By Jared Okello
Tony Gachoka, the new entrant into the murky waters of the ICC debacle, woke up just recently from his deep slumber since December 30, 2007, with truly callous hands, and with gait, energy and coupled with speed is trying to catch up with the happenings since then.
A lot may have escaped Mr Gachoka, as is typical of every sleeping animal, giant or otherwise. In addition, however, there are ethical, aesthetic and philosophical questions regarding this current move.
Elections were bungled late December 2007, and there followed a surreptitious swearing in of President Kibaki at dusk. The whole country caught fire, protesting the manner in which the election was handled. During this period, many innocent Kenyans lost their lives, hence attracting the attention of the International community.
Kenya was, as a remedial measure, through President Kibaki for PNU and Raila Odinga for ODM, made to share power in one government on a 50-50 basis as President and Prime Minister. A name was coined to refer to the two gentlemen as ‘principals’, under the stewardship of mediator Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary General.
Both principals then appointed a commission headed by Justice Phillip Waki, to carry out comprehensive investigations on the atrocities that were committed on the Kenyan soil to its people. Mr Waki did his best, came up with his findings alongside names of suspects.
A sealed envelope bearing names of the suspected perpetrators was handed over to Dr Kofi Annan. Unfortunately, Gachoka was still dead asleep; he could have added an additional name, which according to him was erroneously omitted. The United Nations Security Council sent a special rapporteur Philip Alston, who held discussions with some of the victims, media, civil society among others, but systematically snubbed by the security forces, to get more hindsight on the violence.
It would have served as the best excuse if Tony belonged to the latter, but alas! He was asleep. Maybe Gachoka’s purportedly omitted name, would have secured space with the professor.
Kenya was then offered latitude to set up its own independent tribunal to charge the suspects here at home. Despite pleas by both the President and the Prime Minister, such calls fell on deaf ears. The most feared envelope hence made its way to The Hague, minus Tony’s man. While Tony still enjoyed the comfort of his orthopedic bed and mattress, the pre-trials of the Ocampo 6 (and not Tony’s Ocampo 7) began in earnest. At the end, only four cases met the threshold for trial stage, as two of the accused, Tinderet Mp and Minister for Industrialisation Henry Kosgey and Postmaster General Brigadier Hussein Ali were left off the hook.
This was reminiscent of a scenario where a chicken whose feathers around the neck have been plucked, with both wings tucked under the slaughter’s feet, with a sharp knife on the right hand, only to be sent away that there is enough fish for dinner in the freezer. They breathed a sigh of relief!! All these processes happened while Mr Gachoka soundly slept, a sure evidence of procrastination.
What is more perplexing is that even in the face of fear by the current and would be ICC witnesses of victimisation, that occasioned passage of the “Witness Protection Bill”, now an Act, Gachoka he has never asked for any protection as a “would be witness” or raised concerns over his life.
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