Sunday, 19 May 2013

Why a deal with Uhuru is “heaven” for the West: ICC in perspective

They say that when the deal is too sweet, think twice. But what they failed to tell you is that there is never a reason to think twice if you know what your negotiating partner has to win or lose. In Uhuru’s case, he’s in a situation that he must first be a man before he can lay claim to any dignity that comes with his position. He’s tainted with blood and even though I’d like to give him benefit of doubt on the basis of the fact that he’s yet to be found guilty, I’m frustrated by the knowledge of the fact that he’s in the highest office in the land. This means that he is in a position to ensure that he’s declared innocent irrespective of the facts of the case: only that in this case, the innocence would be a result of intense negotiations and not a result of the Kenyan government machinery alone. Failure to exorcise the ICC ghost could make Uhuru a lifetime prisoner and as a person, that’s a big problem……leave alone its implication for him as president.
So the West can rest easy that Uhuru has a lot to lose and will be willing to give up much. As a matter of fact, the fear is that he might be willing to give up more than the country can afford. I do not want to say that choices have consequences because I firmly hold Raila’s version of the results (Raila 5.7m: uhuru 4.3m) as the absolute truth. However, the reality is that whatever machinations saw the will of Kenyans manipulated put Uhuru in state house and now his personal problems have become a national sore. In negotiations between nations, the presumptions that are disclosed to the public are all about the nations and what they have to gain from the relationships. However, there’s rarely a win win situation in negotiations and where there is, there’s rarely a partnership that benefits both countries equally. There’s always one to give up more; and in most cases, it is the weaker party that gives up more. 
Weaknesses can either be on the part of the country or on the part of the leaders. A leader who is having a major weakness can be “convinced” to ignore negotiation elements that he ought to have noticed and prevented. We have seen some of the most pathetic business partnerships being sealed under very weird circumstances. For instance, it beats all understanding for Nigeria which is among the leading oil producers to be having its oil processing and mining operations almost entirely controlled by foreigners. As a matter of fact, the host communities whose land is being degraded most by the oil are suffering as their land is no longer usable due to massive oil spills and the government that ought to protect them is turning a blind eye. Whatever influenced the negotiations, it’s clear that the Nigerian authorities were negotiating from a point of weakness. 
So when you see Kenya engage in any bilateral or multilateral trade agreements, you have every reason to be afraid. In his desperation to avoid the “fugitive” status, Uhuru may not mind giving up a few things here and there. The ICC card will always be used against him and you can bet that the West will be having a field day with this. Choices have consequences…….the only difference is that it’s not Kenyans who made the choice.

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