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Joshua arap Sang speaks about his life during the ICC trial

By Luke Anami | April 6th 2016
Joshua Sang. He plans to go back to broadcasting and later join politics.(PHOTO: FILE/ STANDARD)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) trial cost Joshua Sang his job.

The radio journalist said yesterday that earning a living while the case was ongoing was difficult.

“It has been very difficult to work while the case is on. You can imagine, if I applied for a job while the matter was pending before the ICC, how would the employer evaluate my situation? Even co-workers would be uncomfortable. That is why I resigned from my former job at the Kass FM,” Sang explained.

Yesterday, Sang shed tears of joy when he received news that he had been let off the hook.

“I am just delighted that I have my freedom that I have been longing for the last six or seven years. God has seen us through today. I am so happy. That is what matters,” Sang said wiping tears from his eyes.

“I want to thank God, I want to thank my lawyers led by Counsel Kigen, they have done a wonderful job,” he added.

The charges against him were confirmed in January 2012 and the trial opened in September 2013. The case has been ongoing until yesterday when the court gave him a new lease on life.

He quit his job after the journeys to The Hague became too frequent.

“Most people think I stay in The Hague. The fact of the matter is that I don’t. I was only able to stay over during the trial process,” he said. “Others even say I was studying, but that is not true.”

During the trial Sang was never allowed to travel outside The Hague.

“My visa restricted my movement to within The Hague. But the people at The Hague are very friendly. I got to visit the city and meet new people while on my stay over there.”

Sang plans to continue with his former job, join politics as well as venture into full time farming now that he is done with the ICC.

“I love my broadcasting job so much that after ICC, I would not hesitate to take it up again,” Sang said. “I also learned a lot while at The Hague about dairy farming. You know The Netherlands is one of the countries that is good at dairy farming which I admire so much.”

He said he has been doing some dairy farming at home as the case went on.

“You never know, perhaps I could vie for one of these big seats in my home county of Trans Nzoia. But that is a story for another day.”

Sang says that during his stint in The Netherlands, no notable ODM leader ever visited him while he was at The Hague although he was accused of being an ODM sympathiser in the case.

“I only saw about three ODM MPs at the beginning of the case but for the rest of the period, those who matter in the party, none has ever visited me while at The Hague,” he said.

“But there are so many people who paid me a visit, including my pastors, relatives and politicians from all walks of life. Those visits meant a lot to me as they encouraged me, adding to my resolve that I am innocent.”

He said cold weather and food made his life unbearable in The Netherlands.

“Temperatures can go down to less than 10 degrees Celsius something we in Kenya are not used to. Their food is also a problem. At times it forced me to take one meal in a day because I was afraid of stomach upsets,” he explained.

“I only discovered that you can get some Kenyan food, including goat meat on Saturdays and even milk and as you know we love mursik.”

Hard questions

But it is his immediate family who suffered most while he was away.

“I missed the graduation ceremony for one of my daughters and to date she reminds me about it. She has never understood why I could not be there on her big day,” he said.

“My parents too have been very worried. I have never been arraigned in a court of law before. The ICC was the first time for me to appear before a court of law. So my parents wondered why.”

His wife, he said, has also suffered immensely. “She has suffered so much. First she does not like the media limelight and yet this case thrust her in the limelight.”

Any time his three young children see him on TV, they keep on asking: “You want to go to The Hague? Kumbe unatudaganya na huku unaenda Hague (You are just lying to us, yet you are going the The Hague.” Sometimes I have no answers to their hard questions.”

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