The UN Special Court for Sierra Leone ruling on former Liberian President Charles Taylor is a good lesson and a stern warning to Kenyan politicians that impunity can be crushed and justice delivered regardless of how long it takes.
Taylor’s sentencing to 50 years in prison for war crimes against humanity during the dark era of civil war that rocked neighboring country of Sierra Leone is a learning point to Kenyan politicians that crime does not pay and no matter how long it takes, accountability will definitely take its course.
Over the years and especially in the run up to general election Kenyan politicians are known to utilize violence as tactic to forcefully evict other tribes from their constituencies in order to sway votes in their favors.
This has resulted in recurring incidences of election related violence as a result of Kenyans being divided along tribal lines and thus resolving to regional clusters rather than coexisting peacefully and harmoniously as a nation.
This was witnessed in the 1992, 1997 and the climax of it all in the 2007 General Election where more than 1000 people lost their lives and ten of thousands internally displaced as a result of post election violence.
Majority of the perpetrators of the violence are wining and dining in lavish homes whereas the victims of the violence are leaving in abject poverty in their makeshift camps in the various parts of the country.
However, it will not take long before the push comes to shove just like in Taylor’s case and finally the selfish leaders will be held accountable for the crimes they committed and justice finally delivered to the children who were orphaned, women who were raped, and men who were beaten and chased away as a result of election related violence.
Kenya is still reeling from years of blood shed attributed to election related violence and it will only take stringent ruling like the one handed to Taylor, Africa’s ruthless warlord and dictator, to ensure that politicians will respect and uphold human rights and not to resolve to aiding and abetting crimes against humanity for their own political gains.
On the other hand, Kenyan politicians should desist from practicing cheap tribal and selfish political malpractices that aim to divide the nation but rather focus on politics of ideology and integrity that targets to unite the nation, failure to which big brother will come calling.
Lastly Taylor’s sentencing comes as a learning point to the Kenyan Judiciary to victims of violence have access to legal aid to ensure justice both as a response to post election violence and as an essential function of a government accountable to its people.