Cotu (K) Secreary General Address At The ILO Governing Body Meeting

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has come under attack from African Labour Leaders attending the on-going International Labour Organisation (ILO) Governing Body in Geneva, Switzerland for targeting African Leaders when “impunity continues to thrive in the West.”

Led by the President of Global Industrial Relations Oversight Board (GIRO) Bro. Francis Atwoli who is also the Central Organisation of Trade Unions, COTU (K) Secretary General, the leaders particularly condemned the action by the ICC to summon elected leaders to the Hague to answer to ‘hearsays’ and drummed up Criminal Charges as if such leaders are presiding over failed states in their respective Countries adding it doesn’t augur well for a sitting head of state to be subjected to any such process as the ICC.

Bro. Atwoli while addressing the delegates as also the President of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) noted that Kenya like most African continues to boast of one of the most elaborate and advanced judicial system in the world and it is utterly ridiculous that such a free and independent system as outlined in Kenya’s National Constitution would be surpassed by the ICC and insist on the Country’s democratically elected leaders to appear before a foreign Court at the Hague when as the electorate Kenyans expect their leaders to be in the country discharging their duties as President and Deputy.

Bro Atwoli led the rest of the delegates in objecting to the ICC view that any serious crime against humanity be referred to the Court adding any individual committing Crime on the Continent should be given an opportunity to defend self in his/her country where even credible evidence could be produced in Court other than depend on a foreign court that often struggles to even adduce evidence from witnesses in vain.
The GIRO President continued that it was disrespectful and a ridicule of democracy for a democratically elected leader to be subjected to such an odious process at the ICC when such leaders are expected to deliver on their positions adding the sovereignty of such countries remains under attack.

He observed that whereas all Kenyans would wish that the perpetrators of the 2007/2008 post-election violence should be held to account, the Kenyan Workers do support a process under Kenya’s judicial system and would oppose any move to fly both the President and his Deputy out of the country to answer to charges that the Kenyan Courts are better placed in addressing.

Bro. Atwoli further noted that as President of OATUU which works closely with the African Union (AU), fully supports the opposition that has since been expressed by the AU and that he would support any leader that decides to defy any summons from the ICC.

During the meeting, a proposal to refer the issue of governments notorious in torturing and interfering with the Trade Union movement to the ICC was overwhelmingly rejected with Bro. Atwoli giving an example of an elaborate Industrial Court system in Kenya where Workers, Employers and Governments are always facing each other through this court spread across all cities and major towns across the country.

Benson Okwaro
Ag.Secretary General


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