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The Speaker of the National Assembly,
The Speaker of the Senate,
Honourable Members of both Houses of Parliament,
Fellow Kenyans,
Article 1! of the "onstitution pro#i$es for the Presi$ent of the
%epublic of Kenya to a$$ress a special sittin& of Parliament at any
one time' (n$er the )rst article of the "onstitution, *all so#erei&n
power belon&s to the people of Kenya'+
,n this respect, , am here to a$$ress you as representati#es of the
people on an important national matter re&ar$in& our so#erei&nty'
-ast Tues$ay, as , touche$ $own at .omo Kenyatta ,nternational
Airport on my return from the /0
Session of the (nite$ Nations
1eneral Assembly in New 2ork, , recei#e$ notice to atten$ a status
conference at The Ha&ue'
Since then, the notice an$ its implie$ conse3uences for our
so#erei&nty ha#e raise$ confusion an$ an4iety' These concerns
e4ten$ to our imme$iate re&ion, an$ other frien$s of Kenya'
My Fellow Kenyans,
This is not a time for an4iety' ,t is a time to be prou$ of the
$emocracy we ha#e built, an$ the law5abi$in& country we ha#e
become' ,t is also a time to $eliberate to&ether, as members of the
64ecuti#e, the le&islature, the .u$iciary, an$ in$ee$ as citi7ens, on
how to collecti#ely realise the &reat $estiny that beckons'
Nurturin& a youn& $emocracy in a treacherous worl$ of $espotism,
terrorism an$ e4tremism was ne#er &oin& to be easy' Neither was
the buil$in& of a stron& an$ $i#erse economy that coul$ realise the
$reams of more than forty million Kenyans, an$ anchor a
prosperous re&ion'
,n$ee$, our 3uest for &reater $e#elopment $eman$s a clearer
picture of the true state of our economy' 8hile we ha#e much
further to &o, our nation reache$ a si&ni)cant milestone last week'
8e o9cially became a mi$$le5income country, an$ took our ri&htful
place as one of the ten lar&est economies in Africa' This milestone,
amon& many others we ha#e achie#e$ o#er the past )fty years,
remin$s us that we are tra#ellin& in the ri&ht $irection' ,t shoul$ be
celebrate$, for it &i#es us the fortitu$e to sustain our $e#elopment
,n New 2ork, , a$$resse$ the (nite$ Nations 1eneral Assembly an$
Security "ouncil, &i#in& a full account of our role in re&ional peace
an$ security, our stan$ on the front lines of buil$in& robust
$emocracies, of )&htin& &lobal terrorism, of $ealin& with the threat
of climate chan&e, an$ of buil$in& stron& institutions that can
weather crises such as 6bola in parts of 8est Africa'
, saw at the 1eneral Assembly the hi&h esteem in which Kenya is
hel$ across the worl$, for its lea$ership in matters of $e#elopment,
in the stru&&le for &lobal peace an$ security, as a safe ha#en for
millions of refu&ees from nei&hbourin& countries, an$ as a stable
hub for re&ional tra$e an$ in#estment'
The worl$ sees an$ applau$s, as we $o, our youn& men an$ women
in uniform, who, un$er my comman$, are bra#ely )&htin& Al5
Shabaab;s terrorists at home an$ abroa$' <ur $iplomats are crucial
actors in a trouble$ re&ion, workin& to en$ the con=icts, an$ )ll the
#acuums in &o#ernance, that allow such terrorist &roups room to
The worl$ knows that as a $emocracy on the frontier a&ainst
terrorism, our people ha#e been brutally mur$ere$ by the same
terrorist networks that ha#e sparke$ mayhem worl$wi$e'
8e face these trials with fortitu$e, knowin& that our work to banish
insecurity, po#erty, an$ $i#ision is our &eneration;s historic task' ,t
is how our chil$ren;s chil$ren will remember us'
>y our e:ort an$ #ision, new roa$s an$ railways, schools an$
hospitals, are bein& built, brin&in& with them ?obs, wealth an$ new
frien$s from all o#er the worl$' My 1o#ernment $aily impro#es
ser#ice pro#ision to its citi7ens' The worl$;s businesses look to our
e$ucate$ an$ in$ustrious people as amon&st the most promisin& to
in#est their wealth in'
All these $e#elopments are anchore$ in the rule of law, which is a
li#in& e4pression of our collecti#e will' 6#en at our lowest ebb, in our
$arkest $ays, the aspiration to be boun$ an$ protecte$ by the law
has shape$ our character as a people an$ a nation'
After more than two $eca$es of consultations, an$ sometimes u&ly
confrontation, we ma$e history' ,n peacetime, we ne&otiate$ a new
"onstitution an$ re5or&anise$ our entire society an$ its &o#ernance
structures' To$ay, we ha#e a constitution that we are immensely
prou$ of'
There are few others &lobally that e3ual its protection of the ri&hts
of the in$i#i$ual, its balancin& of e4ecuti#e, ?u$icial an$ le&islati#e
power, an$ its $eman$ for fulsome public participation an$ inte&rity
in ser#ice'
