Kenyans want suspects of poll chaos tried at Hague

Tuesday December 14 2010

Members of the public who turned up during the promulgation of the new Constitution on 27th August 2010 at Uhuru Park. A new poll has indicated that more than three quarters of Kenyans overwhelmingly support the prosecution of masterminds of the post-election violence at The Hague. PHOTO /  FILE

Members of the public who turned up during the promulgation of the new Constitution on 27th August 2010 at Uhuru Park. A new poll has indicated that more than three quarters of Kenyans overwhelmingly support the prosecution of masterminds of the post-election violence at The Hague. PHOTO / FILE 

By Jeff Otieno [email protected]

More than three quarters of Kenyans overwhelmingly support the prosecution of masterminds of the post-election violence at The Hague.

According to the latest opinion poll released by Synovate, 85 per cent of Kenyans are in favour of prosecuting those who bear the greatest responsibility at The Hague and not through local courts.

The results come a day before Ocampo goes to the ICC court to ask for indictments against six Kenyans.

In addition, 73 per cent are of the opinion that those named today should resign from public office as per the provisions of the new Constitutions.

The Constitution bars those facing criminal charges from holding public office. Some of the individuals expected to be named today hold public office.

Ocampo’s move has created anxiety among the political class, with the Cabinet assuring Kenyans of maximum security and also resolving to set up a local tribunal.

“The results suggest that Kenyans overwhelmingly support the process as they expect it will significantly reduce the possibilities of repeat violence in 2012,” said Synovate managing director, George Waititu.

According to the survey conducted between December 12 and 14, in both urban and rural areas, 73 per cent of Kenyans are either very confident or confident that prosecutions at the ICC headquarters will be successful.

However, majority of Kenyans still fear for the safety of witnesses who will testify both at The Hague and at the local courts. Only 21 per cent of Kenyans believe the witnesses are very safe, while 30 per cent say they are somewhat safe.

The rest, the pollster says, still want the government and the ICC to do more in protecting the witnesses.

Despite some politicians arguing that prosecution of suspects at The Hague will cause violence, majority of Kenyans believe the contrary.

The poll says 73 per cent of Kenyans do not think violence will occur in the next General Election as a result of successful prosecutions at The Hague.

Timetable

On the implications of Ocampo’s move on the implementation of the new Constitution, 57 per cent of Kenyans believe it will neither interfere with the timetable nor the process, compared to 37 per cent who think it might have a negative impact.

A sample size of 1,002 respondents was drawn, for the study using a 32:68 urban to rural ratio, with the data being collected through telephonic interviews.

The margin of error attributed to sampling and other random effects was +/- 3 per cent at 95 per cent confidence level.