Finally, Deputy President and suspect of crimes against humanity, William Ruto, is beginning to understand that ICC is not a movie but stark reality that may see him locked in the Hague for 50 years Charles Taylor style. Initially, Ruto’s trips to the ICC were characterized by huge media coverage. However, as witnesses begun to testify and as the impact of ICC cases on Ruto’s role as Deputy President took its toll, the razzmatazz that was created by the compliant Kenyan media around Ruto’s every departure to The Hague fizzled. It is suddenly downing on Ruto that the ICC imbroglio might entangle him during the better part of his term in office, leaving him with no room to make any political impact during his tenure as Deputy President.
The purpose of rigging the March 4th 2013 elections in favour of Jubilee was principally to assist Ruto and his co-accused, Uhuru Kenyatta to evade ICC on the one hand and to enable the Mount Kenya Mafia to continue wielding power on the other. While the latter objective was achieved, the heinous Mount Kenya Mafia agenda of exploiting Jubilee’s illegal hold on power to wade off ICC trials is becoming elusive every day. At the moment, Ruto is on tenterhooks at the ICC because if Walter Baraza, the Journalist accused by the ICC of bribing witnesses, is not handed over as per schedule, Kenyans will witness two major developments.
Baraza’s handing over to ICC will create headache for government
If the deadline passes without Baraza ending up confined at ICC Headquarters, Ruto will be detained at The Hague. If the government decides not to hand over Baraza and Ruto gets a breathing space to return to Kenya before the expiry of Baraza’s handing-over deadline, Ruto will not be able to return to The Hague without risking detention on grounds that Kenya is not cooperating with the ICC. From the point of view of strategy, voting by the Jubilee M-pigs for Kenya to quit the ICC at a time when the Ruto case had just began was ill-informed. This is because the move created undue suspicion between Kenya and the ICC. This suspicion has negated any gestures by Ruto that he is cooperating with the ICC and if Baraza is not handed over, it is difficult to envisage how Ruto will evade detention at the ICC on grounds that the ICC can no longer trust the Kenyan government. Despite the Attorney General, Githu Muigai’s chest-thumping to the effect that Baraza’s case will have to go through a Judicial Review, any failure to hand over Baraza to the ICC will put Ruto at great risk while casting Uhuru Kenyatta in absolute limbo. The scenario that might follow is almost predictable.
If Baraza is not handed over when Ruto is in Kenya, the DP will not return to The Hague and an arrest warrant will be issued for him too. Consequently, Uhuru will not travel to The Hague. Once the President absconds from justice, the ICC will issue an arrest warrant for him and this will complicate Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency because he will not be able to travel anywhere outside Kenya without risking arrest. He will be like the Sudanese President Al Bashir who rarely leaves his country. For the Jubilee government to continue buying time with the ICC as the Ruto case roles, the government will have to sacrifice Baraza and hand him over. Within the corridors of power, Baraza is a nobody and sacrificing him shouldn’t be a big headache for the Mount Kenya Mafia especially if the reason is to buy time for Ruto to continue posing as though he is cooperating with the ICC. Unfortunately, handing over Baraza to the ICC will generate a much more bigger problem that the Jubilee government will be unable to deal with.
If ICC has evidence that Baraza has been bribing witnesses, then the logical conclusion is that Baraza has been helping both Ruto and Uhuru to evade justice. What is known is that it is practically impossible for any Kenyan to engage in the complicated and sensitive business of bribing or intimidating ICC witnesses without help from the government. The big problem which will be created for both Uhuru and Ruto once Baraza is handed over is that Baraza will interpret his handover to mean that he has been sold by the very people he has been trying to help. The psychological effect on Baraza is that he will undergo a complete metamorphosis – from an anti-ICC activist to an ICC witness on the thorny issue of witness tampering. With his inside scoop on the intricacies of witness intimidation, bribery and harassment, Baraza will open a Pandora’s box and no one will be able to predict the number of big-wigs who will be implicated by the emergent “Barazagate scandal”.
This is the ultimate nightmare scenario for Uhuru, Ruto and key operatives within the Intelligence community that has obviously been abetting Baraza. While spilling the beans at the ICC, Baraza may go deeper and further implicate the spy Chief, Gichangi together with top government apparatchiks who assisted him in his mission thereby opening the flood-gates of arrest warrants from the ICC of top conspirators who might be named by Baraza. Although sacrificing the little known Baraza on a short term may sound inconsequential, the Baraza monster may come back to haunt top personalities in government in very unpredictable ways. This explains why the country’s Attorney General had to introduce a stop-gap mechanism which he called “Judicial Review” of Baraza’s case as the government contemplated key implications. Judging from the dirty government record, Baraza may have to be killed one way or another because his presence at the ICC as a prisoner awaiting charges (with nothing more to lose) might bring down the Jubilee government, see Ruto locked at The Hague and leave Uhuru Kenyatta jostling with an ICC arrest warrant.