,n the last year alone, we ha#e transitione$ from a unicameral to a
bicameral le&islature@ from a parliamentary to a presi$ential system
of &o#ernment' 8e ha#e mo#e$ in unprece$ente$ fashion from a
centralise$ system of &o#ernment where the winner takes all, to a
$e#ol#e$ system, which &i#es power to the people to choose their
lea$ers, an$ to choose how they will be &o#erne$ at the local le#el'
An$ we ha#e establishe$ an in$epen$ent ?u$iciary, an$ o#ersi&ht
bo$ies able to stan$ up for the public interest'
8e stri#e to fully realise this new constitution, e#en in the face of
the &lobal threat of terrorism whose perpetrators an$ a&ents
manipulate our e4pan$e$ $emocratic space to ra$icalise an$ recruit
their foot sol$iers'
,nternationally, our $iplomacy has been $ri#en by the $esire for a
le#el playin& )el$, on which all nations an$ their peoples are e3ual
in respect of their so#erei&nty' This is why Kenya playe$ a crucial
lea$ership role in the ne&otiations that le$ to the creation of the ,""
throu&h the %ome Statute, as well as in mobilisin& African states to
si&n up to it'
1i#en our e4perience with the "ourt, many ha#e since aske$ why
we acte$ with such enthusiasm' ,t was because we belie#e$ then,
as we $o now, that in an une3ual worl$, only a common set of rules
&o#ernin& international con$uct coul$ keep anarchy at bay'
My Fellow Kenyans,
After the brief but painful con=ict that followe$ the !AAB election,
communities an$ their lea$ers, at the &rassroots, un$ertook
immense e:orts at reconciliation' Thousan$s of meetin&s were
con#ene$@ Kenyans across the country $eliberate$ to&ether on what
ha$ brou&ht $iscor$ to our nation, an$ what we nee$e$ to $o to
Fi#e years later, the Ceputy Presi$ent, 8illiam %uto, an$ , went to
e#ery corner of our country askin& you for the honour of your #ote'
<ur electoral ticket was for&e$ from a national $esire for peace,
reconciliation, an$ national cohesion'
8hen , took up the mantle of lea$ership in April !A1, , focuse$
attention on the rehabilitation an$ restoration of Kenyans a:ecte$
by the !AAB5D post5election #iolence' My 1o#ernment resettle$ all
the remainin& re&istere$ househol$s that were still in camps'
This in a$$ition to those pre#iously resettle$ un$er theRudi
Nyumbanian$ inte&rate$ ,CPs initiati#e where lan$ was a#aile$ for
resettlement, houses built, counsellin& o:ere$, cash transfers
ma$e, an$ free me$ical attention in &o#ernment facilities pro#i$e$'
That was the least we coul$ $o to relie#e their su:erin&, an$ ease
the resumption of their normal li#es' , am committe$ to ensurin&
that Kenyans ne#er a&ain ha#e to en$ure such tribulations'
My Fellow Kenyans,
Four years a&o, on the )fteenth $ay of Cecember !A1A, , watche$ in
$isbelief as , was name$, with )#e others, as one of those
suspecte$ of bearin& the &reatest responsibility for the !AAB5D post5
election #iolence'
This was the be&innin& of my lon& an$ ar$uous ?ourney to $efen$
my name in the face of these serious alle&ations' , wish to reiterate
here for all that my conscience is clear, has been clear, an$ will
remain fore#er clear that , am innocent of all the accusations that
ha#e been le#elle$ a&ainst me'
After all this, the Prosecutor of the ,"" has since last Cecember, an$
as recently as last month, a$mitte$ to the ?u$&es that *the a#ailable
e#i$ence is insu9cient to pro#e ''' alle&e$ criminal responsibility
beyon$ reasonable $oubt'+
This came as no surpriseE a ?u$&e at the ,"" ha$ pre#iously foun$
the *prosecution faile$ to properly in#esti&ate the case ''' in
accor$ance with its statutory obli&ations'+
8hen the prosecutor a$mitte$ that there was insu9cient e#i$ence
a&ainst me, , e4pecte$ that the matter woul$ be $roppe$ for lack of
e#i$ence' ,nstea$, the prosecutor re3ueste$ an in$e)nite
postponement of the case an$ shifte$ the focus to the 1o#ernment
of Kenya to pro#i$e the e#i$ence'
,t was ma$e clear that , was to be e4clu$e$ from $ealin&s between
the prosecutor an$ the rele#ant or&ans of the 1o#ernment of Kenya
in this new focus' Accor$in&ly, my le&al representati#es were
e4clu$e$ from this e4ercise'
,n compliance with this or$er, , ha#e not interfere$ with the protocol
set by the prosecutor in her $ealin&s with the &o#ernment' This
means that in this new line bein& followe$, , was kept in suspense,
while the prosecutor en&a&e$ with the rele#ant or&ans of the
8hene#er the or&ans of the 1o#ernment of Kenya re3uire$ my
consent in relation to these in#esti&ations, , &a#e that consent' ,
ha#e cooperate$ with the prosecutor to assist in establishin& the
truth at all material times'
