By Jerry Okungu
April 6, 2011
Now that the Ocampo Six are finally in The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity and perhaps genocide, the pro Ocampo Six have been advancing a theory that history is repeating itself in the Kenyatta family. They are quick to compare Uhuru Kenyatta with his father the founding father of the modern Kenyan nation.
In this analysis, they are quick to predict that just like his father was jailed by the colonial government only to be released a decade later to become the first president; they see Uhuru going through trial in The Hague and later return a hero to lead Kenyans once more. This analogy may be fair only that the reasons why Jomo was jailed are drastically different from charges Uhuru is facing at The Hague court.
To begin with, Uhuru Kenyatta is the only child of Jomo to be charged with crime of murder and genocide that is not related to an ideological struggle for the freedom of Kenya. Unlike his father, he is not in court because of his nationalistic revolutionary struggle but rather; he is alleged to have engineered ethnic retribution against tribes suspected to have killed his Kikuyu tribe in the Rift Valley and other parts of Kenya during the 2007 post election violence.
Coming on the day most of the Ocampo Six were heading to the ICC chambers in The Hague, Synovate opinion polls were telling. They revealed that 61% of Kenyans preferred trials at The Hague contrary to responses that the crowds that attended the Ruto- Uhuru rallies were reported to have resolved. The results reveal one bitter truth that you cannot rely on crowds to make judgment. They can tell you one thing in public yet behind closed doors they are capable of doing the opposite.
Judging by the level of noise we have heard from a section of the political class whenever Prime Minister Raila Odinga of Kenya has suggested the use of Scotland Yard, the FBI and Commonwealth judges to be invited to manage the investigation and trial of post election suspects; we have seen him roundly condemned in public rallies that he is trying to outsource the entire judiciary and the police force. Specifically Raila Odinga has been labeled unpatriotic; a man who wants to be Kenya’s president yet he has no faith in our local institutions.
Yet, a look at Kenya’s history between January 2008 and now reveals that we have had an influx of foreign experts trying to fix a broken Kenya in every which way without us raising a finger.
Soon after the violence broke out in 2008, we had no less than 10 international dignitaries that trooped in to help quell the violence that was already taking dangerous dimensions. They included Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Joachim Chissano of Mozambique, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, John Kufuor of Ghana, Ben Mkapa of Tanzania, Graca Machel of Mozambique, Jendayi Frazer of the USA, Condoleezza Rice of the USA, Ban Ki Moon of the United Nations and retired UN Secretary General Kofi Annan of Ghana. During that period, we never raised our voices about our sovereignty or chased them away because we were not a failed state. We saw no need to fix the problem we had created. We were happy to see Kofi Annan camp at Serena Hotel for months until our broken nation was fixed.
Soon after the national accord was in place, we invited Justice Johan Kriegler of South Africa to chair the commission that investigated our electoral flaws. Again we saw no need to raise issues of sovereignty or outsourcing our judicial responsibilities. When he finished his work, we happily voted to implement his recommendations and actually heeded his advice to disband the Electoral Commission of Kenya.
Ironically as the debate about foreign investigators and judges is raging, we now have on record that the very people who have been opposing the invitation of the FBI, Scotland and judges from the Commonwealth have rushed to hire some of the most expensive lawyers from Britain and Canada. But even before the Ocampo Six shopped for QCs from Britain, Police Commissioner in his wisdom had invited the FBI to help him unravel the drugs trade menace in Kenya.
When Amos Wako finally decided to file admissibility case in The Hague, he quickly hired Sir Geoffrey Nice and Mr. Rodney Dixon of the UK to fight Kenya’s referral case in The Hague. We never raised a finger.
The Ocampo Six were not left behind either. William Ruto hired David Hopper of the UK as Henry Kosgey hired Mr. Ben Emerson also of the UK. Uhuru Kenyatta went the whole hog and outdid every one. He hired Steve Kay, Gillian Kay Higgins and Benjamin Joyes, all of the UK as Ambassador Francis Muthaura settled for Karim Ahmad Khan also of the UK. Former Police Commissioner, General Ali Hussein was the only one who settled for John Philpot of Canada.
With over ten foreign lawyers representing the Ocampo Six at The Hague, one wonders whether there are competent and qualified lawyers in Kenya. Yes, this trial will cost Kenyans millions of British Pounds in a country that depends on Britain for its annual budgets.
Now that the opponents of foreign experts have been the first to rush to foreign lands for defense attorneys; it is time we wasted no time but to invite the Scotland Yard, KGB, Mossad and FBI to investigate post election violence without bothering with our tattered sovereignty.