Thursday, June 2, 2011



By Jerry Okungu

Nairobi, Kenya

June 1, 2011

As I continue to recuperate from my situation that has rendered me immobile for the last one month, I thank God for giving me the strength to have a look at events happening in our country.

The first headline that caught my attention was the saga of the Nigerian High Commission family that gripped the Kenyan and Nigerian press.

When highly placed diplomats, married and mature in age and diplomacy can engage in public spat; it can only be breaking news.

The Nigerian saga reminded me of a story I was once told by my old student classmate in our university days. Ringo Star had joined the university after working for a while and unlike some of us, he arrived at the campus as a high flyer, sleek suits, trendy blazers and a powerful BSA motorbike to boot.

Before he joined campus, his last posting was somewhere in the neighborhoods of Meru Mountains where he fell in love with a trainee nurse at the nearby Chogoria Mission Hospital. And in his characteristic Ringo-style, he fell in love headlong with all the intentions of marrying the girl come rain or shine.

And so it came to pass that every Friday evening, Ringo would put his BSA on the road to Meru to go and spend blissful moments with his sweetheart. But because we had grown close for some reason, he kept me fully informed of his plans and exploits for the weekends.

However, one day, the unthinkable happened to Ringo when he got to Meru. He knocked on the door but it took awhile to open unlike other days. When it finally opened, he found a man comfortably seated in the one room house with shoes off. His mental calculations ran wild and he saw the message right on the wall. Within the few weeks he was away in campus, some other man was slowly replacing him!

Instead of creating scene, proud Ringo Star took a few of his belongings he had left in his previous visits and hit the road back to campus in Nairobi. By 9pm that Friday, he was knocking on my door asking me to go out for a drink with him. I was surprised because his visits to Meru usually lasted till Sunday evenings.

Once we were settled at some bar along Koinange Street, it was when Ringo poured his heart out and told me the full story of the events of that evening. He didn’t stop there. It was the moral of the story he gave me that still lingers in my memory more than three decades later.

Ringo looked me in the eye and told me that Jerry; if you ever find yourself in my situation where you realize that either your marriage or relationship is broken, please get out of it before it breaks you. The more you remain in a broken relationship, the more it will mature into violence and even death for either or both of the partners with dire consequences for the offsprings if there are any.

This is why I find it odd that Ambassador Wigwe could have been foolish enough to see the signs of the times and continue in a broken home for all these years only to allow this weakness to shatter his image and career in his sunset years.

The other story that caught my eye this week is the Kenya Government’s merry go round with our ICC cases. Soon after the ICC had thrown out the Government case against admissibility of the case, now good old Amos Wako is still fretting that he will go to the Court of appeal.

Perhaps it is time Amos Wako accepted defeat and that his time was up considering that he has only two months to retire. Considering the magnitude of this case, Wako must realize that whatever needs to be done now; all the battles at The Hague will be fought by the Queen’s counsels he hurriedly hired under the leadership of the new Director of Public Prosecutions.

After spending fortunes between the Law of Office and the Office of the Vice President on irrelevant and wasteful political tourism under the guise of shuttle diplomacy to persuade the AU and the UNO to defer Kenya’s Ocampo Six for at least 12 months; he must realize that failing to plead with the ICC directly has caused Kenya enough political embarrassment internationally. Now it is time to let the ghost of the Ocampo Six rest at The Hague where they should prove their innocence or be proved guilty without being dragged there by Interpol like common fugitives should Kenya be reluctant to hand them over. They will not be the first international suspects to be charged in that court.

Finally; just after nearly two months of the heroic departure of the Ocampo Six to The Hague and their tumultuous return with great funfair, it would appear like the KKK Alliance, the Seven Alliance and all those supporters that accompanied our new heroes have fallen by the way side. Those heroic songs of yonder years have somehow subsided along with planned regional rallies.

Now all we know is talk of the two leading lights going their separate ways. Why? Their grassroots supporters have never bought the idea. Settling the IDPs in the Rift Valley seems to be the gripe that has caused resentment and backlash against William Ruto in his own backyard.

So what happens now for the alliances whose main pull was to beat Raila Odinga at the polls and deny him the presidency? Like they say; the road to the presidency is a marathon race in Kenya. It is never easy or short. It needs a lot of stamina, strategy an enduring spirit to run and win. But again; a day is can be a long time in politics!