among others.
It is time Kibaki followed the law and apply justice equally.