So far, all attempts by the government to stop the ICC cases through diplomacy and propaganda have failed. When the cases began, there was trepidation that the cases might collapse due to witness withdrawal but this fear is waning quickly with the continued trial of Ruto and with witnesses testifying in detail on how Ruto masterminded the Kiambaa church massacre where women and children were roasted alive. With an arrest warrant having been issued for Baraza, the strategy of witness intimidation and bribery appears to have totally collapsed. This is because the Baraza warrant has sent cold chills down the spines of Baraza-like functionaries who are just beginning to understand that ICC has the capacity to identify them and issue warrants for them to face justice. If Baraza were to be locked at the ICC, the whole network he has been collaborating with will be shitting on their pants. Witness bribery and intimidation was the government’s magic wand to stop the ICC cases and if it fails, the fragile regime will enter into a period of internal disintegration, crisis and chaos. In fact, Uhuru Kenyatta may have to begin contemplating his capture to be air-lifted to The Hague to face justice at the ICC, depending on how the situation develops.
ICC, Westgate and conspiracy theories
According to conspiracy theorists, the government was involved in the Westgate “terrorist attack” to prove to the ICC that critical situations requiring urgent and strident action by the President could occur in Kenya and that under the circumstances, the ICC cases are a detraction that may hamper crisis management when the Head of State is away. To prove this point, Ruto had to ask for a useless one week recess “to address the crisis”. Today, the obvious reality is that Ruto did nothing to manage the crisis apart from holding a Press Conference at JKIA.
The series of lies by the government and the plethora of unanswered questions about the attack (including credible claims that the government knew about the attack) have fuelled the theory that the handling of the attack was nothing but a cover up that was designed to see the so called terrorists escape to safety. The subsequent bombing of Westgate by the army and the shameful lack of explanations to critical developments linked to the attack are increasingly being interpreted by conspiracy theorists as evidence that the so called rescue operation was, in reality, a cover up operation that included destruction of evidence of government involvement in the attack. Today, no one knows the whereabouts of the terrorists and the hostages while Westgate Mall, the alleged scene of crime, was cleaned of all valuables by looting soldiers who have never been traced, apprehended or charged in court.
According to the above theory, the government also wanted to use the Westgate attacks to “punish the West” because of their lack of political support of the Jubilee government and Western support of the ICC even though Uhuru and Ruto had come to power. This punishment, according to this theory, was by way of ensuring that as many Westerners as possible were killed at Westgate with the Kenyan deaths being treated as “collateral damage”. It is instructive to note that much of the names of the dead that were recognized by the government and published in the local media were Western or foreign. While blaming “terrorists” for the deaths, the government strategy was allegedly to send a clear message that both Uhuru and Ruto needed to be in place because Western interests in Kenya could be threatened by terrorists at any time. If in deed, the government masterminded the Westgate attack as a way of addressing the ICC cases, it failed because the cases are on track and more heat is being turned by the ICC on Ruto and Uhuru like never before.
Fugitives: How Uhuru and Ruto might be captured
For now, while Ruto may be a very worried man, Uhuru Kenyatta must be spending sleepless nights because whichever way the ICC case is dissected, both Uhuru and Ruto will either have to be captured or they will be converted into fugitives. This situation will open the way for imperialism to begin employing its huge machinery to capture them, dead or alive Osama Bin Laden style. Somehow, Uhuruto are deluded that they will escape capture using the Bashir tactics. What they are yet to realize is that Kenya is not Sudan.
The job of capturing the two might be easy because unlike Sudan where Western powers are not represented at the grass roots, Kenya is basically a playing ground of the West. If four terrorists could hold a whole platoon of military soldiers (with tanks, helicopters and RPGs) at bay for four days, a well-organized Seal Operation (aka “Operation Safari”) backed by drones and Apache helicopters could easily subdue Uhuru and Ruto’s security before the two suspected criminals are carted away to be tried at The Hague. Assuming that some rag-tag Al-Shabab terrorists sneaked into Kenya and staged the Westgate attack, imagine what a more organized force at the super-power level could do if the agenda is to capture the President and his Deputy! The CIA, the FBI, Mossad and foreign Mafia groups operate in Kenya freely so they know the terrain quite well. Although this might sound like a movie script, the truth is that Kenya has no security after the country entered into the league of failed States.
Once the President and his Deputy become fugitives, what the Americans will need is just a Resolution from the UN Security Council to the effect that both Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto surrender to the ICC or face the consequences “with all options being left open” to capture them. Both Ruto and Uhuru (plus the country’s intelligence) does not understand how imperialism works. For now, they are safe because they are not fugitives. I might be wrong but one day, Kenyans might wake up to find that they have no President or Vice President, just like one day, the world woke up to learn that Osama Bin Laden was no more. Let us wait and see.