Just rename the ICC to the African Criminal Court

06 Nov 2016

Robert Mugabe has always had a habit of referring to himself in the first person plural.Whatever he dreamed about the night before and wants to turn into law the next morning becomes “we decided that…”

Ego is a very fragile thing that has to be pampered minute by minute and, in the case of an African president, at a great cost to a nation.

African leaders never miss the opportunity to remind everyone outside their borders that they are sovereign nations that are free to do as they please.

And, indeed, they do as they please: not what pleases the people.

Was it a coincidence that at a time that South African President Jacob Zuma was filing court papers to suppress or delay the Public Protector’s State of Capture, “a report on an investigation into alleged improper and unethical conduct by the President (Zuma) and other state functionaries”, Robert Mugabe was saying that he would not defend senior government and Zanu-PF officials implicated in corrupt deals or abuse of public funds?

Be that as it may, now that South Africans have been told what their president and other high ranking government and party officials did, what is next?

As for Mugabe, will he leave the law to take its course in the case of his staunch supporter, Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo?

These are just examples of how Africa toys with corruption: it is hardly a serious issue.

African leaders are the worst offenders in that their offences are deadly to both the nation and individual citizens.

Africa does not have an Ombudsman or Public Protector but few countries therein do but with their powers greatly limited yet we have a plethora of organisations, such as the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Southern Africa Development Community, the East African Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, among many others.

We have enough of them to serve and protect the citizens across the continent but all these groupings were formed by African leaders to protect their interests not to care about so-called ordinary citizens.

These organisations’ primary obligations concern the protection, safety and the legitimising of the horrible behaviours of the African leaders and the ruling elites regardless of how citizens are abused.

African leaders do not want to be held accountable yet they commit worse crimes than the citizens they rule.

They have disgraced the continent in Somalia, Sudan, Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Libya, Swaziland and the DR Congo, laughably employing proven disastrous intermediaries. They continue being not only party to the oppression, subjugation and abuse of African people but their murder as well.

Now, one by one, African leaders have started to quit the International Criminal Court.

“The implementation of the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court Act 2002 is in conflict and inconsistent with the provisions of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act 2001,” said South Africa’s Justice Minister, Michael Masutha. “The Republic of South Africa has found that its obligations with respect to the peaceful resolution of conflicts at times are incompatible with the interpretation given by the international criminal court.”

There is nothing they love more than immunity, thus giving themselves carte blanche to rule their nations.

Burundi became the first country to approve quitting the ICC.

“The importance of justice is to reconcile people, the importance of justice isto solidify peace,”Burundian legislator, Edouard Nduwimana, said Wednesday. “If you look at how the I.C.C. is working now, and say that we want to let them implement what they want, do you think Burundi would be very peaceful?”

They deliberately miss the point of the ICC.

Could Adolf Hitler have been “reconciled” with people? And what “peaceful resolution of conflicts” is South Africa talking about since one is brought before the ICC after having committed serious crimes against humanity.

Robert Mugabe, who has encouraged African countries to quit the ICC, has killed about 30,000 of our people; why has South Africa not initiated a peaceful resolution of conflict there? All we see is South Africa’s continued support of a violent dictator.

Kenya is also on the verge of quitting the ICC.

The troubling thing is that dictators are the ones encouraging severing relations with the ICC.

On July 17th, 1998 at a diplomatic conference in Rome, the countries of the world, having recognised the continuing killing and abuse of people around the world, adopted the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which was a treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC).

It was empowered to deal with four international crimes, namely: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

“Under the Rome Statute, the ICC can only investigate and prosecute these four core international crimes in situations where states are "unable" or "unwilling" to do so themselves.”

Needless to say, by their sheer character and demonic behaviour, an awkward number of African leaders slowly started becoming prime candidates for appearances at the ICC.

The ICC is not, as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe claims, targeting African leaders, per se. Even if it were, why should any leader behave in such a way that satisfies the requirements of an ICC indictment?

Mugabe, himself a prime candidate for an ICC appearance, should maybe tell the world which of the African leaders indicted by the ICC so far is innocent of killing his own citizens.

Uhuru Kenyatta had a miraculous escape from the ICC for his role in the deadly election conflicts in his country.