Pulling out of ICC pointless – Kabimba

Wynter Kabimba-picture by Tenson Mkhala

RAINBOW Party leader Wynter Kabimba says it would be pointless for Zambia to leave the ICC because the UN Security Council can still refer those who have committed crimes against humanity to it.

Speaking on Pan African Radio’s Legal Matters programme yesterday, Kabimba, who is former justice minister, said only pride could cause Zambia to pull out of the ICC.

“If you want to exercise pride as a sovereign state, if you just want to make a decision that yes, ‘we are a sovereign state now we have woken up from the slumber’ we realized this is colonialism, we realized we were duped yes [you can leave], but the question is what are you achieving? Like I have said, you are achieving nothing, it is an academic decision because if you are found to have committed genocide, crimes against humanity against your own people, the UN security council will still step in and through the referral system refer your case to the ICC and you can still be arrested and prosecuted and convicted so really my position is this is an academic debate,” Kabimba said.

He noted that most people who had been prosecuted by the ICC were former African leaders.

“Those that have been taken before the ICC have been African former leaders and prominently among those as you may recall Brian was and is the former president of Liberia Charles Taylo who is now serving a jail sentence in the UK after having being indicted and then convicted…even the indictment of a sitting Sudanese President al-Bashir had raised dust on the position of ICC on African states,” Kabimba said.

“So the African governments have argued that why is it that non-African countries that are committing atrocities are not being indicted and only African leaders are being indicted.

Kabimba also observed that Zambia did not suffer financially by being a member of the ICC.

“What is Zambia’s financial contribution to the ICC? The answer is zero; nil! 60- 70 per cent of the budget of the ICC is from the European Union and other western countries, so there is no contribution Zambia suffers by being a member,” said Kabimba.

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