Uhuru Kenyatta: Murderer and President?

Photo Credit: Simon Maina / AFP / Getty Images[1]

 By: Garrett Redfield

Uhuru Kenyatta is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity. He was also just elected President of Kenya. Does something seem wrong with this picture?

How is it possible for a man accused of “murder, deportation or forcible transfer [of people], rape, persecution, and other inhumane acts” able to become President? Well, it should be noted that there are still those who question the legitimacy of the election results. Prime Minister Raila Odinga claims that the voting was “rigged” citing that since “Mr. Kenyatta skirted a runoff by such a tiny margin… the errors that have been discovered are enough to mandate a new election.” The errors that Kenya’s Supreme Court found were “discrepancies in the vote totals from a handful of polling places, and that in some areas there were no official forms backing up the numbers the election commission used.”

To compound matters, there were reports of failures with the “new biometric voter identification system” that identifies voters via “computer scan of their thumbprints.” Although this is a great idea to help curb voter fraud, it became an issue when some “poll workers were sent to rural areas that had no electricity and [since they were] given no spare batteries for their computers, [they] died within hours.” Additionally, “after the polls closed, a second computer malfunction hit” where the system which sends “results directly from the polling places to election headquarters in Nairobi crashed.”

Despite all this, “Kenya’s Supreme Court on Saturday unanimously upheld the election victory of Uhuru Kenyatta as the country’s president, dismissing allegations that the election had been rigged.”

As for his crimes against humanity, the ICC claims that he is responsible for Kenya’s post 2007 “election violence that left more than 1,000 people dead and forced some 600,000 from their homes.” He is also linked to “the outlawed militia group, Mungiki, which is accused of carrying out revenge attacks during the violence.” Kenyatta is set to stand trial on July 9, 2013.

To read more about Uhuru Kenyatta, you can find it here.

You can also read an article that argues that the election of Uhuru Kenyatta is a positive sign for Africa here.


Garrett Redfield is a Master of International Affairs Candidate at the School of International Affairs at The Pennsylvania State University. As an adopted Korean American, he has a strong interest in Korean Peninsula affairs, and focuses on Korean Reunification. Garrett has lived in Korea for an extensive amount of time, mainly as a former ESL instructor. He is proficient in Korean.

[1] http://world.time.com/2013/03/09/kenyas-election-what-uhuru-kenyattas-victory-means-for-africa/.

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