(nfortunately, unfoun$e$ an$ unpro#en accusations are the or$er
of the $ay' My accusers, both $omestic an$ forei&n, ha#e painte$ a
nefarious ima&e of most African lea$ers as embo$iments of
corruption an$ impunity' This ima&e $epen$s on an internalise$
assumption that social an$ political uphea#als in Africa are
inherently per#erse, an$ the result of lea$ership failure, that always
warrants a char&e of "rimes a&ainst Humanity'
8ithin the Assembly of State Parties, a number of members
obser#e$ that the %ome Statute, which is ultimately $eri#e$ from
the e3uality of states as espouse$ in the ('N' "harter, is weakene$
by partiality'
The Africa of Nkrumah, Nyerere, >en >ella, Nasser, "hief Albert
-uthuli, an$ our foun$in& father .omo Kenyatta, raise$ concerns
about the risks of un$erminin& the so#erei&n e3uality of states'
These concerns remain #ali$ to this $ay'
The African (nion, in its wis$om, resol#e$ in <ctober last year that
*to safe&uar$ the constitutional or$er, stability an$, inte&rity of
Member States, no char&es shall be commence$ or continue$
before any ,nternational "ourt or Tribunal a&ainst any ser#in& A(
Hea$ of State or 1o#ernment or anybo$y actin& or entitle$ to act in
such capacity $urin& their term of o9ce'+
,t also resol#e$ that my trial an$ that of Ceputy Presi$ent 8illiam
%uto, as the current ser#in& lea$ers of the %epublic of Kenya, shoul$
be suspen$e$ until we complete our terms of o9ce'
As the sin&le lar&est constituency in the Assembly of State Parties,
an$ keepin& in min$ the &ra#ity of their $eman$, African states
e4pecte$ positi#e consi$eration'
To this en$, they sent )#e ministers to New 2ork "ity to confer with
the (nite$ Nations Security "ouncil an$ seek a $eferral of the Kenya
situation in li&ht of the $ire challen&es to peace an$ security on this
continent that it is my $uty to a$$ress' They were $isappointe$'
The push to $efen$ so#erei&nty is not uni3ue to Kenya or Africa'
%ecently, the prime minister of the (nite$ Kin&$om committe$ to
reassertin& the so#erei&n primacy of his parliament o#er the
$ecisions of the 6uropean Human %i&hts "ourt' He e#en threatene$
to 3uit the court'
, remain &rateful for Africa;s support' <ur century of stru&&le
a&ainst $omination an$ e4ploitation continues' <ur in$epen$ence
an$ so#erei&nty $eepen e#ery passin& year, as our prosperity
&rows an$ we stan$ )rm to&ether' Kenya will remain at the front of
this common cause, which is both our opportunity as a nation an$
our obli&ation as a people' , am &rateful for the support our
brothers an$ sisters ha#e lent Kenya' 8e stan$ with them as we
look to our immensely promisin& future'
My Fellow Kenyans,
My 1o#ernment has be&un the implementation of our constitution
with &reat fer#our an$ enthusiasm' 8e ha#e focuse$ on locatin&
youn& Kenyans at the heart of economic &rowth as no other
a$ministration has $one in our history, an$ in$ee$ the )&ht a&ainst
terror an$ insecurity remains hi&h on our national a&en$a'
,t shoul$ be clear, therefore, that this &o#ernment has enou&h on its
han$s )&htin& po#erty, securin& the peace an$ buil$in& re&ional
inte&ration to be focuse$ on any other matter' ,t is a &o#ernment
foun$e$ on the rule of law, with a profoun$ con#iction that ?ustice is
our shiel$ an$ $efen$er'
Mr Speaker,
Fellow Kenyans,
, am $eeply optimistic about the future of Kenya' 8e will succee$ by
puttin& the nation;s interests )rst an$ foremost' ,t is for this reason
that , choose not to put the so#erei&nty of more than forty million
Kenyans on trial, since their $emocratic will shoul$ ne#er be sub?ect
to another ?uris$iction'
Therefore, let it not be sai$ that , am atten$in& the Status
"onference as the Presi$ent of the %epublic of Kenya' Nothin& in my
position or my $ee$s as Presi$ent warrants my bein& in court'
So, to all those who are concerne$ that my personal atten$ance of
the Status "onference compromises the so#erei&nty of our people,
or sets a prece$ent for the atten$ance of presi$ents before the
court F be reassure$, this is not the case'
To protect the so#erei&nty of the %epublic of Kenya, , now take the
e4traor$inary an$ unprece$ente$ step of in#okin& Article 1GBHI of
the "onstitution' , will shortly issue the le&al instrument necessary
to appoint Hon' 8illiam %uto, the Ceputy Presi$ent, as Actin&
Presi$ent while , atten$ the status conference at The Ha&ue, in the
Finally, , ur&e my fellow citi7ens to accept an$ un$erstan$ my
$ecision' , also ur&e our African brothers an$ sisters to stan$ with
Kenya, an$ all people of &oo$ will, an$ frien$s of Kenya, to stan$
with us in this $i9cult time'
Tha! "#$ a% G#% &'()) "#$.