Kenya: Who Is Fixing the “Ocampo Six”?
Even before the ICC delivered summons to the “Ocampo six”, there was no doubt in the minds of top suspects as to who was pulling the strings from behind. According to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former Higher Education Minister William Ruto, the master mind behind the ICC project is Raila Amolo Odinga and the motive is to keep them off the 2012 Presidential race.
Converting Raila into a punching bag as part of accounting for their woes has now become routine especially at political rallies. The energy expended by both Uhuru and Ruto in tagging Raila as “the High Priest” responsible for stoking the fire in the ICC hell has been enormous. However, answering the pertinent question as to “who is fixing who” in the situation calls for a closer look at the aggregates in the Kenya ICC equation.
According to a Wikileaks cable dated November 4, 2008, the names of both Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were contained (with other names) in a sealed secret envelope that was handed over to Kofi Annan during the presentation of the Waki Report that was commissioned to investigate the PEV. The cable confirms that US Ambassador, Michael Renneberger, had an inkling of the names in the secret envelope because the Cable proceeded to name Uhuru and Ruto as possible suspects whose prosecutions by ICC were likely to benefit Raila Odinga, Martha Karua and Musalia Mudavadi.
Renneberger’s approximations were based on the premise that the cases would proceed to the ICC if Kenya failed to set up a local Tribunal. Paradoxically, Raila was one of the key politicians fronting for a local Tribunal at the time the said Cable was authored while Ruto and allies were campaigning for the ICC option believing that the process would be long drawn. Focusing on Odinga, and assuming that the names of both Ruto and Uhuru were in Waki’s secret envelope, the only logical conclusion is that if Odinga is the King pin fixing Uhuru and Ruto, then he must have fixed the Waki Report and influenced the content of the secret envelope. Could this have been possible?
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCR) published a Report titled “On the Brink of the Precipice: A Human Rights Account of Kenya’s Post 2007 Election Violence”. According to this Report, Ruto and Uhuru were key masterminds of the PEV. To underline their concerns, the two politicians tried to get their names expunged from the Report and Uhuru even went to court but his case was rejected. Once again, if Raila Odinga was the main fixer of both Uhuru and Ruto, then he must have masterminded the inclusion of the two names in the KNCR’s Report and influenced the Court to dismiss Uhuru’s case. Could this have been possible when the President of the Coalition government is a person who has identified Uhuru Kenyatta as his possible successor? Was Kibaki sleeping on the job when Raila was allegedly scheming?
Kenyans need to look beyond the current blame game and focus further to establish the main forces driving the country’s politics. Both the United States and the European Union have been extremely concerned about the situation in Kenya because the country is their hub of activity in East and Central Africa. Sadly, a repeat of the PEV or a new round of political instability in Kenya will have far reaching consequences to both the United States and European governments than to the people of Kenya.
Stretching Ocampo to the limit
These are the powers that controlled the process that led to the signing of the National Accord by forcing both Raila and Kibaki to share power after fixing Kofi Anan to negotiate the process. They are the same powers that control the ICC and the same forces that have been issuing visa bans to top Kenyan politicians to prevent them from travelling to their countries on grounds of corruption. They are the same powers that will veto any attempts to defer the cases of the “Ocampo six” through the United Nations. From the Cables, the United States has met almost every key politician in Kenya to panel beat them into towing the line and from these Cables, both Ruto and Uhuru have been summarily dismissed, either as anti-reformists or heavy consumers of alcohol. Trying to blame Raila Odinga for the ICC process is cheap and myopic.
According to the US State Department, the US government was losing 500 million USD per week during the PEV. In 2012, another election-instigated chaos in Kenya will be unmanageable and this is the nightmare scenario for Western powers who have been fueling the push for institutional reforms in Kenya. The US and British governments could put a stop to the ICC process if they wanted to by simply getting the Kenyan case discussed at the UN Security council then lobbying for a deferral but they are not doing so.
These governments will block the process that may save the “Ocampo six” because politically, they don’t value Ruto and Uhuru. They are already warming up to a possible Raila Presidency because they view Odinga as the only possible hope for Kenya. Unfortunately, Ruto and Uhuru, together with their sycophantic allies, are too blind to see the hand of Imperialism in the process. Surely, can Raila Odinga convince the US and British governments to employ their veto power at the UN so that Ruto and Uhuru can be nailed by the ICC? If Raila can do this, then his powers ought to be elevated to that of a Super power to open the way for him to play a role in International politics.
Ruto, Uhuru and their anti-ICC campaigners have pushed ICC into a corner and stretched Ocampo to the limit. Either, the Court has to flex its muscles or risk being seen as useless on the International scene. Both Ruto and Uhuru have rubbished the ICC process and when Ocampo came to Kenya, they said that he came “for a cup of tea”. When the ICC President came to Kenya to encourage the government to talk to the Court directly instead of resorting to “shuttle diplomacy” to lobby members of Africa Union, he was ignored and given a very low reception. It should not be surprising that the summons were issued at a time when the government had just engaged in the second round of shuttle diplomacy to get the UN to defer the cases.
Further, the evidence gathered by Ocampo has been rubbished by Ruto and Uhuru. The anti-ICC forces have been expending their energy, accusing the Court of inefficiency and attacking Ocampo for being used as a tool for the settlement of political scores. Spin doctors have been brought to malign ICC and to paint Ocampo as an evil force who cannot dispense justice. Under the circumstances, the ICC has to show that it has teeth and can bite. For this reason, it is unlikely that the “Ocampo Six” will evade trial by ICC and therefore, diverting attention to Raila Odinga is a waste of time.
The United States government does not like Ruto because of his anti-reform posture while the Administration is unlikely to settle for Uhuru Kenyatta as next President because a third Kikuyu President immediately after Kibaki is only possible through a new round of rigging that will spell fresh chaos in Kenya. After the Kikuyu ruling class rigged elections in 2007 and installed Kibaki at night as President, millions of Kenyans are looking for a break with the argument that Kenya “does not belong to the Kikuyu”. Thinking Kikuyus agree and it is only lumpen Kikuyus who believe that there is nothing wrong with a third Kikuyu President after Kibaki’s election theft.
The issue of the Kenyans will come up for discussion at the United Nations on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 and my take is that it will be dismissed. Raila has nothing to do with it and the faster Ruto and Uhuru understood this point, the better they will be able to deal with a serious political crisis that threatens to hammer the final nails on the coffins of their political careers in the Republic of Kenya.