Africans have been blamed for not being able to emancipate themselves from thuggish and corrupt rule. However, the international Criminal Court (ICC) seems hell bent to pull a rabbit out of many a hat. The just ended ICC Review conference on the provisions of Rome statute in Munyonyo Uganda is the way forward.
Many analysts are still puzzled why ICC chose Uganda to host the same. Is it a warning to Ugandan strong man and others who came to power by means of manipulation and rigging? Why did ICC chose, among others, Tanzania’s president Jakaya Kikwete whose government came to power by means of the same vice to give a keynote speech? We have all reasons to support this mighty court of revolution which seeks to define some of the Rome statutes.
The proposed amendment has put weight on the act of aggression that can birth chaos and mayhem. After this is adopted, we need to see embezzlement and corruption by those in high offices termed as aggression that is triable by the ICC. This should be done under proprio motu, namely the volition of the prosecutor in lieu of depending on UN-backed resolutions.
African leaders need to be warned. Things have changed tremendously. Who, for example in the 60s, would think that communism in Russia would be something historical not to mention the reunification of Germany?
In this judicial revolution in the making, Tanzania, whose treasury was robbed by the current regime in order to bribe voters, will see justice. Uganda, struggling under the weight of one first family will see justice. Kenyans will see their warlords arraigned in court or foiled from pursuing any more political ambitions.
The beneficiaries of corruption - those in high places- would like to make us believe that ICC is an imperialist tool for fostering the will of rich countries. If this “imperialist tool” can usher positive changes in, so be it. If an “imperialist tool” can prosecute those that committed genocide and other atrocities, let’s fully support it. Why should we support “patriotic regimes” that plunder and ruin our nations?
When you look at how the leaders of rich countries are held accountable by their voters, you see no logic in opposing this bold and revolutionary take by ICC. Apart from emancipating and stabilizing poor countries, it will bring more development based on accountability and merit.
Though Africa has lagged behind for many reasons, one of the main killer is having corrupt and inept rulers who man their countries like their private property. ICC intends to checkmate this. With the coming of this legal revolution, our thieves are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
By Nkwazi Mhango
Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He is a Journalist, Teacher, Human Rights activist and member of the Writers' Association of New Foundland and Labrador (WANL)
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