Kenyan finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta has found that being charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court is not good for one's political career.
Kenyatta, who was planning on running for president for the second time, resigned from his post on Thursday, three days after the ICC ordered him to stand trial for inciting murder and rape after the 2007 election. The court also charged three others, including civil service chief Francis Muthaura and former minister, William Ruto, who is also a presidential hopeful.
The four politicians will face a trial for their involvement in the national crisis that followed the 2007 Kenyan presidential elections. In a controversial decision, incumbent Mwai Kibaki was declared president, prompting supporters of challenger Raila Odinga -- a member of Kenyatta's Orange Democratic Movement -- to embark on a violent rampage.
Kenyatta, who is reportedly Kenya's richest person and the son of the country's legendary first president, Jomo Kenyatta, allegedly organized and funded the Mungiki militia, a banned ethno-political group which raided Nairobi slums.
Around 1,300 people were killed and 300,000 others displaced from their homes as a result of two months of violence. Kenya MPs Mugabe Were and David Kimutai Too were killed during riots.
It's a great thing in terms of the fight against impunity in the country for those who have been found to have a case to answer, anti-corruption campaigner John Githongo told Reuters about the ICC decision.
It means they have joined an exclusive small club of individuals who have had questions to answer before the entire world with regard to crimes against humanity ... Ratko Mladic, Charles Taylor ... That's not polite company at all.
While being charged with crimes against humanity may not be a good thing for a political career, Ruto and Kenyatta are hoping that it isn't a bad thing either. Both said they would still run for president in 2012, regardless of the ICC's ruling.