By Indiatsi Nasibi
The 50-year jail sentence imposed on former Liberian President Charles Taylor at The Hague reminded me of the suffering and horrific killings of innocent civilians. And it was also a fresh reminder of just how far some people will go to get blood diamonds.
It was also reminiscent of the suffering of the IDPs and post-election violence victims in Kenya in 2008 and how some of the original ‘Ocampo Six’ compared themselves to the ‘Kapenguria Six’ and interpreted “six” as a good omen.
They concluded they will go to The Hague but will eventually rule Kenya after it.
It was no wonder that when at The Hague, they sang the Kenya National Anthem in the chambers, and upon their return, a procession of cheering supporters lined the streets from the airport to Uhuru Park, where Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were welcomed back as “our heroes from The Hague” with ‘prayers’. The occasion became a display of arrogance and impunity.
Let’s return to the Taylor saga: The trial was historic, since no African leaders had ever been tried and sentenced by an international court. Joseph Kony in Uganda and President Al-Bashir of Sudan still elude ICC arrest. It is perhaps for these reasons that Ruto and Uhuru are fighting tooth and nail to carry on their presidential campaign despite ICC indictment.
The emerging coalition of numerous parties against the Prime Minister Raila Odinga is so obvious that what was once secret is now an open debate.
Lewis Nguyai, the Kabete MP, summed it all for Kenyans when he said: “TNA would prefer to have voters elect dogs in TNA colours...every dog has its owner and when it barks as instructed, it gets a bone for a job well done.”
And then there was the strong delegation of Kikuyu Council of Elders, officials – including Murang’a Forum of Elders and UDF representatives – who turned up at Muliro Gardens when Musalia Mudavadi launched his presidential campaigns. Nderitu Muriithi and Ndaragwa’s Jeremiah Kioni were on hand at Kakamega with a force. They confirmed that they had been working hard for the past four months to sway Kikuyu support for Mudavadi’s candidature.
What a revelation! The message of goodwill from central Kenya by a General Muiruri, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, confirm their determination and support is one of its kind in Kenya’s nearly 50 years of independence. But is it a flattery or is it real? What support is central Kenya likely to give to Mudavadi or Eugene Wamalwa if one of their kin stands for president?
The new Constitution, which was promulgated in 2010, is yet to be fully implemented. Article Six of that Constitution stresses the tenets of integrity and moral ethical principles for good leadership. And since the same Constitution will eliminate anyone found to be ‘unfit to lead’, the resistance being shown is not surprising.
What these leaders fear is evident in what the Chief Justice said recently. “Those of you who are running for office should know that if you are found to have been violent, or you have stolen votes or you brutalised voters, Chapter Six would ensure you will never run for political office again.”